assistant professor of chemistry

Ph.D., post-secondary science education and chemistry, University of Michigan

What I’m focused on:

“Computational chemistry. I would have never expected my career to go in that direction because when I had a computational lab in undergrad, it was like nonsense to me. I didn’t get how these symbols were connected to molecular orbitals, for example. But then in grad school, I worked with a faculty member who gave me a whole new perspective. He showed me how you can do all these crazy things on the computer and perform so many different controls and do so many tests, and then apply it in the lab. It really allows you to better understand things and to also push boundaries.”

What compelled me:

“All my childhood, I wanted to be a veterinarian, so that put me on the science track. When I was in third or fourth grade, my mom signed me up for a cell and molecular biology class at a community college. We got to look at cells in a microscope, and I thought, ‘This is amazing! Science is awesome!’ In college, I really began to appreciate how atoms and molecules and chemical processes govern everything we see in our daily lives. So that was really exciting for me, and chemistry became my focus.”

What you can expect of me:

“My joint Ph.D. enabled me to do chemistry and educational research. I learned about evidence-based practices in education and incorporate them in my teaching. One thing I like to do in class is have discussions. It helps students feel more engaged and also helps them feel welcome and included, which is especially important with students who might feel underrepresented. I also taught a course on scientific writing in the English department at Michigan, and that was really helpful, because the philosophy there was to create a learning space where you are less of an authority and more of a support to your students. I try to foster that kind of environment. I hope that my students view me as their ally.”

What I’m holding:

“This turtle was a gift from my cousin and best friend, who I’ve run half-marathons with. Turtles are our theme: We believe it doesn’t matter what pace you go, you just have to keep moving, and you’ll get there. For me, personally, it’s a visual reminder that you will always get where you need to go if you keep moving forward, and the support you get from friends and family along the way is incredibly valuable.”

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Categorized in: New Faculty