Teaching & Mentoring Philosophy

I enjoy teaching because I enjoy a challenge, and I believe that guiding students as they learn how to confront (and enjoy!) new intellectual challenges should be my central role as an educator. As a research mentor, I strive to recruit students from diverse backgrounds and create laboratory experiences that inspire them to learn new things about themselves and the world around them. I believe that laboratory research can provide a fantastic opportunity to try and fail and try again, to learn how to navigate obstacles and work as a community of scholars to advance human understanding.

training in undergraduate teaching

training in science communication & outreach

  • Invited participant, ComSciCon Cornell (2015)

  • Community outreach program at the St. Louis Science Center (2007-08), as part of a Cognitive, Computational & Systems Neuroscience IGERT training grant

Course Instructor


In spring 2015, I designed and taught a new upper-level elective course in cutting-edge neuroscience methodology (Cornell University, BioNB 4200:  Frontiers in Neuroscience).  Using primary literature, presentations, and group activities, students learned about innovative technical approaches to neuroscience - their strengths and their weaknesses - and how these approaches are being used to advance scientific understanding.

Course Syllabus

Weekly Assignments: Lit Review & Follow-Up

Group Activity: Mock NIH Grant Review Committee

Guest Lecturer


In fall 2013, I delivered a series of three guest lectures in our department's course in nervous system development (Cornell University, BioNB 4930: Developmental Neurobiology).  Topics covered included neuronal migration, circuit formation, and the evolution of neuroscientific methods used to study developmental questions.

 Lecture: Neuroscience Methods

Teaching Assistant

As an undergraduate at Gustavus Adolphus College and a graduate student at Washington University in St. Louis, I served as a teaching assistant for a variety of courses, including: Introduction to Biology; Organismal Biology; Ecology, Evolution and Behavior; and Systems Neuroscience.  I have also served as an undergraduate writing tutor.