Dr. Rose Isgrigg

Assistant Professor of Biology

How long have you been teaching at Rio?
I began as an adjunct at the Meigs Center in the Spring semester 2009, then full-time AY 2009-2010.

Over the years how many different courses have you taught? (estimate if you can’t remember exactly )
About a dozen or so all total. At Rio Grande, I have taught only Principles of Biology. I have other college teaching experience teaching Conservation, Ecology, Plant Biology, Anatomy & Physiology, Microbiology, Spring Flora, and Intro to Biology.

What is your favorite course to teach at Rio…and why?
Well, so far it has been Principles of Biology…I enjoy teaching non-major courses as it may be the only Biology some people ever have and it is important for the public to understand the principles of Biology as it relates to their lives. My favorite course to teach of all time has been an economic botany course that I happen to be developing for Rio Grande students. I hope that the course can pass all the hurdles so I can begin offering it in the fall.

In your discipline (i.e., Biology), what individual (or two or three) would you most like to spend a day with so you could pick their brain?  (you can choose someone no longer walking the planet…)
Thomas Jefferson would be my first choice for many reasons. He was an accomplished botanist and scientist, as well as philosopher and that other thing he’s known for. If Thomas Jefferson was not available,  I would be totally thrilled to visit once again with E.O. Wilson (I went with my husband to pick him up at the airport when he was a commencement speaker and it was quite a wonderful experience and he is a delightful person), then of course, I’d like to just hang out at the Linnean Society of London in the mid-1800’s just to hear all of the thinkers discuss the natural world, most notably, Charles Darwin and the other “enlightenment thinkers”.

What is your favorite food?
Pretty much anything Italian and any fruit in season.

What is your favorite all-time movie (or two)?
I will not pass up “Patton” whenever it is shown on TV, I still cannot say why it is such a favorite, I typically do not like war movies, maybe it was imprinted on me by visits to the Patton Museum at Ft. Knox, near where I grew up…and anything Marx Brothers…especially the Paramount years.

What is your favorite hobby/past-time activity?
I raise and show fancy poultry. I am an American Poultry Association Master Exhibitor of Bronze Turkeys and I have held 5 national champions in Faverolles.

If you were not a “biologist”, what would you like to do as a profession—disregarding whether it paid more or less than what you are making now?
I’d farm…and milk cows, ride horses, and play with my dogs.

Describe the one aspect of teaching you like the least.  (Preparing exams and/or quizzes? Grading?  Preparing a syllabus?  Developing a new course?  Lectures?  Labs?  Other?)
Prepping labs is my least favorite…I don’t mind them when they’re underway, it is just the grind of finding all the things I need.

How many years did it take you to earn your B.S. degree?
3.5 years.

What century did your earn your B.S. degree in?

What set of circumstances resulted in your becoming a biologist?
I was born to be a biologist. Apparently as a toddler, I collected insects and spiders to give to the corner drugstore lady (I don’t remember it, but she did)…I do remember collecting toads and turtles to keep as pets, along with my ducks and chickens. My husband no longer gives me flowers, a surprise from him is usually a black rat snake in a bag so I can put it in the barn to help eliminate mice and rats.

More recently, I went back to school after working on the farm with my Dad and brothers after he died and we sold the farm. There was not much work for a woman in agriculture, so I became a science teacher, didn’t like middle school that much and went back to school to teach in a community college or small 4-year college. 

If you could choose to live anywhere else on this planet (i.e., not counting Rio Grande), where would it be and why?
England. I love the place as it just stinks with history. Just outside of London, if possible.

Identify one “thing” from “the good old days.”
The good old days of my grandparents had beautiful carriages and buggies that our ancestors used to drive. I love driving horses and to get a vehicle like that now would break the bank.

What is your favorite quote?
I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it. ~Groucho Marx~