I have spent much of my life in fascination of the "religion" of science and the perfect dance between all of its amazing parts. Greatly influenced by a high school biology teacher (also a well-known entomologist), I followed a course of study in animal science and biology in my undergraduate years. A great desire to climb took me far and wide after my undergraduate studies as I decided the next phase of my life. After taking entrance exams for medical school and graduate study and being accepted to both, a climbing trip to the White Mountains, NH galvanized wildlife biology (avian ecology, specifically) as what could only become by passion. This became the focus of my first layer of graduate work. I went on to a second level graduate degree in plant physiology (specifically carnivorous plant ecology) as I found an increasing interest in horticulture and plant function. I became a research professor at Southern Connecticut State University and wildlife biologist for the State of Connecticut before electing to bring that experience to high school students, paying forward the positive influence bestowed upon me by my very memorable high school biology teacher.
What has fueled my push for student discipline?
I have practiced yoga for nearly 25 years and a 4 -6 a.m. daily practice has long been a part of my life. The focus and discipline for my yogic practice was furthered by earning the rank of nidan (aka 2nd Dan, or 2nd degree black belt) in the aikikai aikido discipline. In education, my own as well as in my teaching has been fueled by adhering to these practices in my life. Discipline in academics is a major source of success and personal reward from your work.
What can a student expect from me?
Passion. Compassion. Firmness with incumbent fairness. I work students hard and feel it is my duty to arm them with the ability to wade through academic rigor with sustained support in order to make them stronger and completely self-reliant students, collegians, and/or adults. My availability and commitment to students are what my colleagues say is as deep as my biological acumen and passion for science.
What is homework? Why is it important?
Homework is NEVER busy work. It is meant to provide access to the very drills that will generate automatic thought in students. The quick view of connections, interrelationships, and applications of concepts come from that knowledge being so ruminated that a student can use it in creative and more extensive ways. I challenge my students to be able to generate this quickness and subsequently derived application from drills, readings, and reflections. Working knowledge whereby the application is an extension of a student's connection to the conceptual information. Homework is the vehicle for this and should be treated as such.
Why thinking is crucial?
I have been tasked with creating free-thinkers, problem solvers, and students who can think outside the proverbial box. I challenge students to actively think, and provide the platforms and freedom in my classes to do so. The rigor and forward thinking approach to academics and problem solving is just the reason I teach, to inspire. I want to see students embrace this rigor and see the potential for an amazing enrichment from it. The environment, physically and mentally, set the groundwork for students to do great things.