My central goal in teaching is to help students become aware of the biological world around them, gain the knowledge of how it came to be and become interested and excited about preserving and learning from it.
B.Sc. in Biology from The College of William and Mary
Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution from Stony Brook University
Approach to Teaching: I use my passion for teaching to inspire students to get excited about the biological world. I talk about examples that amaze and inspire me and the students can easily perceive this combination of elation and wonder. In each of my classes, I try to engage students and to develop a rapport with them so that they know I am approachable and willing to help them. I believe that it is my role to be a facilitator of learning, to help students actively incorporate the ideas I present into their own mental map of biology and its role in science. I never want to tell students the answers, but rather try to guide them to a deeper understanding of the material by asking questions that lead them to discover the solutions for themselves. A positive classroom dynamic can create a friendly, collaborative atmosphere. The role of a facilitator is to answer questions and field student answers to my questions, to not making wrong students feel bad about offering their ideas, but guiding them to the parts of their answers that are correct or are closer to the point being made.
Biology 336 – Fundamentals of Evolutionary Biology
The mechanisms, patterns and processes of evolution, including mutation, natural selection, genetic drift and symbiosis as studied through population genetics, systematics and macroevolutionary approaches. I have both co-taught and solely taught lecture sections and have coordinated 5-9 Graduate Student Teaching Assistants (TAs) a term in presenting tutorials which involve applying concepts, case studies and science communication.
Biology 121 – Genetics, Evolution and Ecology
Introduction to the topics of genetic inheritance, evolution of species and their ecological interactions. As the lecturer, I work with a team of TAs and Undergraduate Peer Tutors (PTs) to create and deliver lectures, activities, practice problems and evaluations.