Marco Leon | Staff Writer

Brian Deis grew up surrounded by science. 

Hi parents are both in the science field: his father is a marine biologist and his mother is a high school chemistry teacher. This gave him an appreciation for science at an early age.

“My dad has always been a really hard worker and really passionate about wildlife biology,” said Deis, who grew up in Jacksonville, Fla. “He inspired me to go outside and experience biology, and really tried to show me cool biology whenever he could. I’d also call my mom about teaching advice on how to deal with certain student situations.”

Deis is a 28-year-old lecturer who has been teaching at Kapiʻolani Community College since the summer of 2016. He teaches Introduction to Biology (BIOL 171, 171 Lab, 172 and 172 Lab). 

Deis attended the University of Central Florida from 2009-2013, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology. He later earned a master’s in Zoology at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in 2016. After graduation he taught his first course at KCC during the first summer session. Deis believes that Hawaiʻi is an excellent place to be a biology professor, due to the accessibility of the diverse fauna and flora available.

He encourages students to explore other learning styles. Not all teachers have the same teaching style, so being receptive to a variety will be beneficial in the long run.

“Academic abilities aren’t fixed,” Deis said. “Everyone really has the ability to learn, you just have to put in the effort and get inspired. I feel that part of my job is to be inspirational, and I try to let students know about certain aspects about my life. People get inspired by hearing other people’s stories. That has helped me get through certain situations.”

Leonard Marcia, is a 25-year-old Microbiology major and a former student of Deis’. He took Biology 171 and 171 Lab, and Biology 172 and 172 Lab. Marcia is preparring to transfer to UH Mānoa for the Spring 2020 semester. The quality of teaching and knowledge posed by Deis was impactful for Marcia, who hopes to become a professor as well. 

“Professor Deis was very encouraging and inspirational throughout the courses,” Marcia said. “He has a quality that makes him approachable and relatable with students. He remembered me and when he’d see me on campus he would stop and ask how I was doing. This was also long after I had taken his courses. That really meant a lot, since most of my former professors wouldn’t do that while I was in their classes.

“I admire how he can go out into the field and pick out specimens for the labs and would know exactly what they were, and when and where to locate them on the island. Professor Deis is why I want to teach. I want to be as great as he is.”