Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Josh Fuchs
Instructor of Mentorship and Research

Oct. 2021

Can you tell us a little about your background and how you came to teaching?
I grew up in Texas and attended Rhodes College, where I studied physics. I thought I wanted to be an engineer, but discovered that I found the questions that physics asked more interesting. I was involved in a lot of educational programming about physics and found that I really enjoyed explaining and sharing physics with other people. After Rhodes, I went to graduate school at UNC-Chapel Hill for my Ph.D. in physics. I continued to be involved in teaching and physics education. After my Ph.D. I taught at Texas Lutheran University for a few years.

Can you tell us a little about your role at NCSSM?
I am an Instructor of Mentorship and Research. That means that I teach in the Mentorship program that enables NCSSM students to conduct research off-campus with mentors. I am involved with helping students in our Foundations course in the spring of junior year prepare for their research experience by writing a resume and cover letter and identifying potential mentors. After students start research, I partner with students to help them understand the roller coaster that research can be and teach them how to communicate their research effectively.

What is your favorite thing about the Mentorship program?
I love how the Mentorship program pairs students with professional researchers to give them a chance to experience a professional research environment. I love seeing the students learn about a project they have little to no background in and become an expert in that topic, taking ownership of their project and learning how to explain it clearly to others.

Do you have any advice for students interested in a STEM career?
The wonderful thing about STEM is the variety of career options available to you. You will be trained to think carefully and deeply about a topic, and this provides opportunities to work in communication, policy, private industry, education, and law, just to name a few. I think it is important to be open to new opportunities when you are a student, to try things outside of your comfort and background so that you can experience the variety of options available to you.

Have you read anything interesting recently?
I just read Bill Bryson’s "At Home," which is a history of the home. It is a surprisingly fascinating story of the place where we spend so much time and take so much for granted.

What are some of your other interests?
I enjoy exercising and being outside. I love to go hiking and camping. One of my favorite things about North Carolina is the variety of outdoor activities that are available.