Scholarly Assistant Professor
Ph.D. 2001, Stanford University
The unifying goal of my work is to implement research-informed programs and pedagogy that enhance STEM education and research ecosystems. I leverage a protein biochemistry research background and varied teaching and mentoring experiences to inform my work.
Curriculum Design: Modular Courses with IBC Faculty
Short courses or “modules” have emerged as an effective strategy for organizing graduate student curriculum. Brief in duration and focused on a modest scope of related topics, modules allow students access to specialized research skills or introductory general literacy without having to commit to a semester-long course. In the IBC, we are building graduate-level modules that are 5-week, 1-credit courses; replete with student-centered pedagogy (such as 5E learning cycles); and formatted to invite participation of students from various departments and colleges. Listed as MPS 587, we debuted a module in Metabolic Analyses (involving Drs. Bartley, Bates, and Lange) in 2022. We are preparing courses in Imaging (Drs. Gang and Smertenko), Phenomics (Dr. Kirchhoff), and other areas of IBC research strength.
IBC Summer Research and Extension Experience for Undergraduates
Involving several IBC faculty and directed by Andrei Smertenko, I coordinate a multidisciplinary summer research experience focused on the cell biology, biochemistry, and field biology of stress response in crop plant species. Undergraduate research projects are important for expanding research access and participation, and the research knowledge generated in this project will help mitigate ongoing climate change impacts. My roles include writing and teaching the extension and communication skill module (in collaboration with WSU extension faculty), mentoring participants to navigate the research ecosystem, and recruiting. We do outreach at nearby undergraduate institutions with smaller research profiles and populations of students from demographic groups that are underrepresented in STEM. This project is supported by USDA-NIFA.
Graduate Student Training: NIH-WSU Protein Biotechnology Program
I coordinate an NIH-supported T32 graduate training program in Protein Biotechnology (https://nihbiotech.wsu.edu/). Our mission is to enhance graduate education and mentored research climates to expand access to the knowledge, experience, and skills needed for entry into research and research-related careers, particularly in protein research and biotechnology. My specific roles and projects include: (1) expanding access to and building inclusive environments for graduate education, especially for historically underrepresented populations; (2) writing and coordinating faculty training that catalyzes productive mentorship relationships for program participants; (3) mentoring student leaders in using modern and research-proven pedagogy and evaluation in student-driven activities; (4) serving as the primary instructor for program courses (Protein Biotechnology and Responsible Conduct of Research); (5) providing individualized counseling to facilitate career development and help students reach traditional graduate training outcomes; and (6) coordinating internal and external communication and creating and analyzing program evaluation. For the faculty mentorship training and program evaluation projects, I successfully competed for extramural NIGMS support and disseminated outcomes with partners within and beyond WSU.