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I received my B.S. in Biological Sciences from Vanderbilt University where I studied speciation and ecological specialization of Neochlamisus bebbianae beetles.  I received my M.S. in Zoology from North Carolina State University where I studied sexual selection and histology in two species of Orthopterans. I received my Ph.D. in Science Education Research from North Carolina State University where I studied issues of teaching and learning related to the socioscientific issue of biotechnology. 

My favorite aspects of my current job are teaching and mentoring. I enjoy enacting evidence-based instruction in my own classroom to help develop a love for biology in my undergraduate students. I also highly value mentoring a team of education research scholars in implementing projects.


In my spare time I enjoy reading, running, playing ultimate frisbee, road-trips and spending time outdoors hiking, camping, or exploring especially with my family.   


Alyssa Freeman

Ph.D. Biology Education

Started FA2022

Biology GTA Autonomy and Empowerment


Eric Akuoko

Post-Doctoral Research Associate

Started SP2024

Departmental Cultural Commitments to GTA TPD


Your Name Here

Ph.D. Biology Education


Former Graduate Students

Brock Couch, Ph.D. Biology Education (2022). Using network analysis to understand the intersection between small group dynamics and socioscientific issues, Instructional Faculty - Biology, Loyala University - Maryland

Olena James, Ph.D. Biology Education (2022). Exploring biology instructors' technological pedagogical content knowledge, Biology Instructor, Belmont University

Zhigang "Jacob" Jia, Ph.D. Interdisciplinary Education (2021). Science international teaching assistants' development of cultural competence and teaching self-efficacy, Science Instructor, District of Columbia Public School System. 

Zach Grimes, Ph.D. Biology Education (2021). A mixed methods evaluation of anxiety antecedents related to biology content among K-16 educators, Assistant Professor of Science, Crowley's Ridge College

Angela Google, Ph.D. Interdisciplinary Education (2020). Examining undergraduate students' approaches to learning biology with an emphasis on women of color, Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences, University of Rhode Island 

Joshua Reid, Ph.D. Biology Education (2020). Biology graduate students' perceptions and experiences of the research-teaching nexus. Post-Doctoral Researcher, MTSU, Assistant Professor, Biology, Texas Tech University 

Jennifer Parrish, Ph.D. Biology Education (2017). Teacher professional growth for nature of science and scientific inquiry: Promoting reflection to improve understanding and practices. Associate Professor, Biology/Science Education, U. of Northern Colorado. 

Mary Ellen Lohr, Ph.D. Biology Education (2017). Examination of undergraduate biology professors' views of the nature of scientific knowledge and their pedagogical content knowledge for teaching the nature of scientific knowledge. Middle Grades Science Teacher, Bowling Green Junior High School

Angelique Troelstrop, Ph.D. Biology Education (2016). Understanding undergraduate majors' conceptual knowledge of ecology: Progressions and misconceptions. Instructor, Biology, Motlow State Community College and MTSU

Jeff Bonner, Ph.D. Biology Education (2016). Adopting reform-based pedagogy in post-secondary microbiology education. Currently in industry. 

Sandra Lampley, Ph.D. Biology Education (2015). Exploring pedagogical content knowledge of graduate teaching assistants through their participation in lesson study. Associate Professor, Curriculum & Instruction, U. of Alabama-Huntsville. 

Kristi Walters, M.S. Biology (2014). Using student motivation to design groups in a non-majors biology course for team-based collaborative learning: Impacts on knowledge, views, attitudes and perceptions. Primary educator and founder of Big Bear Science.

Former Undergraduate Students

2023/2024 Academic Year: Wren Lawson, Marc Rafat, Beari Jangir, Abanoub Armanious

2022/2023 Academic Year: Wren Lawson, Marco Rafat

2022/2023 Academic Year: Wren Lawson, Chelsea Rolle, Kadence Riggs

2021/2022 Academic Year: Wren Lawson

2020/2021 Academic Year: Eshan Patel, Brinley Vinson, Miranda Moore

2019/2020 Academic Year: Eshan Patel, Brinley Vinson, Harshil Patel

2018/2019 Academic Year: Dirhat Mohammed, Eshan Patel

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