I am a professional animal scientist with a concentration in equine and animal nutrition. My academic background is in nutrition, biology, enocrinology and animal science. I have taught students at the undergraduate level, and am skilled at breaking down concepts for students to understand. I like to think about how I'd want something explained to me, and I use that to help students learn.
My outside interests include horsebackriding, paddleboarding, fitness and travel.
Undergraduate Degree: University of Mary Washington - Bachelors, Psychology
Graduate Degree: Rutgers University-New Brunswick - PHD, Animal Science
I'm an active equestrian and I have 1 horse. I also teach Jazzercise, and am a general fitness enthusiast. I enjoy outdoor activities, including paddleboarding, hiking and horseback riding. I am a professional equine nutritionist, and working on expanding my expertise to include companion animals (cats and dogs in particular).
What is your teaching philosophy?
I am a strong advocate of education. I recognize the importance of breaking down a concept in a way that makes sense to a student. I often think, "How would I want this explained to me?" I try to keep this in mind when reviewing challenging concepts. A student's ability to take a task, understand the methodology, and in turn be able to teach another student (or explain the concept back to me), strengthens their own abilities and helps to boost confidence. This type of experience and knowledge helps boost confidence and is essential to success in any field.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session, I want to recognize exactly what a student is struggling with. What material is being studied, how much does the student understand, and what is the goal? (Is there an exam, a paper, or lab practical?) This way, I can help develop my explanations that focus on the student's needs.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By asking the student questions, and guiding the student through examples, the student can learn how to work through a problem. This has been done for me in the past, and it really works!
How would you help a student stay motivated?
To help a student stay motivated, I would point out all the progress that has been made. I would encourage the good study habits and try to focus on the positive.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
With difficult concepts, I try to use varied examples. If an example can be related to a "real-life" situation, it can sometimes make more sense to the learner. Sometimes online animation tools or other resources are helpful, but having multiple ways to break down a concept are useful.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I encourage students to make notes of words or concepts they don't understand. There is no shame in looking things up! In the age of technology, information is so easily available, that it helps to investigate words or phrases that don't make sense. It takes a little time, but it is well worth it. Encouraging the student to re-read the material will also be helpful, especially after unfamiliar terms have been defined.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The main thing is to understand exactly what a student is struggling with. Where are they confused? What concepts may be missing in the student's understanding of the material? Sometimes, it helps to take a few steps back and review things before moving forward. I also want to know the student's goals. Where do their interests lie? This information can be helpful in relating the course material to the practical application.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I think many times a student becomes restless when they can't relate the material to real life. By incorporating examples of how they can use the information into real-world examples, it helps make a connection. It gives the material a "personality" that is easier to relate to.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
To be sure a student understands the material, I have them explain it to me. I might create a question, example a problem and have the student take me through it step by step. Doing so not only solidifies the concepts in the student's mind but shows me the student is comprehending the material.