Krakos Receives Science Educator Award

Kyra N. Krakos, PhD, assistant professor, is honored by the Academy of Science of St. Louis

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Kyra N. Krakos, PhD, assistant professor of biology at Maryville University, has received the Science Educator Award as part of the 2016 Outstanding St. Louis Scientists Awards, presented by the Academy of Science of St. Louis.

Krakos will be honored during the 22nd Annual Outstanding Scientists Awards Dinner, to be held April 7. The Science Educator Award recognizes a distinguished individual on the basis of outstanding contributions to science education or to the public understanding of science, engineering, or technology.

“I believe the more connections we make between disciplines, the broader and richer our understanding of the world becomes.”

“Kyra is the supreme model of a cutting edge teacher-scholar-practitioner,” said Mark Lombardi, PhD, president of Maryville University. “Her passion for engaging students and the community in the wonders and importance of science make her the penultimate faculty member. All of Maryville is proud of her achievements.”

The Academy of Science of St. Louis recognizes Krakos as the 2016 Science Educator for her enthusiastic, innovative approach to experiential learning and research mentorship, and for her pursuit of learning beyond the classroom, as evidenced by her research and work.

“I believe the more connections we make between disciplines, the broader and richer our understanding of the world becomes. This is what drives my integrative approach to teaching science,” Krakos said. “I want my students to be better in all aspects of their life journey, because they understand biology.”

In her lab, Maryville students have recently focused on solving the issue of invasive honeysuckle. As an interdisciplinary group of researchers, Krakos’ students have discovered creative, sustainable ways to recycle honeysuckle wood and fiber into usable products.

Krakos is co-director of the annual Missouri Region Junior Science and Engineering for Humanity Symposium, hosted at Maryville. She also directs a summer undergraduate research program at Missouri Botanical Garden, overseeing a large research program focused on pollination systems.