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Current Noyce Scholars

Current Noyce Scholars

Our Noyce Scholars are proud to participate in Doane University's Project SERVE program. They are passionate about teaching STEM disciplines, and are looking forward to working in high-need schools - making a meaningful difference in the lives of children and their families, and in their communities.

Tori Gress

Headshot of Tori GressTori Gress ‘21 grew up in Nebraska City. At Doane, she has excelled as a student in the College of Education. She is excited to start her junior year as a Noyce Scholar, a prestigious honor for future teachers.

Tori is thrilled at the chance to participate in Project SERVE.

“I am excited to be given the chance to learn more about relevant issues, conduct research, and meet with mentors to help better prepare myself for different teaching tasks in my future,” she says.

She hopes her experience in Project SERVE will make her a better teacher.

“ Teaching requires passion and dedication,” she says. “ I believe Project SERVE will help me deepen my passion and dedication to help me better understand how to effectively teach science in the areas where it is most needed.”


Olivia DeFord

Headshot of Olivia DeFordOlivia DeFord ‘21 grew up in Lincoln. At Doane she is an honors student majoring in science education, and a member of the dance team. She also works in the writing center, helping fellow students with their assignments.

“I am passionate about teaching STEM in a high-need environment because I want to work with people who are passionate and know that they are capable of making a difference,” she says.

Olivia sees a need in the world to teach students how to find solutions in high-need environments where there may not be that many people trying to help.

“ As a future STEM teacher, I want to support my students and foster their drive to make the world a better place,” she says. “ The education and support I get from Project SERVE will help me become the best teacher I can be for my students.”


Deb Erpelding

Headshot of Deb ErpeldingDeb Erpelding ‘20 is a nonresidential student in Doane’s accelerated teaching certificate program, called FastTrack. After relocating to Nebraska from elsewhere in the Midwest, Deb used the opportunity to transition careers to education. She began her journey as a paraprofessional and substitute teacher.

“Building relationships with the kids and working closely with those that struggle due to learning disabilities, socioeconomic issues, and unstable family situations was very fulfilling,” she says.

Deb hopes that being involved in Project SERVE will deepen her abilities to make connections with her students

“Being part of the Noyce Project SERVE program will help me be a better role model and resource for kids that are interested in STEM careers,” she says. “I also want to help students develop the skills needed to be successful in college and in life.”