I like to say, "it's complicated."
I live my professional life with the philosophy that balance is critical: intricacies and subtleties are meaningful, but they can only be interpreted in the context of a broad perspective. Through my interdisciplinary background, I've found that some of the most interesting (and beautiful) advances in science (and pretty much everywhere else too) can be found at the intersections of different ideas, perspectives, and fields of study.
I'm trained as a scientist and as a science communicator, with an emphasis on spoken presentation. I work hard. I learn quickly. I take initiative. I'm enthusiastic. I get things done.
Along with a group of inspiring and talented collaborators, I am a co-founder and co-director of RELATE (Researchers Expanding Lay-Audience Teaching and Engagement), a science communication initiative at the University of Michigan. RELATE trains researchers in science, technology, engineering, and math fields to better communicate about their research to different public audiences; we pair intensive lay-audience communication training with community engagement events to promote active learning and practice. We seek to instill a deep sense of responsibility to communicate science widely in the next generation of researchers.
Most recently, I was honored to lead a team of faculty and students to host Stand Up for Science: Practical Approaches to Discussing Science that Matters, a Teach-Out following the March for Science hosted by the University of Michigan's Office of Academic Innovation and edX. Check out the archived version of the Teach-Out on edX!
I completed my Ph.D. in neuroscience under the supervision of Huda Akil at the University of Michigan. My dissertation combined Big Data analyses with hypothesis-driven experimental studies to examine the contrasting roles of two molecules in the fibroblast growth factor family in the pathology of major depression. I am a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship recipient.
As I look to the future, I'm most keenly interested in developing programs to foster science communication and public engagement (and conducting research on the best training approaches). If you're interested in getting in touch to chat about shared interests, please don't hesitate to email!