Teaching and mentoring:
- Biology is amazing. Sharing such awesomeness with others
brings me immense joy.
- I find it very fulfilling to interact with students and
watch them grow as scientists and scholars.
- I believe that students and society benefit from
learning how to "think scientifically."
- 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:
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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)
Assistant: 2008 Genetics, Cornell University
2007 Human Genetics and Society, Cornell University