I am a professor of educational psychology and human development at Metropolitan State University of Denver. I completed my master’s degree in applied cognitive psychology from Montana State University in 2002, and in 2006, received a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Nevada-Reno.
With almost a decade of professional teaching experience, I have taught over a dozen different developmental psychology and education courses. I approach teaching by focusing on model teaching skills, such as building rapport with students, engaging students, being caring, respectful, and prepared, and by using student-centered and active learning instruction. In all of of my classes, I specifically attempt to move beyond rote memory of course material, rather focuses on building higher-level thinking skills that students can then apply to solve real-world problems. As a result of my approach and dedication to teaching, I have garnered several awards for excellence in teaching and mentoring. These include student-lead awards such as the Psi Chi Excellence in Teaching Award, regional mentorship awards such as the Psi Chi International Regional Faculty Advisor Award for the Rocky Mountain Region to national teaching awards such as the Society for Teaching of Psychology Jane S. Halonen Award for Excellence in Teaching.
I am a member of several professional associations and served as the Vice President for Programming for the Society of the Teaching of Psychology and as past-president of the Northern Rocky Mountain Educational research association. I currently hold several positions on editorial boards including the journals Journal of Educational Psychology, Journal of Experimental Education, and the International Journal of Technology in Teaching and Learning, and I am the incoming editor of Teaching of Psychology.
In more than 70 peer reviewed journal articles, books, and book chapters I have explored effective pedagogical approaches to instruction in both k-12 and higher education. Specifically, I investigate the development of cognitive and elaborative processes, model teaching competencies, the efficacy of instructional strategies, and various other topics in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Furthermore, as evident by publishing and presenting research with over 25 undergraduate and graduate students, I strongly believe in mentoring students through the research process in hopes to help shape future leaders in psychology and SoTL research.
In the end, I have dedicated my academic career to studying the improvement of classroom practices and learning.