School Programs Assistant
I love inspiring others to explore our bustling, interconnected natural world. I get to do this through my three main functions at the Cornell Lab:
- Cultivating students’ environmental curiosity as an educator for Kids Discover the Trail!
- Connecting students, staff, and NYS residents with educational resources at Adelson Library.
- Providing our visitors with information and tools for exploring the indoor and outdoor wonders the Lab has to offer at the front desk of our Visitor Center.
My journey as a scientist journey began at the Chicago Botanic Garden, a short bike ride from my family’s house. As an intern in their plant genetics laboratory in 2014, I laid the first bricks in my foundation as a biologist. That fall, I started college at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign where I kept myself busy with coursework, undergraduate research, and a part time job in a campus library. I spent the summers of my undergraduate years participating in additional molecular plant biology internships at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. and Corteva Agriscience in Indianapolis, Indiana.
In the fall 2018 I moved to Ithaca to start a graduate program at Cornell University in Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology. As a graduate student, I assisted in teaching four undergraduate courses. My role as a teaching assistant for Cornell’s Woody Plant Identification course involved taking students on guided nature walks through campus and helping them hone their plant identification skills along the way. These nature walks sparked a personal passion for identification of local wildlife, fungi, lichens, and our other ecosystem neighbors.
Later in my tenure as a graduate student, I led both virtual and in-person laboratory sections as a teaching assistant. Through my teaching assistantships, I discovered a love of working directly with students that I carried with me beyond graduation. In June of 2022, I started my own private tutoring business where I’ve helped students grades 5-12 build confidence and competence in their studies. As an educator for Kids Discover the Trail! I use my experience and passion to facilitate educational, exciting, and memorable nature walks through Sapsucker Woods. All of these experiences have equipped me to lead engaging outreach activities at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for learners of all ages.
M.S. Plant Pathology & Plant-Microbe Biology, Cornell University
B.S. Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign