As an Associate Professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University, I am one of a small, but growing, number of Science Faculty with Education Specialties (SFES). I am a neuroscientist turned full-time education researcher, teaching undergraduate biology while focusing my research on education.
I first discovered my interest in neuroscience while pursuing my Bachelors degree in Biology at Cornell University, concentrating in neurobiology and behavior. I went on to study the central control of temperature regulation and the role of inflammatory molecules in obesity as part of my Masters in Biology at The Scripps Research Institute. I received my Ph.D. in Biology from Stanford University where I studied the therapeutic potential of small heat shock proteins in multiple sclerosis and stroke in the Steinman Lab. While in graduate school, I also discovered my love of teaching and subsequently, biology education research. I started taking education classes, became involved in the development of course-based undergraduate research experiences , and earned a Masters in Education concurrently with my Ph.D. in Biology.
I have expanded my biology education research interests as a postdoc working with Kimberly Tanner in the SEPAL lab at San Francisco State University and working with Scott Freeman and Alison Crowe as part of the Biology Education Research Group (BERG) at the University of Washington. While I still very much consider myself a neuroscientist, I have now turned my attention fully to understanding how we can more effectively teach undergraduate biology and how undergraduate biology majors learn so that we may ultimately improve undergraduate biology education.
In the lab, our research interests are broad and ever-changing. Currently, our work is focused on exploring the impact of course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs), developing a programmatic general biology assessment for departmental use, and investigating issues related to equity and access in undergraduate biology education.