About Me

I am an Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics at Penn State University.

My professional activities and interests include:


Book Writing -- I co-authored a book called A Student's Guide to the Mathematics of Astronomy, published by Cambridge University Press in 2013. See the "Books" tab above for more details.

Faculty Teaching Professional Development -- I co-founded a STEM education teaching group to bring together faculty across all science disciplines to share teaching ideas, review results of education research, and bring in speakers on teaching and education topics

Graduate Teaching Assistant Professional Development -- I oversee the training and mentoring of the graduate TAs in the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics. While a graduate student myself, I helped develop a style of peer tutoring that I still use and advocate as a professor. See an editorial I wrote in Spark, the Astronomy Education newsletter, Fall 2011. (PDF copy here)

Education Research  -- My primary research interest is how to more effectively teach science to non-science majors. I am a member of the Community of Astronomy Teaching Scholars (CATS), a National Science Foundation funded network of astronomy researchers and educators. See my recent peer-reviewed articles on work I did with Dr. Michael Rogers at the Ithaca College Physics Department

Academic advising -- New Student Orientation (formerly called FTCAP), and Astronomy undergraduate majors

Science Policy -- I spent the fall & winter of 2007 as a Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellow in Washington DC at the National Academies. See my editorial encouraging Astronomers to consider science policy in the AAS newsletter, issue 139. (PDF copy here)

Outreach -- I am active in making astronomy and science accessible to the general public, including kids. I participate in many public outreach events, including AstroFest, Exploration Day, and Expanding Your Horizons.

Committees -- I am on the PSU Astronomy & Astrophysics Climate Committee, the undergraduate curriculum committee, and I am the Astronomy Department representative on the PSU College of Science Climate and Diversity Committee.