Student Engagement

IMG_2717I aim to provide students with plentiful learning opportunities, create an engaging classroom environment, and facilitate the application of knowledge and development of relevant skill sets outside of the classroom. At the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, I regularly teach general Ecology (BIOL 3060), Ecology Lab (BIOL 3070), Global Change Biology (BIOL/ESC 4460, ESC 5460),Plant Ecology (BIOL/ESC 4540, ESC 5730), and Graduate Seminars (ESC 5700, ESC 5710), and also have taught courses for the UTC Honors College.

My efforts to encourage student critical thinking in my classes have been recognized by a teaching award from the UTC ThinkAchieve program. I regularly attend teaching workshops and seek out ways to enhance and diversify the learning experiences of my students. Currently, I am serving as a Faculty Fellow in the Walker Center for Teaching and Learning at UTC. In this capacity, I am helping to advance institutional online learning initiatives. Recently, I participated in the Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning conference and completed Quality Matters training.

As a scientist, I place extreme high priority on the involvement of students as meaningful contributors to all aspects of my research as a form of experiential learning. During my time at UTC, I have advised nearly 50 undergraduate and eight master’s students in independent research. About 75% of the dissemination of my research via publications, reports, and presentations has included student co-authorship by high school, undergraduate, and graduate students. I received a past NSF MRI award (#1337530) to support the acquisition of controlled-environment growth chambers in part to enhance resources for teaching and research mentorship at UTC, and am participating as a co-PI of a NSF S-STEM award (#1643402) to support high achieving, low income Appalachian students to complete degrees in science.