Lee M. Thurston High School
Victor Chen grew up in Appleton, Wisconsin and was fascinated by science all through middle school and high school. As a 9th grader, he won the state Science Olympiad and competed at the nationals. Victor graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, picking up an additional major in chemistry because he loved the subject.
As he neared his final term at Madison, Victor thought he was destined for a PhD and a life of research. He went to the University of Michigan to begin a doctorate in biomedical engineering, and spent five years researching the use of biodegradable polymer scaffolds to grow artificial bone tissue.
“A few years into my doctoral program, I realized that I was not going to be happy being a lab rat. I needed to work with people and I had a strong desire to teach students.” He volunteered as a Science Olympiad coach for Plymouth, Canton and Salem high schools, and never looked back.
After completing his PhD, Victor earned his master of arts and teaching certification from the University of Michigan. He began teaching at Thurston High School in 2007.