As an educator and natural scientist, my goal is to develop more effective ways to engage students, to disseminate scientific information to other scientists and to the publics, and to explore the ever-changing ecological interactions in nature.
I direct the Investigative Biology Teaching Laboratories at Cornell University, where we train graduate and undergraduate lab instructors, while using discipline-based education research to develop modern pedagogical methods and improve nearly 900 undergraduate students’ skills in experimental design, information literacy and science communication every year. I am an advocate of using active learning and digital pedagogy in large classrooms and at public science events, turning lectures into dialogues.
To promote public engagement, I teach an applied Science Communication course, produce a science podcast at a local radio station, advise two undergraduate clubs and I am the founder and faculty advisor for the Science Communication and Public Engagement undergraduate minor. I have been the science advisor of a local science café in the past decade, helping to bring town and gown closer together in the Ithaca area.
My contributions have been recognized by the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at multiple occasions: I received the Core Value Staff Award in 2013, the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Teaching Award of Merit in 2017 and was named a Merrill Outstanding Educator by a Presidential Scholar. In 2018 I was elected both a Faculty Fellow for Engaged Scholarship and an Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future Fellow at Cornell University. In 2019 I was invited to become a fellow at the Carl Sagan Institute and was elected to the CALS Committee on Support of Teaching and Learning.