As a 25-year veteran teacher, Dan Hochman, Ph.D., knows the value of an education—and how critical it is for Texas to lead the nation and world from the classroom.
Dan’s story is a quintessentially American one. Growing up in Virginia, near Washington, D.C., he supported himself and served his community by working as a bartender, EMT, and volunteer firefighter. His passion for public health and medical research led him to work as a medical technician for a Capitol-area AIDS clinic at a time when the crisis was worst in our nation’s capital.
Later, Dan earned degrees in business and Japanese studies, pre-med biology, and environmental science. He taught plant biology and soil science at the University of Maryland while completing research for his thesis at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Center. For Dan, these experiences reaffirmed the importance of a high-quality education.
Moving to Texas in 1999, Dan took on the critical role of a water pollution control specialist for Galveston County. He saw the need for science education and later transitioned to high school chemistry, undertaking a second master's degree at the University of Houston and a Ph.D. at the University of Texas Medical Branch.
After Hurricane Ike, Dan taught full time at San Jacinto College to support himself and his daughter as a single dad. There, he taught biology, anatomy, physiology, and microbiology. He also taught toxicology and cell biology at Texas A&M University, Galveston, while finishing his post-doctoral fellowship.
Dan currently serves Texas' future by teaching dual-credit environmental science and biology at Galveston College and Ball High School. He recently served as a congressional liaison to Rep. Randy Weber (TX-14) for the Citizens Climate Lobby.
When Dan isn’t teaching, he likes to surf and scuba dive and ride his Harley Davidson motorcycle.
With several degrees to his name, Dan places a priority on education.
Dan earned his bachelor’s degree in international business and Japanese studies from James Madison University. After receiving his EMT certification, he took an interest in medicine and enrolled in a pre-med program, undertaking his second bachelor’s in pre-med biology at George Mason University.
When a career path opened up for Dan in pre-med biology, he earned a master’s from the University of Maryland in environmental science. Living in D.C. afforded him the chance to conduct research for the USDA Agricultural Research Center, where he finished his master’s thesis on forest ecology.
Later, Dan enrolled in a secondary science education program at the University of Houston, then returned to research at UTMB’s biomedical science graduate program, where he earned his Ph.D. in biomedical research with a focus on environmental toxicology. He completed his post-doctoral fellowship on genetic analysis of RSV infection in children.