Name: Caitlin Burns
Academic Rank: Assistant Professor, Biology, Chairperson
Department: Biology and Chemistry
School: Health Professions and Natural Sciences
Office: SH 208A
Phone: 973-328-5373
Education: M.S., Montclair State University
B.S., Rowan University
Hired: 2016

As soon as Professor Caitlin Burns completed her undergraduate degree from Rowan University, she began working at Brookdale Community College. Being a young professor meant Burns was teaching students who were both younger and older than she was. “This was my first time in a teaching position,” Burns says. “In the beginning, I struggled but the longer I taught, the more I learned how to engage with my students and improve upon my teaching.”While teaching at Brookdale Community College, Burns began to adjunct at Monmouth University and subsequently became the Department of Biology administrator at Montclair State University. In 2016, she joined County College of Morris (CCM) as a full-time assistant professor.

At CCM, Professor Burns teaches a variety of classes that cater to both biology and non-biology majors. “In Anatomy and Physiology, a lot of the students are enrolled in science-related majors with specific career goals in mind”,” Burns says. “For the non-majors, some of my classes can be a little challenging because some may not be particularly fond of science.”

To help get her students involved, Burns likes to try new, fun ways to teach her lessons. “In my Human Biology class, I have an activity where students work in groups, and they select a song that has a choreographed dance,” she says. “Then, they dissect the movements in the song and identify what bones and muscles they used. It helps them apply what they’ve learned to real life.”

Burns first discovered her love of biology and human health in high school when she started her first job at a pharmacy. “My boss at the pharmacy definitely shaped me into who I am today,” Burns says. “I always think back to him and about the little things that he taught me that I’ve carried with me throughout the years. He’s someone I’ve always wanted to be like.”

Now, Burns gets to impart her own knowledge to her students and become a role model herself. “I think that’s what I like most about being a teacher,” Burns says. “As an instructor, you’re always learning, even from your students. I like that this is a career you can really grow from, and getting to share my passion with my students is really rewarding.”