I’ve always had a passion for learning. Remember that annoying student who was always asking for extra credit assignments? That was me. Needless to say, I wasn’t very popular in grade school. I grew up in the Bay Area before moving across the country to Virginia. This started a trend: within the next 10 years, I moved to North Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, St. Louis and finally settled here in San Diego 7 years ago. Because of all the moving, I had the opportunity to attend 3 different high schools, both private and public. After graduating from The Asheville School in North Carolina, I attended college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I earned my bachelor’s in molecular biology. I loved school so much that after college I went on to earn my doctorate in cell and molecular biology at Washington University in St. Louis. My thesis project focused on how fat is transported into cells, a very relevant topic pertaining to today's frightening obesity epidemic. I continued on the science track after earning my Ph.D. by doing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla. During this time, I studied the role of inflammation in heart disease. Although I loved doing research, the scientific track just wasn’t for me. I landed my first teaching job at a small, private school in Mission Viejo and fell in love all over again. I hope to bring my enthusiasm for biology to the classroom to inspire other students and make school as fun as it was for me.
I grew up in Silicon Valley so I feel like computers have been part of my life since elementary school. Because almost all scientific experiments require technology, computers, and various software programs, I am very comfortable with various types of media. I’ve used both Macs and PC, and I’m familiar with all the programs in Microsoft Office (as well as some esoteric software programs used for analyzing DNA sequences and other random things). Computer technology has made our lives both easier and more complicated. I love being able to Google any fact I want at any time on my iPad (personally, I think Google should be renamed, “The Oracle”). However, I’m concerned about the youth of this country spending too much time “plugged in” and not enough time experiencing life. Many of my students interact with each other socially much more than they do face-to-face. I predict this will have negative impacts on the general emotional health and social maturity of our youth.
The part of the Cal State San Marcos, School of Education Mission Statement that speaks to me the most is the commitment to “life-long learning”. If teacher’s can show students that learning is fun, interesting, and rewarding, they will take that forward with them the rest of their life, challenging themselves to learn more. I would love to help students find their inner drive and figure out what inspires them. Although the Mission Statement was not part of my deciding factor in applying to CSUSM, I was drawn to the program because it focuses so much on hands-on learning in the classroom, rather than abstract pedagogy. Because of my background, I feel that what I need most is hands-on guidance and mentoring in the classroom. CSUSM/SOE’s Teacher Credential Program was a perfect fit.