I am an adjunct professor at CSU, Sacramento in biology as well as an instructor for high school students during summer programs aimed at providing exposure to cellular and molecular biology techniques. I also lead writing workshops to help biology students more effectively communicate their knowledge with a tone appropriate for science. A key part of my job as an instructor at CSU, Sacramento is mentoring undergraduate biology majors early in their college career. As I teach one of the early courses biology majors will enroll in, many students require a lot of guidance, reassurance, and individual instruction as they navigate a new and demanding course load. I understand that my diverse group of students need to approach their studies from an individual basis depending on their learning style. One of my passions is to help students understand what works best for them and become acquainted with a meta-cognitive approach to learning. I ask them to self-evaluate different modes of study and learning, and decipher which helped them understand and retain complex topics best. Seeing them become more confident and strategic in their approach to studying and applying knowledge is incredibly rewarding - beyond just strictly teaching them terms and pathways of biology. Changing their mindset and study habits has a much more potent, long-term influence. Additionally, I have an interest in teaching students how to become effective writers. Often, students interested in STEM fields struggle with writing or have an idea that writing is not a necessity for success in their field. Writing is often far more difficult to teach than biological concepts, but it so crucial for success in a variety of fields that I appreciate the opportunity to instruct students at this level and help them develop their skills in a written form.
One of the most important qualities I have found that I must possess as a teacher, is adaptability. While coming to each session or class with a well prepared plan is inherent, willingness to deviate from this plan and identify what students may be struggling to understand has been crucial to reach students from the diverse range of backgrounds that I work with. With experience I have obtained an idea of what topics students have the most difficulty understanding, however I find it imperative to be sure to find ways to establish problem areas with each individual, despite preconceived notions.
I am interested in teaching students at both a high school and college level, especially early in their science education, as I see this as an opportunity to give them one of their first experiences of what the field can hold for their future. I want to inspire the same awe and enthusiasm that I remember so well at that stage in my education, as it is such a critical point in establishing genuine curiosity, confidence, and analytical thinking. I’m also interested in teaching non biology majors and helping those who may have been wary of the sciences gain a new understanding and interest in the subject. I view biology the way other people view art; I think it’s beautiful, fascinating, and inspiring. I find that the moment where it all starts to make sense is an amazing moment for students, and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to aid in cultivating that experience.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: California State University-Sacramento - Bachelors, Biological Sciences
Graduate Degree: California State University-Sacramento - Masters, Biological Sciences - Ecology, Evolution & Conservation
GRE Quantitative: 153
GRE Verbal: 159
running, backpacking, camping, yoga, cooking, gardening
High School Biology
High School English
Study Skills and Organization
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Briefly, my teaching philosophy involves maintaining a high level of approachability and conveying my genuine interest in my student.