I am currently pursuing my PhD in Human Communication with an emphasis in persuasion and social influence.
My primary areas of expertise are writing, GRE exam preparation, public speaking, and study success strategies.
In my scholastic life, I am both a graduate student and an undergraduate instructor. In the professional world, I am a skilled content and copywriter. In 2008, I began my writing career as a featured writer and copy editor for my college newspaper, The Jibsheet. In 2012, I began working as a freelance copywriter and copy editor, and was commissioned as a freelance editor by beloved author, Jerramy Fine. And in 2015, I joined Elevated Concepts as their Director of Content.
In 2013, I was encouraged by an academic mentor to apply to grad school a year earlier than I had planned... this meant that I needed to study for, and take, the GRE within 7 days! I kicked my study strategy into high gear and did very well on the exams. In fact, my scores were so good, I was selected for a full-ride tuition waiver to pursue my PhD, free of charge.
When not writing, I enjoy baking gluten free delicacies, listening to TED Talks, hiking the beautiful desert mountains, and enjoying the Phoenix sun.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Arizona State University - Bachelors, Human Communication
Graduate Degree: Arizona State University - PHD, Human Communication
GRE Verbal: 158
Reading, writing, baking & cooking, hiking, taking my dogs to the dog park, traveling, boating, wine tasting, martial arts, meditation, journaling, and much, much more!
What is your teaching philosophy?
Expansion. I believe the purpose of education is to give students a platform to ask questions and consider the world around them through a variety of lenses, perspectives, and approaches. There are so many opinions, theories, and worldviews to choose from, and academia is the place to try out new ways of thinking and discover what works for you, and what does not. It is about being allowed to change perspectives and think for yourself. As a teacher, I am committed to helping guide students through this process, as they learn to embrace their own ideas about the world and about themselves. I am committed to critical thinking, academic achievement, and personal growth.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I will teach them the STRATEGIES to employ when thinking critically. To me, education is not about memorization - it is about critical thinking. It is about understanding HOW to think, not WHAT to think.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
For my younger learners, I like to use a point system. This "gamification" helps them stay focused on a tangible goal. For my high school and college-level students, I like to share personal success stories (of myself and my prior students) to prove to my current students that their dreams ARE possible. I also give fun homework as a way to stay engaged in the material between our sessions.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would have them try to conceptualize the concept in a different way. I would relate it to something that they DO understand. This is a helpful trick for bringing clarity to difficult concepts.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I have them read each sentence, one by one, and explain to me what each individual sentence means. This may be tedious to start, but it is an incredibly useful tool for breaking down heavy material into bite-sized chunks that can be more easily digested.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
It must be fun! In order to stay motivated, the student must feel success and achievement along the way. When I start with a new student, I find out what makes them tick and what motivates them. Then I try to incorporate those elements into our study sessions, and we go from there.