B.S. Human Biology 2015, M.S.Ed. Learning & Developmental Sciences 2017
Two flights, one taxi, and one dream carried me over 700 miles away from the comfort of my home to present my cognitive learning and language research in front of hundreds of renowned professors and doctoral students in Philadelphia. My driving force to embark on this research journey was my little brother. He, through his experience of being incorrectly placed in special education classes, shed a light upon a significant educational gap that negatively affects many children with language learning disorders within public school systems. My desire to highlight his experience, shared by potentially thousands of other children, had influenced me to major in Human Biology and minor in Psychology and Speech & Hearing Sciences in order to learn more about how the human body typically develops and how it can atypically operate. After completing undergrad and obtaining a M.S.Ed, I took additional steps in my educational pursuits to help fill this gap that affects the educational experiences of individuals with language learning disorders. I am currently a doctoral student in the Learning and Developmental Sciences Ph.D. program at Indiana University, with an ambitious goal of advancing the understanding of how atypically developing children learn and how to enhance their learning experiences in school.
Using the problem based learning style and knowledge gained from the Human Biology program, I am now learning how to create interest-driven and technology-enhanced learning spaces. I have the opportunity to study how elementary students learn about complex science concepts through group interactions within a mixed reality motion tracking classroom environment. This year I was awarded the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Graduate Fellowship, have worked on projects within the Center for Research on Learning and Technology, and presented at the 12th International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning. Outside of my studies I work with the IU Hudson & Holland Scholars Program to develop STEM programming and resources for undergraduates, and I create digital productions as a freelance photographer and drone/ronin videographer.
Having a background in Human Biology has definitely provided an advantage for me within the Learning Sciences field. I find that integrating HUBI into Learning Sciences brings a valued perspective to the field as well as a different way of thinking about solving problems. I am fortunate to have had the aforementioned experiences, and look forward to seeing how I can make impactful changes in education!