I am from West Virginia—you’ll probably hear me call it Best Virginia—but I’m delighted to be living here in the other Virginia! I grew up in Lincoln County, a rural county in the southern coalfields.
For my B.A., I attended Marshall University, where I majored in English and Spanish and minored in classical studies. I stayed at Marshall to earn my M.A.T. and become certified to teach English and Spanish in grades five through adult. I then spent six years teaching middle and high school Spanish in a traditional, face-to-face classroom. During this time, I completed a master’s degree in English and was also a member of the leadership team for Coalfield Writers, a rural satellite site of the National Writing Project.
In my seventh year of teaching, I began working for the West Virginia Virtual School. As an online Spanish teacher, I worked with middle school students in the most remote areas of the state. This experience was exciting, interesting—and often very frustrating.
I decided to pursue my Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at Indiana University in order to better understand the experiences of sojourner teachers—that is, teachers who shift between teaching online and teaching face to face.
I came to Randolph with experience teaching undergraduate teacher candidates as well as K-12 practitioners at the graduate level. I love teaching, and I love helping others deepen their pedagogical knowledge and develop their instructional skills.
In my primary research line, I investigate the embodied experiences of teachers who move back and forth between online and face-to-face classes. In traditional classrooms, our bodies are a vital part of our teaching practice—we use them to convey and gather information, to connect with students, to manage behavior. Our bodies also tell others about us, revealing (or sometimes blurring) race, gender, (dis)ability, and other parts of who we are. What happens when we move to an online teaching context? Is the body still important? I work from a feminist point of view, so I am particularly interested in how gender is a part of these questions and their answers.
I am currently beginning a new line of inquiry related to teachers as labor activists. Specifically, I am studying how online communities affect teachers’ participation in face-to-face activism such as attending and speaking at public forums, engaging with their elected representatives, and collective bargaining actions like walkouts and strikes.
I also write about multicultural education, service learning, curriculum development in out-of-school contexts like camps and afterschool programs, and qualitative research methodologies.
Growing up curious opened doors for me. I loved watching bees pollinating flowers and following butterflies in my yard. My questions about nature broadened when I studies at Wittenberg University in Springield, OH. For my biology senior project, I studied fireflies' behavior and luciferin metabloism while learning how to observe biological specimens under an electron microscope. My liberal arts experience at Wittenberg allowed me to explore art and music and to complete requirements for secondary teaching licensure in science. At the University of Akron, my master's water quality research started with benthic organisms in the Cuyahoga River and then changed course to the James River in Lynchburg when my husband was transferred.
After completing my M.S. degree in biology, I began teaching in Amherst County Public Schools. My classes included middle school physical science, biology, earth science, and chemistry, and I coordinated the environmental education focus for the county. During that time, I became involved with the school's science fair, and to this day, I remain a volunteer with the Central Virginia Regional Science Fair. I enjoy watching and assisting students follow their good questions through investigation and dissemination.
Being a founding faculty member at the Central Virginia Governor's School (CVGS) for Science and Technology enabled me to combine my love of inquiry-based teaching, to design new courses, to infuse science research into meaningful high school laboratory activities and to create field study experiences. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to develop the CVGS interniship program and broaden the partnership program. My love of nature and inquiry teaching skills assisted me in developing research field experiences for students and teachers with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Costa Rican Adventures, Bermuda Biological Station, Australian travel, and the Society for Science and the Public.
My teaching career spanning over multiple decades includes teaching biology labs at Randolph-Macon Woman's College and biology, anatomy, and physiology at Central Virginia Community College. My doctoral studies in education at Univesity of Virginia's Curry School of Education culminated with my dissertation, "Predicting the Teaching Effectiveness of Part-Time Faculty in a Community College." I investigated key indicators of effective teaching and learning. Research techniques about designing instruction became my craft that I continue refining in my work today.
In 2012, I returned to Randolph College as an adjunct instructor in the Education Department and accepted a full-time position in 2014. Currently, I teach undergraduate education classes and Master of Arts in Teaching graduate courses and serve on the teaching faculty team for Randolph College's SCHEV summer grant for teachers. My research involves developing project/problem based learning experiences for children and exploring to what extent curiosity is linked to inquiry-based learning.
In the Lynchburg community, I enjoy volunteering at Virginia Baptist Hospital and recognizing youth as a member of the Lynchburg Optimist Club. My husband and I enjoy our two sproodles and two grandsons along with our three grown daughters and their families.
I have been an educator for 24 years. My teaching experience runs the gamut; from kindergarten to high school, students with special needs to students with extraordinary abilities, and from reading to science. I have had the pleasure of teaching in both California and Virginia.
My education began at California State University at Sacramento where I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies and a Master’s degree in Special Education. In Virginia, I earned an Education Specialist degree in Reading from the University of Virginia. I am currently continuing my studies at UVA, working on a Doctorate of Education in Curriculum, Teaching and Learning with an emphasis in Reading.
I am passionate in my belief that every student can learn to read. I also believe that, regardless of the discipline, every teacher can learn to incorporate strategies that enhance every child’s reading and writing. It is my goal that every Randolph teacher candidate enters the field of education as an agent of change.
In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, hiking, and swimming. Aside from my family, my passions are reading and traveling.
I am a teacher educator and educational researcher interested in a wide range of topics related to the learning process. All children are learners and I adhere to this premise in all of the work. I received my B.S. from the University of Dayton, my master’s degree from Oakland University, and my Doctorate of Education from the University of Virginia. My areas of emphasis include special education, educational law, math and science education and teaching and learning through the college level. I joined the Randolph College community in 1993.
As an educator I have taught in Ohio, New York, Michigan and Virginia. I was drawn to students who were intelligent but performed behind their peer group in school. As a result of these experienced I pursued a master’s degree focusing on reading and learning abilities and disabilities. My doctoral studies included work in curriculum and instruction, leadership and policy studies and child development/psychology. I have worked with pre-K through high school aged students who were diagnose with mild or moderate reading and learning disabilities in a wide range of setting at both private and public schools.
My research work includes work in Bangkok, Thailand and Lahore, Pakistan where I have traveled and worked with teachers in public schools and colleges. I research how teaching and instructional practices influence student learning and classroom climate. My work includes reading, science, mathematics and college teaching practices.
During my tenure at Randolph I have worked to promote higher education and the importance of the liberal arts and its practical application to various professional career opportunities. I enjoy working with colleagues on leadership, change and transition, and strategies that help move the college forward.
I am actively involved in a variety of professional organizations including the American Association for Teaching and Curriculum, the American Education Research Association, Virginia Association for Science and Technology, and the American Association for University Women. In addition I work closely with the Jubilee Family Development Center, New Vistas Schools, and Camp Kum-Ba- Yah Environmental Center to promote learning outside of the traditional school day.