Faculty of Distinction – September 2020

Published: October 8, 2020

Congratulations to Holly Paquette, College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Faculty of Distinction for September 2020. Paquette is an Assistant Professor for Biology – Microbiology, Molecular, and Biomedical Sciences and has been with the College for six years.

“I teach because I am passionate and curious about science,” Paquette said. “My main goal teaching is to open doors for my students to explore biology and microbiology in a way that connects to them and encourages them to make a difference in their lives and the communities they live in. For me, the moments that really stand out are the ‘Aha!’ moments when I see students comprehend and connect with content. The excitement and pride is a great reward as an instructor.”

Paquette earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Physiology from University of California-Berkeley and a Master of Science in Microbiology from University of Montana. She additionally completed post-graduate research in epidemiology for the Canadian government. Beyond the close and productive relationships among faculty, staff, and students and the enriching diversity found at CWI, opportunities her students have to complete research is among the top reasons Paquette believes CWI is a great place to get an education.

“CWI prepares students with quality, affordable, and outstanding instruction with opportunities for biology research that are rare even at a four-year institution. CWI empowers students to pursue their interests with passion. Our Biology graduates are welcomed into labs at transfer universities because of the skills they have learned here.”

This past year, Paquette has invested her expertise into discussions related to COVID-19 at CWI.  

"Holly has contributed training information for the Center for Teaching and Learning's COVID module and has provided information to administration. Her work with HIV and her training in microbiology has given her relevance and credibility," explained a colleague. "In addition to her work on COVID, Holly is an excellent professor. She is kind, helpful, funny, and explains material well. Students know she cares. She is fair and gives homework that prepares students for exams. Students learn a lot and get excited about science."

Paquette is a fourth-generation Idahoan, married to a French Canadian, and a mother of two. Outside of teaching, she enjoys running in the Boise foothills, spending time with her family and dog – a mini Golden Doodle named Leo – at their cabin in McCall, and eating great food.

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