Dr. Bill Heyborne is an associate biology professor, allowing him to get into the field and study an assortment of animals alongside his students. Bill’s focus is living things because "they are all around us and there is always room for new questions and exploration."
Associate Professor of Biology and Director of SUU Center for STEM Teaching & Learning
Department of Biology
How long have you been working at SUU?
Where did you grow up?
Where did you attend college and what did you study?
-Bachelor’s in Biology/Zoology at Southern Utah University
-Master’s in Entomology at Oregon State University
-Doctorate in Biological Education at University of Northern Colorado
When and how did you decide what you wanted your career to be?
I have known that I wanted to study science since I was in the 2nd grade. I was always a biology major, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with that degree until the end of my junior year in college when I decided I wanted to pursue graduate school.
What do you feel is the most interesting thing about biology?
What’s not interesting about biology? I love trying to understand how living things work, how they interact with one another, and the utter diversity of living things. There is much more that we don’t know than what we do know in biology – which leaves so much room for exploration.
Favorite thing to teach about your subject?
My research expertise is in insects and reptiles, so those two things are really fun to share with students. However, I also really enjoy teaching basic biology to freshmen. It is exciting to see the light come on when they begin to understand a difficult to understand concept.
Why do you love your field?
Living things are all around us, and they are a limitless source of interesting stories and potential projects. Virtually everyone is fascinated by living things, so it is fun to take that fascination and turn it into some real knowledge.
What has been your proudest moment working at SUU?
My proudest moment working at SUU was likely my receipt of the 2014 Thunderbird Award for Professor of the Year. That award was particularly meaningful because those awards are student driven. Being recognized by my students for the work I do in and out of the classroom was particularly rewarding.
What is one thing you wish to tell every student in your class?
Don’t forget that college IS your life right now. It is frustrating when I hear students talking about hurrying to get done with college so they can “get on with life.” College is your life, and if you can embrace it for what it is, it can be a particularly fulfilling time of your life. College is the time to try new things, meet new people, and establish positive habits that will serve you for a lifetime. Take full advantage of that and have some fun!
What do you love about SUU?
I love the close working relationships between faculty and students. Our classes are small enough that we can get to really know our students – and not just as students, but as people with interests, aspirations and goals. It’s so fun to learn about those things and then help our students to work toward their longer term objectives.