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.   

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Olena James

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Ph.D. Biology Education

Post-secondary biology instructors development of Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK).

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Brock Couch

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Ph.D. Biology Education

Small group discourse and longitudinal analysis in biology classrooms.


Lisa Hanson

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Ph.D. Interdisciplinary Education

Experiences of black graduate students in STEM programs

Former Graduate Students

Zhigang "Jacob" Jia, Ph.D. Interdisciplinary Education (2021). Science international teaching assistants' development of cultural competence and teaching self-efficacy, Post-Doctoral Researcher, Trinity Washington University. 

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, Post-Doctoral Researcher, U. of South Alabama

Joshua Reid, Ph.D. Biology Education (2020). Biology graduate students' perceptions and experiences of the research-teaching nexus. Post-Doctoral Researcher, MTSU, Tennessee STEM Education Research Center

Jennifer Parrish, Ph.D. Biology Education (2017). Teacher professional growth for nature of science and scientific inquiry: Promoting reflection to improve understanding and practices. Assistant 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. Adjunct Instructor, Biology, Motlow State Community College and MTSU

Jeff Bonner, Ph.D. Biology Education (2016). Adopting reform-based pedagogy in post-secondary microbiology education. Science Instructor, The Webb School.  

Sandra Lampley, Ph.D. Biology Education (2015). Exploring pedagogical content knowledge of graduate teaching assistants through their participation in lesson study. Assistant 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

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