Current Courses

Fall 2022

  • PHYS 6810-004
    Graduate Seminar: Ms
  • PHYS 6859-009
    Instrumentation Project
  • PHYS 6950-011
    Special Reading Topics:
  • PHYS 7810-009
    Graduate Seminar: Phd
  • PHYS 7910-011
    Special Reading Topics:

Summer 2022

Spring 2022

Professional Organizations

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science. 01/01/2015 - present. Position : Member.
  • Optical Society of America. 01/01/2012 - present. Position : Member.
  • American Association of Physics Teachers. 05/01/2005 - present. Position : Member.
  • American Physical Society. 01/01/1996 - present. Position : Member.

Teaching Philosophy

Evidence-Based Principles that Inform my Teaching Practice: 

  1. Learning is the work of students:  Clear explanations of difficult concepts by instructors (i.e., lectures) do not ensure students learn.  Rather, people construct new knowledge for themselves from the bits and pieces and mental models they already have.  I strive to provide a structured & supportive environment for students to do this construction work.
  2. Course structure matters:  The design of a course’s learning activities, assessment strategy, and classroom environment help determine whether it is equitable for all students.  This is good news because faculty are in control of these things, and I strive to make structural decisions that increase equity in my course using evidence from educational research rather than my feelings or my own experience as a student.
  3. Identity matters:  Minoritized populations, including women, experience persistent inequities in many STEM courses, revealed by disaggregated course-grade distributions after controlling for other factors.  I strive to maintain an inclusive classroom culture, and to minimize the impact of my own biases and those of my instructional team.
  4. Mindset matters:  Struggle is a key component of authentic learning and growth.  Students often interpret struggle and short-term failure as evidence of a lack of ability, and instructors too often reinforce this.  I strive to incentivize growth in my students, and to adopt a growth mindset about their capabilities – my mindset matters most!
  5. Like science, learning is social:  Everyone has built somewhat different mental models.  Combining these to build a more productive and comprehensive whole, while rejecting or modifying less productive models, requires discourse and collaboration.  I strive to create rich opportunities for group work, and to ensure respectful and productive dialog.
  6. Assessment matters:  Different strategies to assess student performance and assign grades affects student behavior and impacts equity.  When the grading scheme or pedagogical purpose of an assignment is opaque, or when a student’s grade depends on the performance of peers (e.g., curving), this further marginalizes minoritized populations and discourages collaboration.  I strive to improve equity and encourage collaboration by establishing transparent, criteria-based grading schemes and assignments.

Student Projects

  • Applications of super-resolution fluorescence microscopy. Nina Filipova (REU from Princeton). 06/01/2017 - 08/04/2017
  • Monte Carlo Simulations of Super-Resolution Optical Microscopy. Timothy Allen. 01/04/2016 - 09/01/2017

Teaching Projects

  • Integrating Computation and Biology into Introductory Physics. Project Lead: Jordan Gerton. University of Utah - John R. Park Fellowship 07/01/2018 - 12/31/2018. Total Budget: $10,000.00.
  • Development of practical tools for an inclusive STEM learning environment based on student views and recommendations. Project Lead: Linda Columbus (University of Virginia). 09/01/2017 - 06/30/2019. Total Budget: $25,000.00.
  • Learning to Build Authentic Minority Serving Institution/Primarily White Institution Partnerships. Project Lead: Lisa Manning (Syracuse University). Research Corporation for Science Advancement 09/01/2017 - 06/30/2019. Total Budget: $31,000.00.
  • Promoting Adoption of Research and Inquiry-Based Lab Curricula. Project Lead: Jen Heemstra (Emory University). Research Corporation for Science Advancement 09/01/2016 - 06/30/2018. Total Budget: $25,000.00.
  • Mobilizing the Forgotten Army: Improving Undergraduate Science Education via Professional Development of Graduate Teaching Assistants. Project Lead: Jordan Gerton. Collaborators: Michael Schatz, Georgia Institute of Technology. Research Corporation for Science Advancement 10/2012 - 09/2016. Total Budget: $32,000.00.