Alumni Success: Katrina Starr | College of Science
November 11, 2021

Alumni Success: Katrina Starr

Katrina Starr graduated from UNT in 2003 with a BS in Biology and a minor in Chemistry, hoping to pursue a career that aligned with her passion for the biological sciences. She now proudly teaches as an Adjunct Biology Instructor for Natural Disasters at Texas A&M, as well as Physiology and Microbiology at West Coast University.  She plans to continue her journey in education by working towards her Doctorate in Education Administration. Her ties to UNT still run strong.

"UNT pride runs deep in my family, as many of us are alumni with our new generations also currently attending school there," said Katrina. "I will forever be grateful for the academic excellence and experiences that UNT afforded to me."

Prior to obtaining her Master's in in Higher Education and Biology at Texas A&M, Katrina worked as a recruiter for scientists and engineers, a dental assistant, and a Practice Administrator. She was working to train new team members when her passion for teaching sparked, and she now loves her career as an educator.

"The most rewarding aspect of my current role as an instructor is being a part of the educational journey of my students and helping them to pursue their dreams," said Katrina. "Many of my students are nontraditional adult learners and they are getting a second chance to pursue their academic goals and a new career. This is life-changing for them!"

Katrina cites her own professors Drs. O'Donovan, Tam, and Hughes as contributing essential support during her time at the University of North Texas. "From teaching me the fundamentals of biology, to calling me personally to check on my academic endeavors, to instilling the fundamental building blocks of life, I am thankful daily for the amazing foundation of education that I received at UNT," she said.

One of Katrina's most memorable experiences of UNT was the ability to study abroad, visiting Keele University in Staffordshire, UK. "This is where my peak and interest in more specialized areas of biology arose," she said. "I learned how to conduct research in areas such as the Biochemistry of disease, and now I am a Biology Instructor and get to pass forward this amazing experience and teach others the delight in research."

She also enjoyed conducting lab research as an undergrad. "One of my favorite memories was during my Genetics lab when I was responsible for taking home shoe boxes full of Drosophila melanogaster, or common fruit flies, and breeding them over the weekend. One can only imagine what my kitchen looked like!"

Most of Katrina's free time these days is spent doing research in Physiology and Microbiology. "New concepts and data emerge daily surrounding these fascinating topics!" she said. "I need to be ahead of the curve when I am teaching these subjects to my students. When I am not in the books, I enjoy boating and taking photography of wildlife, especially birds of North Texas."

Her advice for students who wish to pursue a career in science and research: "If you are passionate about science, pursue your academic goals first, and the career path will follow. There are so many avenues that a degree in science can lead to, keep an open mind and continue down the path that is most enticing to you, and you will discover the multi-facets within that particular field."

Whether you're a recent College of Science graduate or an established alum, we want to hear from you!  Fill out this form  to share your favorite memories of UNT, shout out to a professor or staff member, or let us in on the latest news and your biggest achievements since graduation so we can help you celebrate!

Photo credit: Allison Armstrong Photography