Associate Professor of Biology; Alumna ('91)
For Dr. Audrey Napier, there is no greater joy than watching her students graduate, achieve their goals and come back to say that their education prepared them for the next step in their careers.
The Thomaston, Ga., native has taught at ASU for more than a decade as a professor of biological sciences in the same department from which she earned her B.S. in biology in 1991.
Napier attended graduate school at The Ohio State University, where she earned a Ph. D. in molecular genetics. She completed her postdoctoral research as a fellow at the Medical College of Georgia in the Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics.
In 2001, Napier returned to ASU to help shape the young minds of the researchers, doctors and scientists of the future. She teaches several courses, including population biology and evolution, undergraduate research, molecular biology and genetics and senior seminar.
In addition to her work in the classroom, Napier is conducting research to “understand the underlying mechanisms and the molecular interactions that govern the embryonic development of organisms.” She was drawn to this field of study after participating in a summer internship with the MARC Program (Minorities Access to Research Careers).
She was recognized by her colleagues in the College of Mathematics, Science and Technology as the 2012 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Faculty of the Year.
When it comes to her role as an educator, Napier genuinely believes that she can help students by opening their minds and helping them lay the foundation for their future career endeavors. She says enjoys the feeling of accomplishment when students succeed beyond their own expectations.
The day-to-day experience with her students is what Napier says she loves most about teaching at ASU.
“The thing about teaching for me is interacting with the students. ASU students are quite interesting and diverse. They can rise to the standards that you hold them to, but sometimes some of them may need a little push,” Napier said. “I enjoy the excitement on their faces when you pose a challenging question to them and they figure out the answer.”
Napier said many of her students often are surprised to learn that she played basketball and softball and ran track in her younger years.
“It is good to be a well rounded person,” Napier said. “You just have to know where to put your emphasis.”