After years spent at the front of the classroom, I recently shifted seats, moving from the teacher’s chair to a student desk. Now I am a graduate student in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, with a specialization in the Human Development, Culture, and Learning Sciences program. Here I am building on my experience as a college teacher and faculty developer by studying how we can improve student learning and motivation.

Previously, I have led programs that brought educational research to college faculty, curricula, and programs. From 2016-2021, I was the founding director of the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship at Southwestern University (Georgetown, TX), and from 2007-2016, I was the director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at St. Edward’s University (Austin, TX).  In these roles, I worked closely with college instructors, helping them learn to teach in ways that are evidence-based, inclusive, and innovative.  My overarching goal has always been to make higher education work for a wider range of students, supporting promising students from all backgrounds as they strive to reach their potential.

 My current research interests focus on instructor beliefs and practices that support motivation, especially in the face of difficulties, and that improve educational equity – particularly in postsecondary classrooms. Recent research has also focused on engagement strategies for teaching critical reading and writing, as well as disciplinary differences in teaching-related beliefs and rhetorics.  I hold a B. A. in mathematics and humanities from Valparaiso University and the M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of Texas at Austin.

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