Teaching Experience
Education is our password to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.
photo of Dr. Mona Minkara I created this page to share with you my journey of becoming an assistant professor of Bioengineering at Northeastern University. As a blind female scientist, I faced some challenges and learned a few things along the way. Keep reading to learn about my experiences and teaching, the knowledge I obtained, and the results/impact on students.
Dr. Mona Minkara's image
2005
2009
Undergrad at Wellesley College
2010
Grad at University of Florida
2015
2019
Postdoc at University of Minnesota
2020
2006 - 2009 tutor for Math and Arabic
2014 Chemistry TA
2017 - 2019 mentored undergraduates in research
2020 Professor of Biomolecular Dynamics and Control
The university of Florida seal. A black and white circle with two rings. In the first inner circle is a picture of a women by a palm tree. In the background a steam ship floats on the water. In Latin at the top it reads,”Civium in Moribus Rei Publicae Salus”. On the bottom of the first ring It reads,” In God We Trust.” On the outer ring it reads “University of Florida” in stylized font. It also reads 1853.
My First Time as a Teaching Assistant in the Chemistry Department at the University of Florida

The university of Florida seal. A black and white circle with two rings. In the first inner circle is a picture of a women by a palm tree. In the background a steam ship floats on the water. In Latin at the top it reads,”Civium in Moribus Rei Publicae Salus”. On the bottom of the first ring It reads,” In God We Trust.” On the outer ring it reads “University of Florida” in stylized font. It also reads 1853. During my graduate studies at the University of Florida, I received fellowships that allowed me to conduct research without the need to be a TA. In my third year, I realized that I still wanted to experience teaching. After approaching the Chemistry Department to volunteer for a TA position, I was met with apprehension because of my blindness. However, in the end, I was accepted as the first blind Chemistry TA at the University of Florida, and it became one of the best experiences of my life.

Below you will find some of the student feedback. Click here to see all student feedback.
Given her circumstances, I felt that Mona delivered information well and communicated ideas exceedingly well. I was impressed to say the least, as well as humbled and inspired by her courage and fortitude.
Very thorough in her explanations, actually made us work problems out on the board to make sure we got to practice, engaged the class collectively to help each other work out problems.
Mona is a really awesome TA. I thought it was interesting that she was blind. At first, I thought that this would compromise her teaching style. I WAS WRONG. I actually was very attentive in class, and she always motivated us to get on the chalk board and practice.
Were Mona a professor, I would go out of my way to take another class with her. I was very impressed, to say the least, as well as humbled and inspired by her courage and fortitude.
Thank you for all the dedication and willingness to help us. I think I can speak for all that you sincerely wanted us to do well. I aspire to be as bad-*ss as you one day.
Given her circumstances, I felt that Mona delivered information well and communicated ideas exceedingly well. I was impressed to say the least, as well as humbled and inspired by her courage and fortitude.
Very thorough in her explanations, actually made us work problems out on the board to make sure we got to practice, engaged the class collectively to help each other work out problems.
Mona is a really awesome TA. I thought it was interesting that she was blind. At first, I thought that this would compromise her teaching style. I WAS WRONG. I actually was very attentive in class, and she always motivated us to get on the chalk board and practice.
Were Mona a professor, I would go out of my way to take another class with her. I was very impressed, to say the least, as well as humbled and inspired by her courage and fortitude.
Thank you for all the dedication and willingness to help us. I think I can speak for all that you sincerely wanted us to do well. I aspire to be as bad-*ss as you one day.
My First Time Teaching as a Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at Northeastern University

The Northeastern University seal. It is made of two rings. The inner circle shows a torch with laural leaves beneath. In latin it reads “Lvx Veritas Virtvs.” In the outer ring it reads Northeastern University, 1898” My entire journey led me to the moment when I joined the faculty of Northeastern University and I became one of the first blind Bioengineering Professors. I also had the opportunity to teach a science class—something I love doing—alongside my research.

I was faced with teaching Biomolecular Dynamics and Control and it was a challenge. I didn’t have any examples of other blind professors teaching that class or one similar to it. Using a lot of my own techniques, I overcome this obstacle by creating my own system and designed the course in a way that worked for me. I believe teaching that class was a good start to my career as a junior faculty at Northeastern.

Teaching a very visual class as a blind professor was a difficult challenge for myself and the students, but we overcame these challenges together. Some students were inspired, and others were apprehensive, which was not surprising because the students never experienced being in a classroom with a blind professor. As result, I had the opportunity to start propagating change in society by demonstrating to the students that a blind professor in such a visual field is a possibility. I hope in the future this will broaden the participation of more blind and visually impaired individuals in higher education. As a TA I wasn’t sure that I wanted to be a teacher, but through my journey I found my love for teaching.

Below you will find some of the student feedback. Click here to see all student feedback.
The Northeastern University seal. It is made of two rings. The inner circle shows a torch with laural leaves beneath. In latin it reads “Lvx Veritas Virtvs.” In the outer ring it reads Northeastern University, 1898”
Walking in the first day and finding out that professor Minkara was blind I was a little nervous about the class. These notions were SO WRONG. Professor Minkara is one of the most intelligent professors I have ever had. She really knows her material and is an outstanding teacher. I had an incredible experience in this course- I am very sad that it ended early but am grateful for the opportunity to learn from her!
I was definitely correct in assuming I would be inspired by Professor Minkara. Every day we were in the classroom I left feeling more optimistic about my own abilities to achieve academically seeing how successful she has been.
She also made it an incredibly engaging class and a comfortable environment to ask questions, which for me makes all the difference in a class.
I try to always keep an open mind, after the first day of Mona explaining her disability, and learning how the class would function, very auditory with lots of mutual respect to have a collaborative learning space, I knew that this was the class for me.
Being an educator in STEM while blind will definitely bring its challenges, but that is not to say that a blind educator cannot be as effective as one that is not blind, as demonstrated by Professor Minkara.
Mona did an exceptional job teaching students, following presentations, explaining complex subject matter, answering questions, hosting office hours and much more. I had an amazing time in class while we were still on campus, and Mona is actually my favorite professor in college, and actually my best professor in college. I think that Mona's adversary in regards to her blindness, made her excel in so many supplementary areas of teaching making her an amazing professor.
Mona has an exceptional ability to memorize presentations, follow along with your questions in the middle of derivations without any preface, and I'm sure a sighted professor would have a lot more trouble with this. Mona was able to explain this to us with lots of words over and over again in different ways, answer any question we had.
I definitely do think there should be more blind professors in stem. I'm not sure if every teacher has the drive and ability that Mona does, but she definitely set an amazing precedent for others to come after her.
I've learned more in this class than I have in a lot of my other STEM courses. I think the joyful and collaborative nature of our class helped a lot, but it was Professor Minkara who ignited that spark to have a lively classroom experience.
Professor Minkara demands participation in her course. She wants her students to be present in class and makes an effort to make sure they all understand the material. She consistently asks the class for feedback. This is more interaction than the rest of my professors combined.
She also made it an incredibly engaging class and a comfortable environment to ask questions, which for me makes all the difference in a class.There was a mutual respect relationship for everyone in the class. I think that this style of teaching actually beat all of my other class styles. By having students constantly ask questions, and be asked questions, and fill in what might be next, enhances understanding and attentiveness exponentially. I would advise all other teachers to follow her teaching methods because it is extremely effective.
Professor Minkara is more committed to getting feedback from her students, both in the middle of lectures and in general. It is clear that she in enthusiastic about teaching and really cares about her students and their understanding.
Professor Minkara has proven to be an extremely bright, dedicated, caring, and effective professor. She has shown that the many challenges that blind educators face can be navigated and overcome. I would love to see more resources in academia to support blind educators and educators with disabilities so that STEM fields can become more diverse.