I grew up in Uxbridge, MA before attending Bucknell University for my undergraduate education. I earned a B.A. in Animal Behavior with a minor in American Literature, and in 1994 moved to Athens, GA to attend graduate school at The University of Georgia (UGA) . By 2001 I earned a M.S. in Biopsychology and a M.S. in Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development. My broad background in biological and social sciences, as well as the humanities, opened up a variety of professional opportunities for me. I began teaching undergraduate courses in biology, ecology, and psychology at local two- and four-year undergraduate institutions. In 2002 I took my first full-time position with UGA as Coordinator of Educational Programming. A few years later I joined the International Agriculture department at UGA as a Communications Coordinator and Technical Writer/Editor for The United States Department of International Development, Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Collaborative Research Support Program. In 2004 I joined the Division of Biological Sciences as Laboratory Coordinator for introductory biology laboratory courses. I remained in this position until summer of 2016, earning a Ph.D. in Science Education along the way, when I transitioned to my current position as Director of the Division.
I engage in biology education research that is focused on 1) teaching professional development for science graduate student instructors, and 2) online teaching and learning in biology.
My current research collaborations include:
1. understanding how graduate teaching assistant professional development programs are evaluated
2. undersatnding if a recently developed conceptual framework for graduate teaching assistant professional development evaluation and research encourages research in this area of undergraduate education.
3. understanding why graduate student instructors choose, or do not choose, to get feedback about their teaching
4. evaluating the efficacy of online biology laboratory modules in relation to meeting course learning goals.
5. understanding if using Peer Learning Assistants in gateway undergraduate biology courses helps enrolled student be successful in the courses