Deborah Aarhus

Associate Professor of Natural Sciences & Geography

College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Deborah Aarhus is an Associate Professor at Concordia, with global teaching experience in Zimbabwe (Peace Corps Volunteer,’95-’99), Hawaii, South Korea, and Italy. She completed her doctorate in Organizational Leadership and Educational Leadership (EdD), and has 18 years experience teaching science: Chemistry, Environmental Science, Biology, Physics, Physical Science, and Energy.

She has worked as an educational consultant running numerous faculty workshops and retreats (e.g., International Baccalaureate system, Biology and Chemistry curriculum reviews, STEM integration). Professor Aarhus enjoys the challenge of finding new ways to incorporate faith in the sciences. Inquiry-based lessons, collaborative projects, research skill development, and design labs, are all part of the teaching methodologies she embraces. She hopes to positively influence the future teachers and leaders of tomorrow.

While working on her masters, Dr. Aarhus taught in the inner-city schools of Miami, to fulfill her Peace Corps Fellowship requirements and to give back a little to her own country. “To whom much is given, much is expected.” When asked about her passions, she readily admits to traveling to over 45 countries, and volunteering in 14 of them. Whether it be working in orphanages in Bosnia, or Vietnam; planting trees in Costa Rica; building homes with Habitat; working alongside Global Issues Network Students; or volunteering at the Special Olympic World Games, Dr. Aarhus truly has a heart for service-learning.


  • EdD, Educational Leadership & Organizational Leadership, Nova Southeastern University; Fort Lauderdale-Davie, FL 
  • MS, Science Education, Florida International University; Miami, FL 
  • BS, Medical Microbiology with Minor in Chemistry, California State University, Long Beach; Long Beach, CA 
  • Rostered Lutheran Church Missouri Synod teacher/professor (Colloquy)
  • Teacher Certification, State of Florida

Academic and Professional Highlights

Presentations and Publications

  • “Promoting Excellence with Next Generation Science Standards” Presentation at the Urban Teachers Conference, Concordia University Chicago, IL, February 2014. 
  • “Building Bridges: How do we build bridges in international waters?” Presentation at the Beautiful Feet Mission Conference, Concordia University Chicago, IL, November 2013. 
  • “An Examination of Service Learning and Leadership Skill Development Within the International High School Setting,” Nova Southeastern University, Davie-Fort Lauderdale, FL, May 2013 
  • “Biology and Chemistry Curriculum Review”, Marshall School: Duluth, MN, May 2012

Workshop Coordinator/Facilitator:

  • Chemistry Workshop Coordinator/Facilitator, Minnesota, 2012.
  • Biology Workshop & Retreat Coordinator/Facilitator, Minnesota 2011 & 2012. 
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Staff Development Workshop, Minnesota, 2011. 
  • Science Teacher Job- Alike Session Facilitator, East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS) Conference, Philippines & Thailand (2006, 2007).

Conferences Attended:

  • Conference on Global Leadership, Learning & Research (Summers 2011, 2012) 
  • Dissertation Poster Presentation 2012 
  • Teaching Science & Math with Technology Workshop, 2009 
  • Global Issues Network Conference, Hong Kong 2010 
  • Global Issues Network Conference, Beijing 2008 
  • KORCOS Conference, South Korea, (2006, 2007, 2008) 
  • EARCOS Conference, Thailand 2007 
  • EARCOS Conference, Philippines 2006
  • NSTA Conference, Texas & California (2005, 2002)
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) in Chemistry 2005 
  • Service Leadership Retreat (Luke Center, Honolulu, HI) 2004 
  • Advanced Placement, Environmental Science 2001 
  • Advanced Placement, Chemistry 1999 
  • Forest Biodiversity Monitoring Field Techniques, Smithsonian Institute, Florida, 2000 
  • NASA Protein Crystals in Space, Kennedy Space Center (STS-98 mission) 2000-2001 
  • Women In Development Conference, Zimbabwe, 1996 
  • Technical, cross-cultural, and language training, Peace Corps, Zimbabwe, 1995

Awards & Honors

  • Outstanding Doctoral Graduate of the Year - 2013 (Phi Gamma Sigma, International Professional Organization, Nova Southeastern University) 
  • Peace Corps Fellowship, Florida International University Peace Corps Volunteer & Leader (Zimbabwe, 1995-1999) Carnation Award (Volunteer Service)


  • Phi Gamma Sigma
  • International Professional Organization Advancing Science Serving Society (AAAS)
  • National Science Teacher Association (NSTA)
  • National Peace Corps Association (NPCA)