I am a graduate of California State University, Long Beach and California State University, Northridge. I received a B.S. in Marine Biology with a minor in Chemistry and went on to get a M.S. in Biology where I focused on population genetics of a local marine fish. I am an avid SCUBA diver and sailor but also enjoy hiking and tidepooling. In general, I love being outside.
My passion is for marine biology. I have worked hard to learn more about marine life, and I am planning on making the study of marine life and teaching others my career. So much about biology interests me (organismal biology, molecular ecology, fish biology, evolution); however I have a very specific interest for population genetics of marine fish and fisheries. I understand that not everyone gets as excited as I do about biology (I sometimes binge watch programs like Planet Earth and Life), and I want to help them with their understanding of biology whether it be to just pass a course or because they also love biology.
I have had the opportunity to teach students taking biology as a course requirement to those that have a passion for biology. I have taught courses in general biology for non-majors, organismal biology for majors as well as marine biology for majors and non-majors. I have also assisted professors with courses in molecular ecology, bioinformatics, marine biology, and general biology. In every class I have taught or assisted with I have learned something from my students, so I am not the only one doing the teaching. Constantly being challenged drives me to become a better teacher. I enjoyed teaching so much I plan to become a college professor so I can continue to share what I know with others.
I generally have a laid back style when it comes to teaching or working with students one on one, however, this does not mean I will just provide answers. My approach is to guide students to the answer by asking questions about what the student already knows and lead them to the answer. In general I use questions and visual activities to help further a student's understanding. My goal is overall understanding of the subject material not just memorizing the answer.
Undergraduate Degree: California State University-Long Beach - Bachelor of Science, Marine Biology
Graduate Degree: California State University-Northridge - Master of Science, Biology, General
SCUBA diving, crochet, sailing, hiking, tidepooling
What is your teaching philosophy?
Every student is different, so how I teach changes with each student. Every student wants to learn, so I aim to help them.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
First, I will ask the student to go through what they want out of the session, and then have them tell me what they already know about the subject. Then I will identify the areas where the student needs help and explain my plan to the student.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I never give direct answers to students. I will ask guiding questions to lead the student to the answer. This way the student thinks about the answer and doesn't just memorize it.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would ask the student to make some goals. Then I would help them to break the goals down into smaller, manageable goals that are less daunting.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Ask them to explain what part they struggle with. I would also change my tactics for teaching them. For example, instead of just discussing a topic, I would change the format and introduce an activity to better explain the concept.