Professor shares a close-up look at science behind viruses, health

Professor Matthew Badtke’s enthusiasm for teaching students about science is contagious! 

Professor Badtke, Ph.D., teaches biology, chemistry, environmental science, microbiology, and public health courses at Jackson College. The knowledge and experience he has gained over the years help him help students better understand common topics. “I enjoy helping students understand topics they hear about frequently in a deeper and more meaningful way,” Badtke said. 

Having taught at Jackson College for 11 years, Badtke brings experience as an educator and a researcher. His research at the University of Michigan resulted in 10 peer-reviewed publications after he completed his doctorate. In addition, he taught for several years at Albion College before coming to Jackson. 

This scientist and educator was encouraged by his professors. As an undergraduate, he was inspired to pursue graduate studies in microbiology by a microbiology professor. “I remember spending hours in his office asking for more details and information related to what we were studying,” he said. His graduate school advisor and mentor showed him what it was to be a research scientist, and how to present his findings so that all people would understand. He also encouraged him to go into teaching. Today, Badtke shares those lessons with his students. 

“I will always remember the first time he sat in and observed me teaching a course. When we discussed it afterward, his first comment was about how natural teaching came to me. That comment has always stuck with me and inspired me to pursue science teaching as a career.” 

When he’s not teaching and listening to students, he enjoys distance running in his spare time. His knowledge of virology became increasingly popular during the pandemic, and he appeared many times on Jackson’s JTV, delving deeper into topics that people are often unfamiliar with.