Empty Hearts, Empty Notebooks | Nathan Ahlgrim
What can a teacher do when they see a student wasting their potential? The first step is to figure out why they’ve detached. The reason—and solution—is too often ignored in our schools. Nathan Ahlgrim is an educator driven by curiosity. While earning his Ph.D. in neuroscience from Emory University, an unexpected side-quest turned his planned career trajectory on its head. He became a regular fixture at many local schools as “The Brain Guy,” always arriving with his bucket of brains to share the mysteries of the mind. This passion for informal science education drew him to the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains, where he spent a year teaching natural history and ecology in classrooms that had no walls save the mighty pine trees of the forest.
He now works as an educator of all sorts. His day job is teaching Psychology classes to a diverse group of North Carolinians, in which he cares more that his students can evaluate a questionable tweet than that they learn what Sigmund Freud would have thought about their dreams. He is always looking to spread his excitement for scientific inquiry throughout the Hickory community, whether it be in writing for the Hickory Record or nerding out with scientists of all ages at the Catawba Science Center.