Ph.D. Chemistry, concentration in two fields: Chemical Education and Laser Spectroscopy, University of South Florida,
M.Sc. Chemistry, Laser Spectroscopy, University of Hawaii, Manoa
BSc. Chemistry, Organic Photochemistry Major, University of Victoria, Canada
B.A. Liberal Arts, Philosophy Major, Wheaton College, Massachusetts
From the beginning of my undergraduate work in Chemistry in Canada, I have been fascinated by the interactions of light and matter. The very first biology text I had, showed a picture of a heme molecule on one page, and then on a subsequent page, a picture of chlorophyll. The molecular structures seem so similar, I was almost certain that there must be some mysterious relationship. Both are in strategic positions in larger molecules at the end of an electron transport chain that conveys energy to cellular organelles, the mitochondria in animal cells and the chloroplast in plants. What was their relationship? This question piqued my curiosity so much that I approached my Organic Chemistry professor to ask him what he knew of their relationship. Little did I know that my questions would later prompt him to hire me to work in his lab as an undergraduate research assistant.
From this humble quest to find an answer to this question, came an adventure that brought me ever deeper into the atomic and magical world of chemistry. I learned how to apply photochemical theories and spectroscopic applications to a wide range of molecules that I synthesized in my professor’s lab. Then from there I went on to graduate school and delighted to go even deeper, learning the physics of laser spectroscopy, applying this tool to energy transduction, capturing in real time, the flow of electrons through the electron transport chain in organisms. One such system was Bacteriorhodopsin, the light transducing protein in Archaea.
Then, as I neared the finish of my PhD work, I knew that I wanted to share what I had learned and to give others the wonderful opportunities that I have had. At that point, I entered an additional field in my PhD work, Chemical Education. From both courses and research in this field, I learned successful pedagogies for the sciences. And this work included applied psychology, sociology, teaching philosophies, and statistical applications assessing student achievement and success in higher education.
I have been working at APU since Fall 2018, and I’m delighted to be here, helping to support future scientists and health sciences workers across many amazing programs offered at APU.
In my “off” hours, I’m a farmer, beekeeper, and business/manufacturer/owner of a cosmetics company.