As a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, Stanley Schneider wants to change the way students think about and live on this earth. “I want them to experience awe and a sense of privilege and responsibility for living on this planet.” Schneider’s passion for animal behavior, social insects (especially honey bees), and the evolution of social behavior is infectious and his students thrive under his guidance.
According to Schneider, teaching is a social interaction. It is the contagious enthusiasm of the teacher that captures students’ imagination and helps them dream. Excellent teachers are rigorous, fair, and demonstrate respect for students by holding them to high standards of performance by providing clear, organized, and relevant lectures. Importantly, Schneider firmly believes that active participation by students in the learning process is central to inquiry-based learning. To this end, his living legacy at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte is his excellence in integrating his teaching and research in the classroom. For Professor Schneider, exposure to the process of conducting research is the primary means by which students learn how new information is generated and synthesized into an existing body of knowledge. Since joining the UNC Charlotte faculty in 1985, Schneider has worked with approximately 140 graduate and undergraduate students through individualized instruction, many of whom have gone on to become productive biologists, teachers, researchers, and entrepreneurs.
Because of his research on honey bees, Schneider frequently is invited to give talks to beekeeping associations, gardening clubs, and birding clubs. Given the worldwide decline of pollinators, he sees these talks as one of the most important public services he can provide. His years of teaching undergraduates have taught him how to engage and motivate audiences and, therefore his public speaking is a direct consequence of his teaching experience.