Chemistry professor Philip Friedman is back in the classrooms where he started as a student.Chemistry professor Philip Friedman is back in the classrooms where he started as a student.Ever since he can remember, Philip Friedman wanted to be a chemistry teacher. He got his first taste of college chemistry classes when he attended Temple College as a student in the Texas Bioscience Institute Middle College program.

“I was always interested in math and science,” Friedman said. “That’s why TBI was such a good fit for me. I really enjoyed my time there.”

Today, Friedman is back at Temple College teaching students in the same program.

After earning an associate degree from Temple College through the TBI program, Friedman earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Austin College and a master’s degree in chemistry from Colorado State University. He earned the certification he needed to teach 7th-12th grade students, and landed his first job as a physics teacher at Belton High School.

Last summer, Friedman was approached about teaching some chemistry classes at Temple College as an adjunct faculty member. Shortly after he started doing that, a full-time faculty position in chemistry became available.

“I jumped at the opportunity,” Friedman said. “This is exactly the place I want to be. I’m glad I was able to find a career in a field that I love and that allows me to help other people as well.”

This fall, Friedman taught all three of the TBI chemistry sections plus one regular general chemistry class. On the first day of class, he said he told students he was in their place not that long ago.

“I think it is meaningful to be able to see graduates of the program that you are in and see what possibilities are available to you,” he said.

Friedman said it helps that he has been through the same courses his students are taking – and even had some of the same faculty members.

“I can certainly relate to what they are going through,” he said.

Even if they don’t go into a STEM field, Friedman said just having some basic chemistry knowledge will be enriching to his students’ lives and help build their reasoning abilities.