I took a science education course that allowed me to take a few lessons into local middle schools, and fell hard for teaching. I saw the intense challenges, the unique rewards, and the incredible people and students that comprise the teaching profession, and knew I had to be a part of it.”

Lucas’s Story

Teaching Discipline


Why Science

“I still get a sense of wonder from the ‘how?’ and ‘why?’ in the world around me, and science has allowed me to explore these questions in unique and fascinating ways. What often gets overlooked in science is the importance of communication and collaboration. I found these to be the most enjoyable components of my research, and hope to share this enthusiasm with my students.”

Professional Experience

Following participation in two summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs at Stanford University and Southern Mississippi University, Lucas was inspired to pursue academic research through a graduate program in materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Lucas worked as a research assistant in Dr. Jennifer Lewis’s group, studying 3D printing of hydrogels for applications in tissue engineering and 3D stem cell culture.

Lucas was also a coordinator for the University of Illinois Girls Learning About Materials (GLAM) camp. There he developed curriculum and co-taught the GLAM portion of the Girls Adventures in Mathematics, Engineering and Science camp, a weeklong program designed to expose academically talented teen girls to engineering.

For two years, Lucas worked as a Merit Teaching Assistant for general chemistry classes at the University of Illinois. In this role, he led small groups of students to enhance their study and problem-solving skills in math and science.

Lucas is passionate about swimming and has worked as a coach for several years. Considering his passion for science and working with students, Lucas made the transition to the field of education.

Volunteer Experience

Lucas served on the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) Outreach Leadership Team at the University of Illinois. In this role, he coordinated and developed opportunities, demos, and labs for community science and engineering outreach in a team environment. Through IGERT, he developed demos and led the IGERT tent at Science at the Farmer’s Market, an event that promoted and educated community members about the benefits and science behind nanotechnology.

Special Recognition

In 2010, Lucas became a published author. (Hung, A. M., Micheel, C. M., Bozano, L., Osterbur, L. W., Kershner, R. J., Rothemund, P. W., Wallraff, G. M., & Cha, J. N. (2010). Directed and Spatial Assembly of Gold Nanoparticles on Lithographically Patterned DNA Origami. Nature Nanotech, 5, 121-126.)


Lucas enjoys swimming, coaching and cheering for Ohio sports teams. He is an avid movie fan and newfound motorcycle enthusiast.

Academic Background

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Master of Science in the Teaching of Chemistry)
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering)
  • Hope College (Bachelor of Science in Chemistry)