Alumni profile: Mary Ann Tellas

Mary Ann Tellas.
Mary Ann Tellas outside of Jordan Hall atrium. Photo by Terri Greene, IU Biology

Changing the face(s) of science

Twenty-five years ago James P. Holland, professor of biology at Indiana University Bloomington, tapped Mary Ann Tellas to assist with a new science program for minority high school students.

The Summer Enrichment Program (eventually named after Holland to honor his legacy) exposes promising, high-performing, underrepresented high school students with interests in STEM disciplines to an in-depth look at the process of science on the IU Bloomington campus during the summer. Students attend lectures, take part in discussions, and participate in hands-on laboratory procedures. They also learn about scientific careers and how to prepare for a successful college experience.

Tellas, who grew up in Bloomington, received her B.A. in biology from IU in 1986. Holland was her instructor for a freshman biology class. She recalls being impressed by Holland’s knowledge and his joy in sharing that knowledge with the students. In 1992 she was honored that he remembered her and asked her to help with SEP. Tellas was teaching high school biology then—she earned her M.S. Educ. in secondary science education from IU in 1996—and was the first teacher in SEP, assisting with lab activities under the direction of Holland and other IU professors.