Alfonso Garcia Arriola


Dr. Alfonso Garcia Arriola

Fellowship Placement: United States House of Representatives
Hometown: Portland, OR

Dr. Alfonso Garcia Arriola is a middle school science educator in Portland Public Schools. For the past 19 years he has taught at ACCESS Academy, a program for talented and gifted students. Dr. Garcia Arriola completed his doctorate in educational leadership with an emphasis in curriculum and instruction at Portland State University in 2017. He also has a Bachelor of Science degree from Gonzaga University. Dr. Garcia Arriola is motivated to educate and develop scientifically literate students in a culturally inclusive environment that encourages leadership and responsibility. For him, education is not so much an accumulation of knowledge by students as it is “a process of acculturation into an interpretive community.” His research interests include the professional development of science teachers and developing closer partnerships between scientists and educators. In that regard, Dr. Garcia Arriola has participated in numerous professional development events through organizations such as the U.S. Naval Academy, the American Meteorological Society, the Library of Congress, the Food and Drug Administration, the Boeing Space Academy, MIT Science and Engineering Program for Teachers, and the OHSU Teacher Institute for the Experience of Science. Recently, he served as a 2021 Science Communications Fellow for Ocean Exploration Trust aboard the E/V Nautilus. Additionally, through a grant from the Murdock Trust Partners in Science Program, Dr. Garcia Arriola is working with Dr. Larry Sherman during summer 2021 and 2022 to learn more about the scientific research process; to gain experience with novel biomedical, molecular, and biochemical concepts; and to contribute to ongoing research projects aimed at identifying strategies for myelin repair. These professional experiences have translated into great success for his students in the classroom and various academic competitions including science fair and science bowl. Dr. Garcia Arriola was awarded the Mary Omberg Award for Excellence in Mentoring Student Research at the Northwest Science Expo in 2015. He also received the Robert E. Yager Excellence in Teaching Award in 2016 by the National Science Teachers Association and the OnPoint Community Credit Union Circle of Excellence Teaching Award in 2020.