I knew from a young age I wanted to be a teacher. I loved school, my teachers, and learning new things. I also knew I had a love for the natural world. This love came from growing up in the forests of Western Michigan and camping with my family at Kingston Lake Campground in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Naturally, I attended Central Michigan University with a major in Biology and Secondary Education. My love for traveling and experiencing new cultures stemmed from a trip to Cuernavaca, Mexico at age 17. I traveled there to improve my Spanish conversation skills with my High School Spanish club. This love for new places led me to complete a portion of my student teaching in a London, England Secondary School.
After graduation, I taught high school Biology, Chemistry and Physical Science. During the summers, I led outdoor adventure experiences around the world, as an outdoor adventure educator. After teaching for a few years, I was encouraged to pursue a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology. This was the best decision for me. I was able to learn more about pedagogy and best practices through the lens of psychology. I was also able to lead a number of education study abroad experiences and studied abroad in Botswana myself.
After earning my Ph.D. at Michigan State University, I began my career at the University of the Ozarks. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with my students and my colleagues. It has been a place for professional growth. Each semester, I get the chance to prepare motivated future teachers. It is a pleasure to be here.
I enjoy being with my family, traveling, being in nature especially near water, experiencing new things, and yoga.
Special Projects / Initiatives
My research interests include environmental education, environmental identity and behaviors and pre-service teachers’ intercultural sensitivity development. I am particularly interested in how faculty led study abroad experiences can be created to increase students’ intercultural sensitivity and identity development.
I am also interested in Scholarship on Teaching and Learning. I, along with other Education colleagues continually experiment with new teaching methods. We are looking at how project based Introduction to Education courses can increase partipation in the education field.
I am also the advisor of the Ozarks Student Education Association and the Planet Club.