Assistant Professor of Biology
B.S. - James Madison University
Courses: Organisms (BIO 114), Cell and Molecular Biology (BIO 214), Human Genetics (Bio 430), Scientific Perspectives (GSCI 104), Life and How it Works (GSCI 165), The Environment in Context (GSCI 166) and The Living Cell for IDLS (Bio 426).
After 10 years of research in the fields of gene therapy and protein trafficking, my experiences teaching both Biology and IDLS majors here at JMU have inspired a new interest in the research of teaching and learning. My current area of interest is in understanding the mental models that students have with respect to how matter and energy are related in biological processes such as cell respiration, biosynthesis and photosynthesis. I am specifically interested in how the most common misconceptions related to these processes develop in elementary school and are further enforced in middle and high school so that by the time students enter college these misconceptions are strongly engrained as their accepted mental model of biological processes. In collaboration with Drs. Grisom and Ludwig, I am working on developing and assessing teaching techniques for introductory biology courses that can permanently reverse these misconceptions. In addition, I am assessing these misconceptions in pre-service K-8 science teachers and determining how these misconceptions can be reversed in future teachers through both inquiry driven activities and exercises that involve public communication of these scientific concepts.
Cresawn KO, Potter BA, Oztan A, Guerriero CJ, Ihrke G, Goldenring JR, Apodaca G, Weisz OA. 2007. Differential involvement of endocytic compartments in the biosynthetic traffic of apical proteins. EMBO J. 26: 3737-48.