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Making time to learn leads to solid foundation in sciences

Orianna Carter, associate professor of biological sciences at Ohio University Southern, said she didn’t decide to become an educator. 

“I’d say it decided on me. When I was a college student, I was always teaching other students,” she said. “I found I loved doing it because I could learn so much more about the subject that I loved by teaching it to others.”

That love of biology and teaching has led to Carter’s over 25-year career in education.

“I’m kind of serious as a teacher,” she said of her instructional style. “I truly believe in the old methods of learning your foundational sciences – and that it’s up to you to apply yourself and do the work that it takes to achieve that foundation.”

Carter began her collegiate journey as a single mother working as an herbalist.

“I found that raising children as a low-income earner, to be able to keep them healthy, it was good to get out into my woods and identify the plants, shrubs and tree barks. I’d collect medicinals and prepare extracts,” she said. 

That’s exactly what brought her back to school.

“I wanted to know more of how things really worked, get some more background," Carter said, adding that she had to focus on balancing both her education and family responsibilities. “It was hard to make time to learn. I really had to plan and organize it.”

Making time to learn is something she hopes her students will focus on, as well.

“If you want an education, and you want that education to lead to a career, you have to put the time in,” she said. “For the sciences, you need to be rock solid on the foundational first year. Once you have that, the other courses are easier. Much, much, easier.”

Carter said that once students dedicate effort to developing confidence in their ability to study and manage time, they can do anything.

“That’s what I think is most important for new science majors,” she said. “And what I hope that Ohio University Southern students will do to get a head start during their first year here.”

To learn more about Ohio University Southern’s Associate of Science degree, visit

July 12, 2023
Staff reports