I have a firm belief that all students have the ability to learn any topic, even topics often considered more difficult like biology and math.
“Difficult” biological concepts do not have to be difficult to understand. I avidly believe this. It takes breaking down concepts into pieces, into understandable concepts, that a student can grasp. Then by putting the pieces together, a large concept can become clear without being overwhelming.
I practice this often in my teaching with repeated success. I also believe it is important to start where a student’s knowledge begins – meet the student at a place of understanding. This makes a huge difference. I am constantly searching for what I call the “light bulb moment” in my students, and every one of those moments matters.
Each step toward the goal is important. I am also a firm believer that failure is also an important learning, and teaching, tool. I try to emphasize to students how they can benefit from successes as well as failures in their learning experiences, and keep moving forward toward the goal.
I have a Master’s of Science Degree in Zoology from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma. My concentration was in aquatic ecology, mainly with aquatic invertebrates. I had the privilege of working with a NSF grant funded project as a Research Assistant while in Graduate School. We sampled rivers all over the Arkansas and Oklahoma Ouachita Uplands surveying freshwater mussel beds for unique ecological characteristics.
In between graduate school and undergraduate school, I worked as an aquatic ecologist for a good number of years in St. Louis, Missouri. There, I also specialized in identification of aquatic invertebrates, and I also participated in ecological field work in many rivers around most of the mid-western states. I have a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Biology from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
I have experience as a teaching assistant, assistant professor, professor and tutor for over 10 years.
I am an avid artist and am currently training to be a natural science illustrator. I enjoy art museums, art fairs, and the like.
I am a self-proclaimed biology nerd, and with it comes a love of the outdoors and nature. I am quite happy stomping around in a river and turning over rocks looking for bugs, or in a sea grass bed looking for urchins, shrimp, or scallops.
I also have a love of music, especially finding new music. My musical taste is all over the place and quite eclectic, but my favorites are roots revival music, folk inspired, and real bluegrass. A new song will make my day. But, a cheesy joke will most surely make me laugh!