I have dual Master of Science degrees in Microbiology and Integrative Biomedical Sciences: Emphasis Epidemiology. My first masters degree was from the University of North Dakota, where I also did my undergraduate work; major in Biology, minor in Chemistry. I have experience in all facets of life. My first job was working as a tech under federal work study for Dr. Jeffery Lang. His research focus was on temperature effects of reptilian species. I did developmental staging on turtle embryo's and after hatch sex determination. From there I move into graduate school where I was awarded a supplemental grant to my Principle Investigator's parent grant on Penicillin Binding Protein function in directing synthesis of the bacterial cell wall. These investigation had implications in antibiotic resistance and moreover general physiological principles governing bacteria. I then moved on to teaching Microbiology, Pathogenic Microbiology and Immunology at Chadron State College in Nebraska. Then I moved to Lincoln to pursue my second Master of Science degree in Epidemiology by studying Mycobacterium paratuberculosis. The chronic enteritis disease caused by this bacteria is difficult to diagnosed due to many reasons, but most importantly the 2 month growth life cycle exhibited by the organism. I then worked in the food science industry for 1.5 years screening for enteric bacterium E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria, Staphylococcus, and Clostridial species. This job was rewarding but very stressful in industry turn-around standards. I moved into a government position on a temporary contract for Epidemiological surveillance of the enteric disease caused by these organisms. In this position I interviewed individuals who developed these afflictions to determine source contaminants. I also relayed information to those patients about the disease to help them prevent occurrence again. And, that brings us full circle to this point whereby I love teaching biological principles to individuals of all walks of life. I am very fluent in Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Immunology, and Epidemiology including biostatistical principles found in epidemiological studies.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy is to give students the tools to understand and investigate their own questions. I guide more than directly answer so that they (my students) have the "Ah Hah!" moment of "I get this!"
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Get to know them and find out where they are at, then develop a routine to get to where they need to go.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I have a vast knowledge of online sites to find answers, gain more insight, and understand concepts from multiple perspectives. I also can easily relay basic concepts to allow a student the information to delve deeper.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Make them confident that they can "do this!" Talk personally with them and figure out what motivates them. Curiosity? Personal Hardship? Altruism?
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would try a different approach to the skill or concept based on their interest.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I learned a technique a long time ago that helped with reading comprehension, and it is the method of SQ3R. Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review - that will at first slow a student a little, but once they get the hang of it, it piques their curiosity as they are questioning a concept before they just read about it.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Finding out what makes them tick is the most successful first step. Then, assuring them that you are always available for them gains a lot of their trust. Finally, promising small and delivering big for them works to motivate them to want to learn more.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Show my "human" side also, which shows them, hey I struggled with this, you're struggling with that. You know what? We will get through this! And then make it fun.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Questions as they go along, and then asking them to develop their own questions. The more they can come up with additional questions to a subject, in my opinion, shows that they get what the original discussion is about.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Through encouragement. I like the you can do this, you got this approach. Follow your dreams. You'll need this to follow your dreams, and it is possible.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Ask them "Am I meeting your needs?" or "What do you expect to get from me?" Just plainly put it out there. Then, question them on the topic at hand to see if they can relay the information back in their own words. Then, expand on their own understanding.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
I take critique well. I want a student to come back to me and say "Hey! I looked up this after we talked and found (this)." Then walk them through where the new information is coming from.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Well... this is my first professional tutoring assignment. However, I love this video chat stuff and the whiteboard you have set up. I used PowerPoint presentations as an instructor, and I love PDF scientific articles and always strive to find open access journals from which to draw information.