Aarti Raja earned her Ph.D. in Microbiology at the University of Maryland in 2000, completed her postdoctoral work at Harvard Medical School and joined the faculty at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) in 2012. She holds the rank of Associate Professor and serves in the Department of Biological Sciences in the Halmos College of Natural Science and Oceanography. She teaches and guides students throughout their careers at NSU. Her areas of research include microbiology, and innovations in science education. Aarti is recognized at NSU and externally for her support of undergraduate students which has connected her students with national and international research communities. Aarti collaborates with researchers from across the globe via the project called the Tiny Earth (TE) which she brought to NSU. TE is a program that was created by Yale University’s Center for teaching and allows undergraduate students to engage in research early in their careers laying the groundwork for scientific discovery. Aarti is also part of a program started at NSU called Science Alive! which connects the college community with local schools to bring hands-on science education and learning opportunities to school age children. Aarti has several years of research in the field of virology, specifically human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and its proteins. In addition to research and teaching, Aarti gained vast experience in the field of infectious diseases consulting for the pharmaceutical and financial industries.