I joined the GGC faculty in 2012 as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry and was promoted to Associate Professor of Chemistry in 2018. While at GGC, I have taught Principles of Chemistry I and II, Physical Chemistry I and II, and Physical Science for non-majors.
My teaching style incorporates active learning as often as possible to encourage students to engage fully with the material. In the classroom, activities focus on group problem-solving after a brief introduction to a chemistry concept. I also encourage students to utilize active techniques at home, and point students to resources such as watching videos and online simulations. I also incorporate these into homework assignments that require students to answer a variety of questions as they walk through a simulation or video. My goal is to engage students both inside and outside of the classroom in order to help them succeed in their chemistry courses.
Projects at GGC
I am a lead faculty member in implementing and coordinating the Peer Supplemental Instruction (PSI) Program for gateway STEM courses at GGC. The goal of this program is to use structured peer-led study sessions to help students develop study skills, practice course concepts, and foster an enriched active learning culture between STEM students at GGC. Students who have been previously successful in gateway STEM courses are hired as PSI Leaders, and hold voluntary out-of-class PSI sessions for these courses three times per week throughout Fall and Spring semesters. Students enrolled in these courses are encouraged to attend by faculty, paper and electronic advertisement, and the PSI Leaders.
This program began by supporting BIOL 1107K in Fall 2014, and then CHEM 1211K and BIOL 1107K in Fall 2015. It has since expanded to support 8 gateway STEM courses: CHEM 1211K/1212K, CHEM 2211K, BIOL 1107K/1108K, MATH 1111, MATH 1113, and ITEC 2140. These 8 courses offer approximately 180 sections per semester and therefore offer services to approximately 3500 – 4000 students per semester.
In support of this work, I am a co-Principal Investigator (co-PI) on a STEM IV Grant (University System of Georgia; $225,000; 2019 – 2022) and am a senior personnel on an Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) Grant (National Science Foundation; $1,629,924; 2016 – 2020). These grants both fund programs that focus on improving student performance and retention in STEM courses. As part of the Grant Management Team, I also participate in reviewing mini-grant applications and coordinating the GGC STEM Symposium each May.
I have a background in physical chemistry, with a focus on laser spectroscopy. I received my B.S. in chemistry from the University of Georgia in 2005, where I was introduced to physical chemistry while doing undergraduate research on the bonding and stability of metal oxide nanoparticles in the gas phase. This work was relevant to the study of both atmospheric chemistry and the identification and reactivity of interstellar materials.
I continued my studies in physical chemistry as a graduate student at Emory University. My doctoral research focused on the study of the structure and behavior of model electro- and photocatalytic systems using nonlinear laser spectroscopy methods. This work was particularly relevant to the study of model systems for use in dye-sensitized solar cells, as well as heterogeneous catalysts focused on CO2 reduction.
My current research interests focus on developing low-cost undergraduate experiments for Physical Chemistry courses, particularly in the field of spectroscopy. I collaborate with Dr. Patrice Bell on this work, and together we mentor undergraduate students as they design, implement, and troubleshoot experiments in the field of atomic emission, laser-induced fluorescence, and Raman spectroscopy.