About Me


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Teaching Philosophy

The main focus of my teaching style is to expect more from the students than they think they are capable of at first. While I tend to believe a class should be challenging, I also make it accessible to all my students. My lectures tend to be highly varied and I use the web extensively for disseminating information to my students. My exams consist of multiple choice, short answer, essay and application question and try to integrate the knowledge they have gained in novel ways, rather than simply asking for them to repeat my lectures. Most of all I try to impart even a small fraction of my wonder and amazement in the subject to my students. I hope all my students enjoy my class and take away something valuable and useful.

Curriculum Vitae

Personal Biography

The beginning of any class is a stressful time for both the students and the facilitator. All of us enter into this new experience with a good measure of trepidation and apprehension, and it is my hope that I can help settle this a little by telling you more about who I am. It is always best if we know the people we are going to work with.

I spent my early life moving throughout the country and even spending part of a year in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai specifically). In fact, up until college I had never lived anywhere for longer than a couple of years and it has made me a very out-going and adventurous person. For undergraduate studies I attended the University of Missouri-Rolla, a small science and engineering school, finishing two B.S. degrees (Chemistry and Biology) in four years. I went on to earn a Ph.D. in Microbiology from Duke University in North Carolina and publish a couple of scholarly article on my research dealing with Bacillus anthracis (anthrax).

During my graduate career I moved to Michigan and post graduation I went to work for a national laboratory testing firm (EMSL Analytical) as a Microbiology Manager. Within a year I was the Midwest Regional Microbiology Manager and giving national talks on environmental testing. For almost five years I served in this capacity, until I decided to return to teaching full time. I have found that the experiences I have had in industry have been invaluable at helping me look at education from a much more practical viewpoint and this is what I hope to bring to our class.

When not teaching classes I liked to participate in a variety of different activities. I am an active member of my professional community in both the American Society for Microbiology and the American Chemical Society where I serve on the educational committees, working on educational policies for undergraduates. Outside of the profession I spend time with my family, photography, gaming, reading and hiking.

I have a number of accomplishments that make me smile. First and foremost is my marriage of going on seventeen years with my lovely wife, Amy. Next would be my children Jane, who is a rambunctious fourth grader, and our son Zachary, a fun three-year old. Third would be my completed doctorate degree. Finally, I am proud of having completed a triathlon a few years back (half mile swim, fifteen mile cycling and five mile trail run).

I also deal with a rare autoimmune disease called dermatomyositis.  For the first time in a long time I am dealing with a something that I have little control over.  I am lucky to have family that understands things and that my disease is a mild form of the disease (in rare cases it is fatal).  Though there are only around thirty-thousand cases in the US, so we do have some advocacy for the disease.  I have further facts on my DM-specific page.

Mindless Trivia

  • First Computer I owned:  Power PC Mac (didn’t buy my own till grad school)
  • Best Book I ever read:  Either “To Kill a Mockingbird” or “Stranger in a Strange Land”
  • DC or Marvel:  Totally Marvel
  • Favorite Superhero flick:  Tie between “Guardians of the Galaxy” or “Ant-Man”
  • Movie that doesn’t hold up from childhood: E.T. (couldn’t even make it through as an adult)
  • Nickname in High School:  Beaker (I was tall, skinny and had carrot orange hair)
  • Award from High School: Voted Most Likely to Become a Mad Scientist
  • Sweets or Salt:  Total Chocolate fan
  • Coffee or Tea:  Tea, can’t stand coffee
  • Android or iPhone:  Neither, I love my Windows Phone
  • Superhero I wanted to be growing up:  Captain America
  • Job I thought I would have as a kid:  Immunologist (I was weird, I know)
  • Sports as a kid: Cross Country (I sucked), Discus and Triple Jump
  • Favorite Musical Artists: Suzanne Vega, Jack Johnson, Airborne Toxic Event, Of Monsters and Men, AC/DC, and Afro Celts
  • Favorite Cartoon:  Scooby-Doo

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