Growing up I loved the meaning I derived from mathematics, the way it puzzled and tested me until, gloriously, something would click and a problem or concept would make sense. Each one of these breakthroughs provided me with a tool to add to my toolbox, from arithmetic to calculus to Fourier analysis. As my career progresses, I realize the true power of such tools is not only in their scientific value but also in the confidence gained through struggling over, and subsequently mastering, them.
Along with the elegant puzzle of mathematics, I also have a deep-rooted fascination with biology and medicine; I have long envisioned applying my quantitative tools to the challenges encountered in biomedical research. Pursuing these varied interests, and finding their area of overlap, has been a long journey through science and learning. I earned my Bachelor's degree at the University of Notre Dame majoring in both Mathematics and Biology and then went on to complete my Master's degree in Statistics, with an emphasis in Biostatistics, at the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison. In 2016, I earned my Ph.D. in Statistical and Computational Biology and Medicine through the Statistics Department at UW-Madison. My doctoral research focused on improving mathematical modeling and statistical inference methods through the integration of multi-modal brain imaging data and using this methodology to investigate neural networks. Better understanding of specific network relationships within the brain helps researchers and clinicians improve therapy options for patients with neurological symptoms stemming from these areas.
While engaged in quantitative biomedical research I also discovered a distinct passion for the process of education. Through my experiences as a mathematics and statistics tutor, a teaching assistant, a research mentor, a Delta Program representative, and a high school soccer coach, I have developed a deep appreciation for teaching and learning, both inside and outside the classroom. Teachers need to create challenging, yet nurturing, environments that encourage students to take an active role in their own learning. Gaining the confidence to identify questions, build understanding, and form solutions enables students to generate skills that they can use to succeed both in the classroom and throughout life. It is my goal that students learn how to think, how to question, and how to create and hone their own tools.
This portfolio is an accumulation of my thoughts, materials, reflections, and refinements on research, teaching, and learning. I want students to gain confidence in their own abilities, create tools for their success, and build a lifelong foundation for knowledge, education, and learning. As you explore this site, I recommend beginning with my "Reflections" on my journey through teaching and learning. The pages found under the "Philosophy" tab, which include my teaching and mentoring philosophies, grew from my reflections on various teaching experiences and principles. Under the "Teaching Experience" tab you will find links to learning modules and instructional materials I have developed, as well as information on my time as an undergraduate mentor. My Teaching-As-Research Internship project, which can also be found under the "Teaching Experience" tab, gave me an opportunity to integrate all of the skills and experience that I gained throughout my time in the Delta program and is the capstone of my Research, Teaching, and Learning Certificate. After perusing those pages, I recommend reading "Student Feedback". Enjoy exploring!
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Last edited: February 2016