Chemistry and coaching
Helping others ‘grow and learn’
J.T. Taviano ’25, a chemistry major from Lima, Ohio, didn’t originally plan to be a Bluffton Beaver. He’s extremely close with his family, and when his grandfather passed away the summer before he was set to start college in Michigan, Taviano looked closer to home. He landed at Bluffton, and the last-minute change worked out in his favor.
“I just love being at Bluffton,” said Taviano. “It does feel like home.”
On campus, he’s most at home in the science labs and classrooms. While some students may dread the challenge of inorganic and organic chemistry classes, Taviano found his calling.
“I’ve always wanted to be a science teacher, but I didn’t know what areas of science I should pursue,” said Taviano. “After taking the sophomore-year chemistry classes, I realized I really like chemistry.”
Since he’s preparing to teach a broad range of science classes, though, he appreciates the push from Dr. Luke Myers to pursue a few physics classes as well. This semester, he’s taking linear electronics and is currently building a TEA (Transversly Excited Atmospheric) laser which uses the nitrogen in the air and a circuit to create the beam. The project is part of his final.
“I love my sciences classes. They get a little bit difficult sometimes, but the professors are always very helpful,” explained Taviano. “Luke [Myers], [Charles] Daws, [Daniel] Berger, if I have a question, they’ll answer it. They might answer it with another question. They want you to learn. They don’t make it easy.”
Outside of class, Taviano is a chemistry tutor and will work in the Learning Resource Center (LRC) during the spring. He played football for his first two years at Bluffton but took this semester off to coach instead. Taviano served as a volunteer coach for his brother’s team at Ridgemont High School. Between that and his field experience at Bluffton High School, Taviano believes he made the right call in pursuing a future as a high school teacher and coach.
“Being able to coach those kids and then being in the classroom for field experience has definitely made me realize I really do want to help students grow and learn,” said Taviano.