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I love flying, even in hot air balloons.

My path to get to where I am was not linear, but I like to think that I learned a lot along the way. This convoluted path also proved to solidify what I knew all along: I love science, I love to teach science, and I love introducing students to research. 

I started my academic career at The University of Texas at Austin where I focused on psychology and neuroscience, specifically behavioral research in alcohol addiction using mouse models. I found that I thrived in a research environment, and decided to pursue a PhD in behavioral neuroscience. I very fortunately landed at the University of California of San Diego, in beautiful La Jolla, California. My PhD thesis work investigated the role of glial cells and inflammatory signalling in neuropathic pain. My thesis lab also provided the opportunity to mentor undergraduate students in the lab, which turned out to be one of my favorite roles in the lab. 

Following the completion of my PhD, I spent a short time in industry research, thinking that would be the best fit following my research-centered graduate education. I very quickly learned that I missed what brought me to seek a graduate education in the first place: sharing my love of learning and science. Thus, I returned to academics as a postdoctoral fellow (also at UC-San Diego) where I not only returned to the lab bench, but also sought out training and education in leading an undergraduate classroom. In my postdoctoral research, I defined my own niche by specializing in the role of microglia and astrocytes in ventilatory acclimatization to chronic sustained hypoxia. Check out Stokes Lab to learn more! 

Fast forward, two years in my postdoc, to an amazing teaching conference that put me in the right place at the right time, making connections for an immersive teaching experience at a liberal arts institution. As a Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology at Beloit College, I really got to test the "crazy professor" dream of mine. Luckily, but not surprisingly to those that know me, I LOVED the teaching intensive, student-centered learning environment. And now I am living out this dream as an Assistant Professor of Kinesiology at Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. 

Of course my entire life is not ALL research and teaching, but also full of adventures! I love cycling, yoga, hiking, and traveling to new places. I also love a good cup of tea (lemon verbena is a favorite), dark chocolate, and baking (my TAs and RAs get fresh baked goodies all the time). Oh, and science museums, art museums, and making a fool of myself whenever possible. 

If you are interested in learning more about me, my lab, or my courses, please contact me. I am sure I would love to meet you! 



2014 - 2016

University of California, San Diego

Division of Physiology, Department of Medicine

Postdoctoral Fellow

2007 - 2013

University of California, San Diego

Department of Anesthesiology

PhD, Biomedical Sciences

2003 - 2006

The University of Texas at Austin

BS, Psychology

2016 - 2017

Beloit College 

Visiting Assistant Professor

Department of Biology

2017 - 2020

Centenary College of Louisiana

Assistant Professor

Department of Biology

2020 - Present

Southwestern University

Assistant Professor

Department of Kinesiology

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