Department of Teaching and Learning
Ph.D University of Hawaii, Manoa
M.P.H. University of Texas School of Public Health, Houston
BA University of Texas, Austin, Biology
USD Teaching and Learning Department
I am uniquely qualified to serve as a science educator at the University of San Diego because I was a research scientist before I was a teacher. After graduation from the University of Texas, Austin (1973) with a B.A. in Biology, I launched my career as a scientist in a clinical laboratory setting at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. I worked for the famed cardiac surgeon, Dr. Michael DeBakey, performing biochemical assays. My ambition was to advance the field of heart health. During this time, I also earned a Master of Public Health from the University of Texas, Houston (1977) with thesis work requiring the collection of blood samples from adolescent males at various middle schools. My goal was to uncover the biochemical marker of male puberty but instead I was stunned by middle school students’ need for basic health information. At that moment, I realized that I could have a greater impact as a scientist by becoming a teacher. In 1978 I obtained my lifetime teaching credential in science education from the University of Houston and embarked on my professional life as an educator. I taught biology for 10 years in a large, urban school in Alief, Texas and for 14 years in a small, rural school on Maui, Hawaii where I served as chair of the science department. In this capacity, I mentored young ambitious student teachers as well as veteran teachers. After almost three decades in the secondary science classroom, I earned my doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction (with a cognate in Instructional Technology) from the University of Hawai’i, Manoa (2002) and began my work at USD.