Teaching & Mentoring
Teaching and mentoring are ways to both inspire future scientists and to inform students about the world around them. As someone who had no scientific role models growing up, I know the value of learning about what science is and the practicalities of being a scientist. I've worked in several ways to teach and mentor students and peers from diverse backgrounds.
Learn more about my specific teaching and mentoring efforts.
I've taught at several levels, including at a 5th/6th grade outdoor science school, as a TA at three institutions, as a laboratory coordinator, and as an instructor for a graduate-level course on professional development. I strive to incorporate active-learning principles in my teaching, especially including learning goals and group activities.
Incorporating Data Analysis into Teaching
At Duke, I taught three classes as part of the Duke Data Expeditions program, which teaches undergraduates how to analyze real data. Along with Eleanor Caves, and as part of courses taught by Eleanor and (later) Prof. Sheila Patek, I taught students how to sort, organize, and analyze data on animal visual capabilities using R software. Check out a writeup of our class.
At Duke, I co-designed a course to help my fellow graduate students identify transferable skills useful in careers inside and outside academia. This course also touched on topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and how to communicate science to diverse audiences. Learn more about the course, Biology Boot Camp. I also was the graduate student member of the Teaching Assistant Committee in Duke Biology, where I instituted the first Teaching Assistant Award to acknowledge outstanding graduate student educators.
See more about the courses I have taught as a laboratory coordinator, teaching assistant, and guest lecturer by viewing my Teaching Statement or CV at the top of this page.
Throughout my career, I've worked to mentor students and my peers in both one-on-one and group settings. I strive to learn what each person in the relationship needs and then help them achieve their goals. In 2018, I was awarded the Duke Dean's Award for Excellence in Mentoring.
I've mentored 13 undergraduate students, one high school student, and one high school teacher. Most of these students are from groups underrepresented in STEM. Two were awarded fellowships and grants at Duke, and three have since gone on to PhD programs.
At Duke, I developed a peer-based review group where graduate students could review each other manuscripts, grant applications, and presentations. This group was restricted to students and postdocs; as such, it gave students a safe space to get constructive feedback without the stress of presenting to faculty. Our efforts led to published papers and funded grants, including NSF GRFPs and smaller grants like Sigma Xi grants.