Paying it forward
Throughout my long career and life, I have been lucky to have had some amazing professors. However, they were not always the best teachers inside the classroom. Regardless of their teaching techniques, one of the messages I keep with me is that the best way to thank them for everything they taught me is to pay it forward. This is probably one of the reasons why I continue to work towards a job in academia. But unlike many of my wonderful mentors, I look forward to teaching my students in a fun and easy to understand way. Because of this, I have worked hard to incorporate both the approachability of my mentors, along with research-based teaching techniques that focus on student-centered teaching. One more thing I have learned is that learning never ends and I plan to continue educating myself so I can give my students the best experience possible and who knows, maybe someday one of them will also Pay It Forward...
2019-present Insects in Human Society co-instructor (blended course), Texas A&M University.
The objective of this course is to introduce non-majors to the different roles of insects in human society. The course includes both online and in-person classes.
Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL) Associate
2020 Herbivore offense (invited lecture), Insect Ecology, Texas A&M University.
2019 Plant herbivory recognition (invited lecture), Chemical Ecology, Texas A&M University.
2019 RNAi as a sustainable insect control tool (invited lecture), Field Crop Insects, Texas A&M University.
2017 International Agriculture (online course), Pennsylvania State University, Spring.
My primary responsibility was to teach and grade this fully online course. The course objectives were mainly to introduce students to the intricacies of international agriculture and all the entities involved in it.
2016 Chemical Ecology (invited lecture), Millennium Scholars, Pennsylvania State University.
I was an invited lecturer for the Millennium Scholars program. This program is for high achieving students in STEM fields who are committed to becoming leaders in their fields and increasing the diversity of professionals in STEM related fields.
2015 Global Agriculture, Governor’s School, The Pennsylvania State University, Summer.
Organized and taught a section of Governor’s school – a program for high achieving high school students. The focus was Global Agriculture and how to maintain a broad perspective about all the factors involved in it.
2014 Tropical Entomology Graduate Seminar, The Pennsylvania State University, Spring.
Designed and co-taught a graduate seminar. The emphasis of the seminar was to promote critical thinking in graduate students and help them determine how their research in entomology fits into the larger concept of tropical agriculture and social development.
2013 The Insect Connection, Teaching Assistant, The Pennsylvania State University, Spring.
My primary responsibility was grading. The objective of this course was to introduce the importance of entomology in our day to day to non-science majors.
2012 Insect Biodiversity and Evolution, Teaching Assistant, The Pennsylvania State University, Fall.
My main responsibilities included organizing and teaching laboratories focused on the identification of insect families.
Insect Pests of Ornamentals, Teaching Assistant, The Pennsylvania State University, Spring.
My main responsibilities were to teach and grade the Insect Pests of Ornamental track, which was taken by student after attending introduction to entomology for half a semester.
2009 Biology 113, Teaching Assistant, The Ohio State University, Fall-Spring.
I was the teaching assistant for two quarters and Head teaching assistant for one quarter of Biology 113. This is an introductory biology class for science majors (pre-med, nursing, sports science, etc.). My responsibilities included teaching and preparing laboratories, as well as grading and providing reviews before lecture exams.
Something that has become clear in the last few years, is that the public doesn't necessarily understand what scientists are up to. And the truth is, there is no one to blame but scientists for this. This is why it is so important to participate in outreach events. With a few hours of our time, we are able to make science fun, understandable and most importantly, approachable. With the current funding environment, it can sometimes be difficult to make time to invest in outreach; however, we must remember that funding at the end comes from our fellow citizens and so we must invest in helping them understand what we do every day.
2020 Town Hall Meeting – INSECTOS! (Spanish) panel expert for BIOBUS.org. https://youtu.be/-jAR7QquxBQ
2016 Exploration U, The Pennsylvania State University
Bug Camp, The Pennsylvania State University
2015 Ag Progress Day, The Pennsylvania State University
2013 School outreach programs, The Pennsylvania State University
Bug Camp, The Pennsylvania State University
2012-2015 Great Insect Fair, The Pennsylvania State University
2008-2011 Insect Night Walk, The Ohio State University