Curriculum Vitae

I am an Associate Professor of Instruction in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University.  Between 2015 and 2016, I was a Helmsley Postdoctoral Teaching Scholar in the Department of Physics at Yale University and between 2011 and 2015, a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Vassar College.  I received my Ph.D. in 2011 in the Department of Physics at the University of Chicago, where I studied dark matter phenomenology with Professor Edward Kolb.  I previously obtained an Ed.M. in Mind, Brain, and Education and Physics Education from Harvard University, and an A.B. and S.M. from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Dartmouth College.

I am completely devoted to promoting excellence in university physics teaching.  Over the last ten years, I have taught physics and astronomy courses at all levels of the undergraduate curriculum, including traditional introductory sequences, intermediate classical mechanics, electrodynamics, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, and planetary astrophysics, and advanced seminars in elementary particle physics and modern cosmology. 

My pedagogy is informed entirely by research in the fields of mind, brain, and education and physics education.  Since my time at Harvard, I have been committed to the integration of specific, research-based pedagogical practices into the university physics curriculum.  In my own research, I have been particularly interested in the role of knowledge structures, metacognition, and insight in physics problem solving, as well as how to most effectively structure problem solving instruction in introductory physics courses.  I am also interested in the role of contemplative practice in higher education, particularly in physics education.

Finally, I am deeply devoted to promoting the inclusion and retention of women and other historically underrepresented minorities in physics and other STEM fields.  Since my undergraduate years at Dartmouth, I have been involved in a large number of outreach programs, particularly directed at students and teachers in low-income middle and high schools.  More recently, I have been teaching and promoting bridge programs for incoming college students from disadvantaged educational backgrounds, as well as encouraging fruitful dialogue around issues of diversity in physics education.  Furthermore, I am actively investigating pedagogical techniques that reduce achievement gaps in university physics courses, and integrating such techniques into my own teaching.

At Northwestern, I am actively involved in the following activities:

  • Designing and teaching curricula in physics and astronomy informed by research in physics and astronomy education research.

  • Leading an interdisciplinary research program in mind, brain, and education.

  • Directing a comprehensive program to revitalize the undergraduate physics curriculum, including faculty development, curriculum support for active learning techniques, and evaluation and assessment of departmental pedagogy.

  • Designing and implementing a teaching assistant training program.

  • Promoting the inclusion and retention of women and other underrepresented minorities in physics and other STEM fields.

  • Engaging in extensive committee work related to curricular and pedagogical issues in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and Weinberg College.

  • Teaching somatic meditation for science and engineering students in the Technological Institute's newly constructed Meditation and Prayer Space.