Bio

Name: Dr. Teresa S. Birrer
Academic Rank: Assistant Professor, Biology
Department: Biology and Chemistry
School: Health and Natural Sciences
Office: SH 209
Phone: 973-328-2497
Email: tbirrer@ccm.edu
Education: Ph.D., University of New Hampshire
B.A., Mount Holyoke College
Hired: 2015

If Dr. Teresa Birrer isn’t grading papers or learning about the newest discovery in biology, she’s either knitting, reading a science-fiction novel or watching a Marvel movie. “Marvel movies are my guilty pleasure,” she says. “I never watched anything like that growing up, and now when a new one comes out I ask my kids to come with me.”Birrer has always been drawn to both teaching and science. After graduating with her Bachelor of Arts degree in General Biology from Mount Holyoke College and receiving her Ph.D. in General Microbiology from the University of New Hampshire, she began applying for teaching positions. Her husband, however, had found a job in New Jersey, and they needed to relocate.

“I was about six months pregnant during the move from New Hampshire to New Jersey,” Birrer says. “So I decided to not look for a job. I have three children, and they are 21 months apart from one another. I decided to homeschool them, and I did that all the way through their high school years.”

In high school, all three of her children were Challenger students at County College of Morris (CCM), allowing Birrer to become well acquainted with the school. “That was my connection,” she says. “I had a 20-year gap from working, but I felt like I was up to date on the material because I was learning it with my children.”

Birrer likes to not only keep herself up-to-date on the latest information in the biology world, but also likes to keep her students well informed, as well. On Facebook, she is constantly updating her page, “Prof Birrer CCM,” with new research in biology.

“It’s real, vetted peer-review content,” she says. “I also post about events that are happening at local colleges to let my students see what is going on in the science field. The students who follow it really like it because it shows them that there is much more out there than just becoming a doctor. Everybody wants be a doctor, but there is so much more you can do in science.”