I grew up in a suburb of Chicago, but spent many childhood summers exploring rural Missouri. I developed a strong passion for organismal biology as a result. I double majored in biology and mathematics as an undergraduate at Knox College. I went on to get a PhD in Molecular Ecology from Purdue University. My primary interests are in ecology and animal behavior. I have taught at UW-Parkside for 22 years. In my free time, I love to hike, bike, paddleboard and travel with my family. One fun fact: I have been to 49 of the 50 states in the USA.
Teaching and Learning Philosophy
Teaching the ‘what’ and ‘how’ in a classroom cannot be done well without knowing the ‘who’ in the classroom. It has been an evolution for me as a teacher to get to a point where I understand and am comfortable enough to make the connection work between these three areas. The ‘what’ is the easiest as it is the facts/information that are the foundation for the class. However, if students are going to absorb the information, it needs to be done in a way that will grab the attention of the student. This is challenging and makes for a lot of creative work to figure out ‘how’ to best disseminate the information. However, it is the ’who’, the audience, for which I am currently trying to improve my methods. When I am conscious of the background of my students and convey that respect in my teaching, my hope is that students trust me as a teacher and are more willing to learn the material.