Academic excellence. Academic excellence is an integration of learning and discovery across a broad range of interests. The pursuit of such a synthesis fosters critical and creative thinking as a hallmark for success during a students’ attendance in an undergraduate institution, as well a preparing them for life after graduation. There is an expectancy to perform to a high standard of excellence, and to relentlessly support and encourage all intellectual achievements across each discipline. Thus, there is a challenge to constantly improve the minds of all students.
Interactive learning. Students who participate in interactive classes increase their potential to learn. I make all my classes interactive by having students actively participate in discussion/critiques of current topics and research articles, peer review of mock manuscripts, create skits to demonstrate principles, conduct presentations (both oral presentation and poster) to communicate the core idea/results of their projects, and allow students to facilitate the flow of material in a liberal fashion (either by leading the class or facilitating discussions). Occasionally, I invite research colleagues to conduct a lecture, and talk about their own personal research in relation to the course material.
New technology. Technological advances allow for the use of new and innovative teaching tools. I currently use both the Internet and the latest scientific research articles as tools for designing and presenting my lecture material. This information, to some extend, is available over the Internet to all my students using a centralized network (e.g., WebCT, Blackboard, Segue, ANGEL). I also use a combination of Apple Keynote or MS Powerpoint lectures, videos (DVDs), class demonstrations, student project presentation and exercises, discussions, field trips, and traditional teaching tools. The Internet provides a new and innovative method to teach courses online to both internal and external students. Although I have used a central network to provide my students with information and to communicate with them, online instruction serves as an efficient and effective tool. I also conduct a virtual classroom for each specific class, whereby I make video lectures available online to all my students.
Fairness, respect, and reinforcement. Students’ academic performance needs to be examined objectively, but also tested to reflect their maximum academic capacity. My assessment materials are often challenging, and require students to apply material that extends beyond rote memorization. I believe that all students have the ability to be challenged. I also believe that all students need to be respected. When I establish a mutual understanding of the expectations that I have of my students, and their expectations for myself as a teacher, we can adopt a policy of mutual respect that crafts a progressive relationship. My aim is to construct a more positive learning environment.
Diversity in the classroom. Multicultural environments set the stage for an arena where students of diverse backgrounds can learn together. Here, students of various backgrounds can engage intellectually, interact in partnership, and educate each other about cultural differences that make each group unique, yet also highlight similarities that unify humanity. Although the classroom may act as diorama, it should reflect the interactions of all students in the college, and how individuals interact with the public community.
Academic diversity. The ability to understand core course material is greatly enhanced by incorporating interdisciplinary concepts. I seek to diversify the undergraduate teaching program by advocating the addition of interdisciplinary courses.
Academic advising and mentoring. Students can use the benefit of academic advisers to help structure their own educational careers. To date, I have had the privilege to assist many students with outlining their undergraduate pathways – both in a formal and informal capacity. I have also helped students narrow their interests in a particular discipline, or explore courses that ultimately suit their interests. In addition, students do not always need support in their academic career, but can use the support of professors as mentors.
Supervising student research. Undergraduate students interested in a career in research should work closely with professorial mentors that share similar interests. Exposing students to all aspects of research early in their careers serves to foster an interest in pursuing scientific questions as graduate students. Students learn how to develop hypotheses based on theoretical issues in the field, test their ideas experimentally, and write in a scholarly manner. Students also benefit by attending and presenting their research at national or international conferences. Furthermore, some student research projects may have the potential for publication in peer-reviewed journals. Each student has the potential to accomplish these feats. They require the right supervision that adopts a both hands-on and hands-off approach, and that develops collegiality and independence.
International programs for research and study. The ability for students to study abroad at international universities is critical for fostering life experience. I am currently developing an Australasian program with Dr. Gregory Holwell from the University of Auckland to examine ecological restoration, species diversity, and the behavior of indigenous fauna in New Zealand.
Outreach. Teaching science should not be limited to the university, but should be available to the community. In the future, I intend to develop a program (started at Southwestern University by Dr. Romi Burkes and Suzy Pukys) where we can expand science education to local school communities, with a student range from K-12. The Science and Math Achiever Teams (SMArT) expose young students to science at an early age, thus fostering an interest in science. Outreach programs build good relationships between local organizations, such as zoos, aquariums, animal shelters, and other community-related institutions. We can also develop valuable internship programs with these groups.
LIST OF COURSES TAUGHT AT OTHER INSTITUTIONS
- Anatomy & Physiology
- Animal Behavior
- Animal Behavior & Ecology
- Behavioral Ecology
- Biology II
- Biology of Australasian Animals
- Biology of Animals
- Biological Psychology & Perceptual Processes
- Conservation & Biodiversity
- Evolution & Biodiversity
- Field Ecology & Landscape Evolution
- Florida Aquatic Ecology
- Introduction to Cell Biology
- Introduction to Psychology I
- Introduction to Psychology II
- Principles of Ecology
- Principles of Psychology
- Psychology of Learning
- Research Methods I
- Research Methods II
- Research in Comparative Psychology
Assistant Professor of Science/Mentor, Empire State College, Metropolitan Center, New York, New York (July 2010-current)
Visiting Lecturer of Biology, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida (August 2009-May 2010)
Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas (August 2008-May 2009)
Lecturer, Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Australia (April 2008)
Lecturer, Department of Psychology, University of Western Sydney, Australia (October 2007)
Lecturer, Department of Psychology, University of Western Sydney, Australia (May 2007)
Tutor, Department of Psychology, University of Western Sydney, Australia (March-May 2007)
Tutor, Department of Psychology, University of Western Sydney, Australia (August-October 2006)
Tutor, Department of Psychology, Macquarie University, Australia (March-May 2006)
Tutor, Department of Psychology, Macquarie University, Australia (August-October 2005)
Teaching Assistant, Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Australia (March-May 2005)
Tutor, Department of Psychology, Macquarie University, Australia (March-May 2005)
Teaching Assistant & Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (April 2004)
Tutor, Faculty of Science, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (December 2003)
Mentor, Faculty of Science/Te Awhina, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (August-December 2003)
Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (August 2003)
Teaching Assistant & Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (July-November 2003)
Teaching Assistant, School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (July-November 2003)
Tutor, School of Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (July-November 2003)
Mentor, Faculty of Science, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (July 2003)
Teaching Assistant, School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (March-June 2003)
Teaching Assistant & Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (April 2003)
Demonstrator, School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (July-November 2002)
Freshman Student Advisor, Southampton College of Long Island University, Southampton, New York (September-November 2000)