Why I love teaching
Education is a passion and priority for me. I find inspiration and purpose in engaging others to consider the world from various perspectives. Trying to figure out the best way to connect with a student to help them understand a concept or example is an exciting challenge. During this process, I get to learn so much about how people think, understand, and relate concepts to their lives and perception of the world.
I believe that educators should strive to make students' educational experiences effective and fun - when a classroom or lab is exciting, engaging, safe, and relatable, students and instructors can get the most out of their time. See the below for active learning ideas and resources. Also, check out the resources section on the Inclusivity page to make your classroom or teaching styles more inclusive.
undergraduate teaching & mentorship
It is important to me to try to inspire and empower undergraduates by serving as a mentor. I was the TA for EVE 180: Experimental Ecology and Evolution in the Field, in which 13 motivated, upper division students brainstormed, designed, implemented, analyzed, interpreted, and reported on an ecological experiment. As the TA I tried my best to support students at each stage of the project while also empowering them to work independently and collaboratively to solve problems. The work we did has resulted in a manuscript draft that we are hoping will be published soon!
- EVE 180 course description
- ESA 2016 Education Section poster on EVE 180 and field courses
- EVE 180 course blog
- EVE 180 publications [links coming soon]
Aside from EVE 180, I have included undergraduate students in my lab and field work, where I worked to teach them technical skills and treat them like colleagues to enable their intellectual growth as ecologists and people.
graduate student seminars
During my PhD at UC Davis, I organized and lead three graduate student seminars (ECL 290):
For the first seminar, "Biocontrol: Ecology and Applications," students from various departments participated each week by reading, reviewing, and discussing a chapter of a soon-to- be published book on biological control (now published! Biological Control: Ecology and Applications). By doing so we learned the current literature of the field while also providing constructive feedback to the authors.
The second seminar, “Gender and Sexuality in Nature,” co-organized with Jacob Moore, surveyed literature ranging from sex determination, hermaphroditism, sexual selection, to multiple genders in non-human organisms. Each week we discussed primarily literature from a different topic and wrote a post on our course blog which serves as an outreach tool. Check it out!
Spearheaded by Maureen Page, the third seminar I helped organize was "Racial and Gendered Science." We focused on the interplay between culture and science. In particular, we explored how the history of sexism and racism has structured science, and how science may inadvertently feed back into those structures. Each student developed a project plan to support marginalized folks in science/society.
diverse, relatable role models for intro bio
As part of my post doc, I will be continuing to develop an online repository of teaching materials for introductory biology classes that contains teaching materials and personal accounts submitted by biologists that are self-identified members of underrepresented groups in biology. The goal is to allow instructors of intro bio to efficiently integrate research examples done by these folks, and also to present biologists in a way that is humanizing and relatable. Check out the prototype website