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Teaching and Mentoring

I view my role as a teacher and mentor as parallel and complementary to my research in the lab, placing a special emphasis on working with young women and minorities to enhance diversity within STEM. Engaging with students at various career stages and from various backgrounds is one of the most fun and rewarding challenges I get to tackle, and of course I end up learning more from these students than they probably learn from me! I have actively mentored > 20 undergraduates in the lab (including three honors thesis students), worked with one Jim Holland SSRP high school student, and served as a mentor with the IU Groups STEM program. Recognizing effective teaching and mentoring is a combined art and science, I work to hone my skills through continual self-reflection and evaluation, as well as more formalized training and peer evaluation through programs such as the Graduate Women in STEM Teaching Fellows Program at IU and the Inclusive Science Education Fellowship Program at the University of Minnesota. Recently, I developed and taught a new course for first-generation college students titled "Biogeography, the Science and Art of Observation". In a synchronous, virtual, and intensive 6-week format, students were actively engaged in the scientific process through a combination of interactive lectures, guided group discussions, readings from the primary literature, and field-based, data-driven independent research projects.  

In my teaching and mentoring I strive to: encourage curiositycelebrate diversity and champion individual's strengths and interestsmaintain clear and kind communication, and promote mutual respect and learning

University-level teaching experience:

Assistant Professor, Student Diplomacy Corps, Biogeography: the Science and Art of Observation (virtual; Summer 2021)

Developed novel curriculum and taught intensive 6-week college-level course to diverse group of first-generation college students


Associate Instructor, Indiana University, Introductory Biology lecture (BIOL-L111; Spring 2019)

Led review and discussion sections using active-learning techniques

Associate Instructor, Indiana University, Introductory Biology lab (BIOL-L113; Fall 2014, Fall 2015)

Developed and led workshop-style discussion sections directly tied to each laboratory exercise

Associate Instructor, Indiana University, Field and Laboratory Ecology (BIOL-L474; Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018)

Assisted with all aspects of experiential field and lab exercises and took primary responsibility for evaluation of written lab reports in this writing intensive course; worked with Professor Darcy to reorganize the writing component of the course, improving fundamental science writing skills by more effectively connecting required readings with student writing assignments and providing students with multiple opportunities for peer and instructor feedback

Teaching Assistant, University of Montana – Missoula, Introductory Soil Science (Forestry 210; Fall 2009)

Led field and lab exercises, assisted with lecture and grading

Additional teaching experience:

Group Leader, Student Diplomacy Corps, (2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2014)

Led groups of high school students on cross-cultural summer immersion programs to Botswana, South Africa, Australia, and Mexico.

Field Instructor, Ecology Project International, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador (2013)

Taught 5-10 day intensive field ecology courses to local (in Spanish) and U.S. (in English) high school student groups. Courses combined interactive lessons, field explorations, and field work with National Park Service rangers, culminating in student presentations of hypothesis-driven research projects 

Science TeacherScience from Scientists, Boston, MA (2008 – 2009)

Developed and taught hands-on science modules to public 

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