I enjoy teaching biology at both introductory and advanced levels to students with diverse backgrounds, interests, and career goals. No matter what careers my students choose to pursue, it is my responsibility to arm them with information and critical thinking skills that will serve as a foundation for understanding scientific issues and allow them to make informed personal decisions, professional policies, and/or pursue successful scientific careers.
As a teaching assistant at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign I had the opportunity to teach introductory biology and plant biology courses, as well as upper level courses in mycology and plant evolution. As a teaching assistant I was responsible for more than grading papers and prepping laboratories. I actively taught students by lecturing, leading discussions, and guiding hands-on laboratory experiences. I have also developed evaluation tools such as quizzes and homework, actively participated in the writing of exams, and determined final grades. During my postdocs, I have continued teaching outside of the classroom as a mentor to 11 undergraduate and graduate students.
- RADseq methodologies for ecological and evolutionary genetic studies. Assisted Julian Catchen and William Cresko. October 15-19 2012. GENECO, Lund University, Sweden
- Plants, People and the Environment, Integrative Biology 102, UIUC. Teaching assistant (TA). 4 semesters 1999-2004.
- Introduction to Plant Biology, Integrative Biology 103, UIUC. TA. 2003.
- Evolutionary Survey of the Plant Kingdom, Plant Biology 304, UIUC. TA. 2002.
- Introduction to Plant Biology, Plant Biology 100, UIUC. TA. 2002.
- General Mycology, Plant Biology 372, UIUC. TA. 2001.
- Biological Sciences, Biology 100/101, UIUC. TA. 3 semesters 1997-1999.
Teaching Awards and Training
- List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by their Students, UIUC. This honor is based on student ratings of overall teacher effectiveness.
- Fall 1998
- Spring 1999
- Fall 1999
- Spring 2000
- Fall 2000
- Spring 2002
- Fall 2003
- Department of Plant Biology Teaching Award, UIUC. 2000.
- Graduate Teacher Certificate, Center for Teaching Excellence, UIUC. 1998. Training program to develop teaching skills and reflective practice.
Summary of teaching evaluations
The data below summarize the results of teaching evaluations from 25 sections of 6 courses -- representing the opinions of 278 students. Data were compiled from formal course evaluations (ICES at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).
Note: The header image is a Wordle derived from informal midterm evaluations administered to 166 students, in which students described my strengths as an instructor.
- Chadwick Smith. 2011. University of Oregon. Undergraduate research. Male and hermaphrodite specific contributions of mating success in C. elegans.
- Levi Simonson. 2011. UO. Graduate student rotation. Sex determination in fish.
- Emily Ebel. 2010-2011. UO. Undergraduate research. Sexual conflict and sperm competition in C. remanei.
- Jessie Chiem. 2007-2010. UO. Undergraduate research. Identification of loci underlying temperature dependent fitness.
- Steve McNamara. 2007-2008. UO. Biology Honors Thesis. The response to selection on thermal preference in C. remanei.
- Jose Rojas. 2007. University of Chicago. Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR). Natural feeding habits of C. elegan.
- Jennifer Comstock. 2006. UO. SPUR. Evolution of C. elegans mating ability.
- Leanne Levoto. 2006. University of New Mexico. SPUR. Genetic diversity in C. remanei.
- Jenni Higashiguchi. 2005. University of Hawaii. SPUR. Evolution of mating systems.
- Kai Blaisdell. 2005. UO. Graduate student rotation. Genetic diversity in C. remanei.
- Levi Morran. 2005. UO. Graduate student rotation. Evolution of mating systems.