Paige Duncan (she/her) joined the Center for Social and Behavioral Science in October 2023 as Community Engagement Specialist. Paige’s role is to build partnerships with local organizations and university institutes and centers to develop creative and innovative programming for children and adults in the community.
Tell us briefly about your personal and professional background.
My interest in biology and nature was sparked at a very young age while growing up on a lake surrounded by wildlife. This passion led me to major in Biology at Illinois State University (ISU) and to participate in several research laboratories on campus. After obtaining my Bachelors of Science degree in Biology with a focus in Zoology and a minor in Environmnetal Studies, I continued my education and obtained my Master’s in Biological Sciences with a sequence in Conservation Biology at ISU in an avian ecology laboratory doing research on house wrens. While I attended Illinois State University, this passion for biology was united with a realized devotion for teaching as I was head teaching assistant for a biology course for 2 years. My enthusiasum for teaching science continued to bloom as I joined the Champaign Park District as their STEAM Instructor. In this position, I developed fun hands-on educational STEAM programs for children at the Martens Center. Now I am excited to conitnue pursuing this love for teaching science and connecting with the community as I join the CSBS team.
What inspired you to join the team here?
Through all my past experiences, I found that I have a drive for organizing, educating, and engaging people in STEAM topics. It has been so fulfilling to see those from diverse backgrounds come together to learn and get excited about these different subjects. I was inspired to join the CSBS team because I want a career where I can make a difference in helping our community not only grow in their knowledge of science but grow together through memorable activities and programs.
What are you excited for in your new role with CSBS?
My main role is to partner with the Martens Center, a new Champaign Park District facility, in order to reach the community with some of the science research that is being done on campus. Currently, we are in collaboration with Beckman Institute, Cancer Center, Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE), and National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). I am excited to start developing and implementing programming for our community at the Martens Center as well as examining the role social and behavioral science plays in STEAM education.
Outside of work or home, where might we find you?
You can regularly find me taking my dogs for a walk, going for a run, biking, hiking or cooking a fun meal with my husband, Brody. We enjoy participating in local 5Ks and 10Ks together and recently have taken up doing triathlons. I also love spending time with my family and friends and can often be found playing outdoor and indoor games with them.