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Justine Boecker - Bethel University

Justine Boecker's dream of being a scientist and working with children is being realized on a larger scale than she ever imagined.

Justine Boecker ’17 spent the summer helping to shape the national conversation on physics education through a prestigious internship with the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) in Washington, D.C. Just four years earlier, she started her freshman year at Bethel University with a clear but unusual calling: to be a physicist and to work with kids. Thanks to generous gifts from donors like you, Justine’s unique calling has become a reality.

From a young age, Justine knew God was calling her to be a scientist. But in 11th grade, God flipped her life upside down when He started reminding her how much she also loved kids. The daughter of a children’s pastor, she’d often helped in her church’s kids’ ministry program. But God clearly showed her that her natural affinity for children was a calling all her own.

Justine chose Bethel for the strong physics and education programs as well as inspiring chapels and faith-based curriculum. During her college career, she was amazed by the care and attention she received from professors. Biology professor Patricia Paulson spent two hours helping her determine how to double major in physics and elementary education—and still graduate in four years.

Professor of physics Dick Peterson encouraged Justine to pursue the internship with AAPT. “There was only one slot of this sort in the U.S.,” says Dick. “It worked because of Justine’s enthusiastic track record along with high-quality STEM education mentors at Bethel.”  

Justine returned to Minnesota after her internship and began teaching ninth grade physics at Fridley High School in September. She looks forward to gaining experience as a classroom teacher and influencing the future of STEM education.

Rebecca E. Vieyra, Justine’s internship supervisor and K–12 program manager for AAPT, quickly recognized the caliber of her student intern: “The nation desperately needs teachers like Justine.”

Would you consider giving a generous gift today to support Bethel students as they prepare to live out God’s calling?

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Every day the generosity of Bethel alumni and friends helps Bethel students like Justine receive a Christ-centered education and influence our world. Thank you.

With gratitude,

Mark Miles
Senior Vice President for Advacement

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