Enchantment is the word UNC biologist Bill Kier uses to describe his love of the subjects he teaches. And a shared sense of enchantment is what bonds him to his students (see Kier in action in the video below).
“I think the process of watching students understand some concept or gain some insight that they’ve never had previously is very exciting,” he said. “Seeing them gain enthusiasm for some of the same topics that I feel great enchantment for is also just delightful.”
From comparative physiology to comparative biomechanics, Kier teaches classes involving complex processes that may seem counterintuitive. To ensure that his students fully grasp the concepts, he employs visual demonstrations in the classroom.
“That has been great fun through the years,” he said. “If I can find a particular demonstration for the class that illustrates a principle, often it makes a huge difference in terms of the students’ understanding of that concept.”
Through understanding comes appreciation, and through appreciation comes the shared sense of enchantment that makes his work all the more fulfilling.
Kier has been teaching in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences since 1985, and he is chair of the biology department.