Dr. Leann Fiore
A YouTube Biology Phenom & Master Cake Decorator
Dr. Leann Fiore, Assistant Professor of Biology, received a TCC Service Excellence Award in April 2023. She joined the College in May 2015 and became a full-time faculty member in 2017.
She also holds a leadership role in the School of Science and Aeronautics as a Faculty Lab Coordinator for Biology, Chemistry and Physics. In addition, she served as the advisor for the Club of Medical and Natural Sciences for four years and coordinated many co-curricular club events focused on student development and providing opportunities for exploring intellectual curiosity and investigation.
Dr. Fiore also serves as Science Faculty Lab Coordinator and has instituted multiple processes to ensure equitable working conditions and expectations for the Science Department lab assistants. “A large part of this role is mentoring the lab staff, as most of the staff are current TCC students at the start of their science careers,” says Dr. Fiore. “They are trained in lab procedures, safety, inventory management, and science-focused skills.”
Dr. Fiore is an active member of the Faculty Association and has served on various committees and task forces in her faculty role all while maintaining currency in her area of expertise and high student satisfaction.
In 2020, she was presented a Goody Award from TCC President Dr. Leigh Goodson for her work incorporating stop-motion animation into her class. She also created a YouTube channel called @PopUpBiology, which helps students and other faculty around the world. The channel has more than 1.18K subscribers with 192,000 cumulative channel video views to date. This work captured the attention of the Oklahoma Association of Community Colleges and she was awarded a Great Ideas for Teaching (GIFT) award from the Association in 2021.
“I feel fortunate to have stumbled into the wonderful world of teaching at a community college,” says Dr. Fiore. “Community colleges are special in their affordable education options while offering smaller class sizes that foster an environment of mentorship with resources to help students succeed. TCC is positively regarded within Tulsa and the surrounding communities for offering affordable workforce curriculum, outreach, service and exceptional instruction.”
She continues, “A career at TCC allows me to explore creative solutions to problems in education with the freedom to develop curriculum to improve student success rates and contribute to the academic community. Bumping into a previous student at the grocery store, pulling over the grocery carts in the aisle, and catching up on their career made possible by TCC is an incredible reward for the work that we do!”
Fun fact about Dr. Fiore: Incorporating Biology into her daily life, Dr. Fiore recently made a snake cake for a fellow TCC Biology/Zoology professor who was retiring. She learned the skill of cake decorating during graduate school to earn extra money and still decorates cakes on occasion for friends and family.