I am a Missouri native and earned four of my five degrees from the University of Missouri in Columbia. My undergraduate experience was atypical in many ways. I originally intended to pursue a degree in physics, but entered college pursuing diagnostic medical ultrasound. I saw this as a compromise between my desire to study physics and the many words of advice from my more business-oriented uncles to choose something more practical. I found, however, that this path was not right for me. When a graduate student gave a guest lecture in my Learning, Memory, & Cognition (LMC) course, the way she spoke about working memory immediately clicked with me. I promptly changed my major to psychology and applied to be an undergraduate research assistant (RA) in her lab. My penchant for taking all the classes I could, rather than doing the bare minimum, later earned me a graduate certificate in lifespan development that I hadn’t even known was an option!
As graduation approached, the professor who ran the lab where I worked requested I stay on as his lab manager. After a year off of school, I went down to Georgia Southern University to earn a master’s. While earning my Ph.D. back at Missouri, I was able to finally achieve my dream of teaching at the university level. On top of a couple of statistics courses, I brought my academic career full-circle and taught the very LMC course that inspired me to pursue studying cognition and neuroscience! My experience in the ultrasound program meant I had much more knowledge of biology than most psychologists, and so I incorporated more neuroscience into my curriculum than was typical. I decided I wanted to use the opportunity to inspire a new generation of students as I had been inspired. My proudest teaching moment was when one of my students told me she had been questioning her choice of major and my class removed all doubt.
I originally started tutoring as a study method for myself, but I ended up enjoying it most when the classmate or pupil I was tutoring finally understood a concept that had been troubling them. The joy of tutoring for me stems from the ability to help a student achieve their goals, and to do so without doubting themselves. The one-on-one method allows me to purposefully direct my teaching style on an individual basis so that each student can achieve the goals specific to them. I have always been fond of taking standardized tests, so I enjoy tutoring students on the SAT and ACT to help them develop the testing skills that will help them excel.
When I am not tutoring, I still enjoy learning by reading up on current developments in all fields of science. I also enjoy classic and current sci-fi books, and I love to get outside. I tend to do some thrill-seeking by rock climbing and bungee jumping. My main non-professional goal is to get enough hours of SCUBA under my belt to become certified in cave diving.