Born and raised in western Washington, I received my Bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Saint Martin’s University in 2006. I was a first generation college student, and so enjoyed my academic experience here that I went on to pursue my PhD at the University of Oregon. I received my PhD in Inorganic Chemistry in 2011, and gained enough teaching and mentoring experience along the way to further cement my desire pursue a career in academia. I then spent 5 years teaching chemistry (primarily at Willamette University, in Salem, OR with the summers spent at the University of Oregon in Eugene, OR) before the opportunity to return to my alma mater arose. I returned to Saint Martin’s University in 2016.
I have known since I was young that I wanted to teach. In fact, when I embarked upon my college career, it was to pursue a degree in education. However, one of the strengths of a broad education is that it allows for exploration. I chose chemistry as my required lab course, and was reminded (after a few years out of school) how much I loved science. My passion for both teaching and chemistry manifests itself in the classroom, where I strive to help students see the relevance of chemistry to their everyday lives (it truly is all around you!), stretch and expand their critical thinking and problem solving skills (which serves them well, regardless of final discipline) and, of course, master the content.
My research, broadly defined, falls into the areas of inorganic chemistry, organometallic chemistry, catalysis, green chemistry, and chemical education. There is much overlap between this set of fields, and that is where I spend my time. For example, developing inorganic catalysts to make chemical reactions more efficient (greener), or developing experiments for the undergraduate lab that allow the students to stretch their problem solving skills while employing the tenets of green chemistry. I especially enjoy mentoring budding chemists through the trials, lessons and rewards that come with chemistry research.
In my time off, I enjoy spending time with my family, and I do so in the great outdoors (gardening, camping, wandering and exploring) as much as possible.