Dr. Bill Heyborne has known since the second grade that he wanted to study science. Now as an associate professor of biology at Southern Utah University, Heyborne studies an assortment of animals alongside his students.
With research interests in the diversity of living things, Heyborne specializes in biological pedagogy, and reptile/amphibian natural history including the study of insects and venomous snakes. Heyborne teaches his students to examine living systems and the impact of biological problems on human affairs. He encourages critical thinking, problem solving and the application of scientific thinking.
“I really enjoy teaching basic biology to freshmen,” said Heyborne. “It is exciting to see the light come on when they begin to understand a difficult to understand concept.”
“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.”
Heyborne has taught the following classes:
- BIOL 1010 Introduction to Biology
- BIOL 1020 Human Biology
- BIOL 1610 General Biology I
- BIOL 3430 Entomology
- BIOL 3470 Herpetology
- BIOL 4840 Cooperative Education
- BIOL 4850 Undergraduate Research
One of Heyborne’s favorite aspects of SUU is the close working relationships between faculty and students. He believes that classes are small enough to really get to know students – and not just as students, but as people with interests, aspirations and goals. He loves the chance learn about and then help students to work toward their longer term objectives.
Heyborne is active on SUU campus as the Director of the Center for STEM Teaching & Learning and also the advisor and founder of the SUU Animal Ambassadors. In 2014, Heyborne was recognized by students for his work in and out of the classroom with the Thunderbird Award for Professor of the Year.
“Don’t forget that college IS your life right now,” advises Heyborne. “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!”
An SUU alumnus, Dr. Heyborne earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology with a minor in chemistry. At Oregon State University, he earned a master’s degree in entomology, then a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Northern Colorado.
*Writing & Project Management Contributor: Marlie Scott