What do you do?
I teach chemistry classes (currently general chemistry!) to undergraduate students. In doing so, I use active learning and other evidence-based teaching practices to create a stimulating and empowering learning environment for my students.
Why did you choose this field?
I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember. My mother was an elementary school teacher, and even before I started Kindergarten, I would frequently visit her class. And so I think being immersed in that environment (and loving going to school myself!) really helped to propel me in the direction of pursing a career in academia. I've been extremely fortunate to have had fantastic teachers and professors over the years, many of whom are still my role models today! I have also always enjoyed helping others, and so the idea of being able to facilitate others' learning (and help them reach their greatest potential) as an instructor has always seemed like a very natural career path for me. As far as deciding on a particular subject to focus on teaching, I have bounced around over the years. In elementary school, I wanted to be an art teacher for elementary students. In junior high, I wanted to be a math or science teacher for junior-high-school students. But, during my junior year of high school, I became really interested in chemistry. Part of the reason was because my high school chemistry teacher did a series of amazing demonstrations (my favorite being one where he set gummy bears on fire and made them explode!) on the very first day of class. I was also enthralled by how chemistry seemed to connect all other sciences together, and how we could use chemistry to understand life and this world. I kept wanting to learn more! So, I decided to major in chemistry education (with the intention of teaching high school students) when I began my undergraduate studies at the University of Delaware. I quickly learned that I had quite an insatiable appetite for learning about chemistry, which led to me switching my major to chemistry and pursuing graduate school, where I earned my Ph.D. in biophysical chemistry from Cornell University. I am honored and ecstatic to now be returning to the University of Delaware to teach undergraduate general chemistry courses, and to share my passions of science and learning with my students.
What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?
Earning my Ph.D. in biophysical chemistry!
Why do you love working in STEM?
I love working in STEM education because it merges my two passions of science and teaching. When you get to do something you love every day, it doesn't even feel like work! My ultimate mission is to help my students realize and achieve their fullest potential while inspiring the future scientists of tomorrow.
Best advice for next generation?
If you can dream it, you can do it! Don't let anything or anyone stand in the way of your dreams.
Inspo quote / fun fact / role model
“You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it.” - Ain Eineziz