“It’s really cool to be on the cutting edge of scientific discovery,” Maldanado said.
To properly lead his team and present the findings of his research requires writing, explaining his findings and organizing his thoughts and arguments. These skills, which continue to aid him today, came from KHS teachers including Curt Froyen, Greg Stults and Bud Bright.
These teachers helped him discover his skill sets. He still remembers the way he was coached, both in the classroom and on the track.
One of the highlights of his job today is mentoring and training students, applying the very skills he learned in Knoxville.
Outside of the classroom, Maldanado is married to Bridget and the couple have a three-year-old daughter, Quinn. The couple met while attending the University of Iowa, and Bridget is originally from Bellvue.
Raising a family, while leading the research team has been hectic. Maldanado works many hours, trying to get results, but he finds time for his wife and daughter.
“I think I’m trying to strike a good balance,” Maldanado said.
He is also striking a balance between being a “die-hard Iowa fan,” while working for Big 10 rival Michigan. He said the key is to remain neutral when the teams play each other and to hope for the best, for both teams, at all other times.