I studied biology as an undergraduate at Utah State University in Logan, Utah, and I minored in chemistry and computer science. After graduating in 1986, I studied molecular biology as an doctoral student at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California. My first real jobs after I got my PhD were in academic molecular biology laboratories located in southern California. In these laboratories, I worked on understanding how gene transcription is controlled.
For a PhD, teaching and research are closely tied together if you want a job at a university. My first teaching/research position was at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas. While I was there, I taught chemistry classes to undergraduates, biochemistry and physical chemistry classes to graduate students and ran a small scientific laboratory that studied the regulation of cholesterol genes. I wrote a lot of grants to support my laboratory and gave some presentations at scientific meetings during this time.
I then came back to Pennsylvania to Mount Aloysius College, a teaching-only college. I taught biology, chemistry, genetics and anatomy and physiology to undergraduates. During the time that I was at the Mount, I met my current husband and re-located to Ridgway. I was teaching part-time at Penn State Dubois and for the Mount in Dubois when I accepted an offer to teach high school chemistry at a local private school. In total, I taught about 13 years at the college level and half of that time I taught inorganic or organic chemistry. The other half of the time I taught general biology, anatomy and physiology and other advanced topics in biology. I have been in the high school environment for almost 10 years now!
I joined the faculty at SMAHS in January of 2016. Right now, I teach biology and anatomy and physiology. In the future, I may teach some advanced biology topics. Outside of teaching, I have an interest in helping other elementary or middle school teachers bring more science, technology and mathematics into their classrooms. I like to write and put things together so when I am feeling a need to be creative, I look for requests for proposals (RFPs) that are basically grants of money for an idea you are proposing. I still teach college part-time after school. Right now, I teach for Butler County Community College (BC3) in Brockway. I teach environmental science from the chemistry perspective in the Fall semester and I teach general chemistry in the Spring semester at BC3.
In the summer time, I like to exercise more than I do during the school year and you can usually find me at the YMCA swimming laps. I like art so I do a couple of small art projects like mosaics using stone or glass. I like physical labor so I do things like create flower beds in my yard or prune the trees. Last summer, I tore up the fire pit patio in the back yard and I am hoping that my husband will help me put that back together this year. I also do small renovation projects in the house. I taught myself how to texturize the walls so I think there are still a couple of walls that I need to do. My husband and I or my mom and I like to travel somewhere during the summer also. I have been traveling since 1991 and so far I have been to France, Spain, Andorra, St. Maarten, Venezuela, Mexico, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria and Germany. I have also been to most of the states in the US. The pictures are from trips that my husband and I have taken to US parks.
Outside of biology and chemistry, I like to learn about cultures, civilizations, history and the origins of humans and of language. I am currently trying to figure out how I will get my Act 48 credits (continuing education credits) and I have always said that if I had my academic life to do over again I would be a paleontologist or an anthropologist. I still don't know for sure. Someday, I hope to be on Jeopardy!
Anybody who knows Doc well knows that she is a strong, positive force much like a
gluon - an elementary particle "glue" that helps hold the quirky little quarks together.
Visit some of Doc's favorite sites ...
(and you thought science was BORING)