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Bria VarnBuhler

Bria grew up in Northern California as the child of two educators. She loved asking “why” as a child and took that persistent curiosity with her through high school, where she took a liking to science, and college, where she found a passion for chemistry. After four years at Pomona College spending the majority of her time either in the chemistry lab or on the soccer field, she made the journey east to pursue her graduate work at Tri-Institutional Program in Chemical Biology (TPCB) in New York City. She studied in the lab of Dr. Samie Jaffrey at Weill Cornell Medicine, working mainly on developing nucleic acid-based tools to study biology. In other words, she made DNA light up on demand.

  • Life outside the lab: Bria on the Pomona-Pitzer soccer field
  • Happily paddling through a beaver-infested river in Montana
  • An escape from studies in the dry hills outside Los Angeles
  • Scrambled through a thousand rock pieces before finding this gem

Bria loved making Powerpoints in graduate school. But it wasn’t until she got in front of a classroom at The Beekman School that she realized what she loved wasn’t necessarily making the Powerpoints, but presenting scientific content in a comprehensible way for her peers. Bria continued teaching at The Beekman School for a semester while finishing her graduate work. She now teaches high school math and science at Greenwich Academy while pursuing a MSEd degree from University of Pennsylvania. From her graduate work, Bria brings to her teaching career her passion for chemistry, her experience in the lab, and importantly, her love of making Powerpoints.

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