Teaching and mentoring:

I love to teach and mentor because:
  1. Biology is amazing. Sharing such awesomeness with others brings me immense joy. 
  2. I find it very fulfilling to interact with students and watch them grow as scientists and scholars.
I think it is incredibly important to teach and mentor because:
  1. I believe that students and society benefit from learning how to "think scientifically."
  2. I benefited immensely from the encouragement, guidance and knowledge of excellent teachers and mentors, and I aspire to provide that same benefit to the next generation of students and trainees. 

Some thoughts on teaching:

Science is a way of understanding the world. Being a scientist means asking questions, gathering evidence, drawing informed and logical conclusions which can be shared, revised and built upon. As a teacher and mentor, my primary goal is to give my students the knowledge, tools and practice they need to think like scientists. I view this process as having four fundamental components:

  1. Dissemination of knowledge: understanding and retention of basic concepts provides a       I am lucky to get to mentor some very   crucial foundation upon which students can build their scientific education. I use clear,             talented students! (At the Society of Tropical cohesive and engaging lectures to provide my students with fundamental information.             Medicine and Hygiene meeting, 2015.)          I reiterate key concepts throughout the course to encourage retention.         
  2. Application of information and development of critical thinking skills: I design activities and assignments (in-class as well as take-home) that reiterate key concepts while requiring application of those concepts to a novel situation or problem. My goal is to help students remember basic information while allowing them to understand the broader implications and utility of that  knowledge.
  3. Developing oral and written communication skills: whether my students go on to become professional scientists or citizen scientists, learning to communicate is a crucial life skill and one that I consider an important part of any science curriculum. Communicating scientific concepts in particular can present a novel challenge, and I strive to teach my students how to effectively convey scientific information to a range of audiences.
  4. Being a scientist of and for the world: in addition to gaining knowledge and learning how to apply that knowledge, whenever possible I encourage my students to consider the broader implications of scientific research. This includes appreciation of the importance of basic research, communication of scientific findings to the general public, public perception of controversial topics, application and utility of scientific discoveries and the ethical implications of performing research. I use writing assignments, discussions and targeted readings to encourage my students to consider these issues in the context of the course material.

Teaching experience:

    Co-instructor:     2015   Vector Biology and Vector-Borne Diseases, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
                             2014   Medical Entomology, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus
    Contributor:       2016    Vector Biology and Vector-Borne Diseases, Johns Hopkisn Bloomberg School of Public Health
                             2014   The Summer Institute in Tropical Medicine and Public Health, Johns Hopkins (Topics: Introduction to insects                                            vectors, basic theory of vector biology, vector ecology and control)     
                             2013   Molecular Entomology, Johns Hopkins (Topic: Microbiota of insect vectors)  
                             2011   Sex, Genes and Evolution, Cornell University (Topic: Sexual selection and immunity)
        2008   Genetics, Cornell University
                             2007   Human Genetics and Society, Cornell University