PhD, Psychology with Gerontology certificate, University of Florida, 2017
MS, Psychology, University of Florida, 2014
BS, Business Administration, North Carolina State University, 2011
My teaching goals are to encourage students to take ownership of their learning and to arm them with the scientific thinking skills necessary to be critical consumers of research and to meet their goals as future scholars. Everything I do in the classroom and research mentoring is designed to support student achievement of their academic and professional goals. I facilitate student success through course structure, critical thinking, and transparent teaching practices that promote students' metacognition (learning about learning and thinking about thinking).
To provide quality teaching, I integrate teaching with science, in the classroom and in research mentoring. My role as a cognitive aging researcher is interwoven with my role as an instructor. I share up-to-date information about the methods, theories, and findings of psychology in my classes. I also recruit and mentor undergraduate students for my own research, as well as assist them in projects they have spearheaded. In my lab, students learn the theories that drive the research and the hypotheses that govern particular experiments, as well as the "whys" behind each informed consent, each test, very survey and debriefing.
In terms of organization, I communicate clear course expectations and provide feedback after exams and papers. I provide clear learning objectives at the start of each topic and offer a summary of key points after each lecture. I gauge student learning in class by using real-time questions and evaluate learning progress via varied activities, including writing assignments, classroom participation, and group and individual presentations, in addition to objective and essay exams. My ideal classroom is an active learning environment with students talking as much as the instructor. Effective active learning components I use include small group discussions, classroom debates, and requesting students to react to controversial material or provide personal examples of course concepts.
I believe that this science-focused, student-centered approach is at the heart of good teaching.
Memory is essential and highly valued by adults of all ages, but normative age-related declines in memory processes are well-documented, leading to anxiety among older adults. At the same time, age-related memory declines are not comparable across all types of memory, are not equivalent for all individuals, and vary dramatically depending on broader social and motivational contexts.
Successful self-regulation involves maximizing one's performance by responsively adapting task effort to feedback, to performance self-appraisal, and to careful evaluation of task demands. My research targets self-regulation and cognition, with three leading foci: (1) self-regulatory factors that promote cognitive health, (2) ways to enhance everyday memory through training, and (3) personal beliefs about aging which may limit cognitive success. This work takes an applied approach, focusing on everyday memory and intervention, looking at the practical impact of training and education.