What is your current job title and responsibilities?
Director, Office of Undergraduate Research, Undergraduate Studies
What is your history at UCF and before UCF?
I founded the Office of Undergraduate Research in 2007. Before coming here, I completed my Ph.D. at the University of South Carolina.
What is your academic background?
What is your favorite UCF memory?
I love the day undergraduates present their research during Student Research Week, Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence! There is nothing like seeing so many fantastic students present their work for the UCF community. It is a lot of work to organize, but seeing it come together, and the impact the event has, is exciting.
If you could change one thing at UCF, what would it be? ($ and time no object)
I would like to see more mentors for students and additional funding for student researchers.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with your colleagues?
Take time to get to know our students. We all wear many hats and don’t always get to know the students. It helps keep you motivated to do better.
If UCF was going to name something in your honor, what would you like it to be and why?
A new center for undergraduate research. We need more space (and funding) to support and promote student research.
If you could have lunch with anyone at UCF (who you do not normally eat lunch with), who would you choose and why?
My husband. We have two young children and rarely get to enjoy a quiet, peaceful meal to catch up.
Who at UCF would you like to thank for your success?
Rick Schell and Alison Morrison-Shetlar (now Provost, WCU), who gave me the opportunity to develop the office. Also, Richard Harrison (Associate Librarian) has been an advocate and a supporter from the beginning.
Name and describe a teacher or researcher from your past who truly inspired you and why.
My honors thesis advisor at the University of Florida. She gave me the opportunity to work on an independent project but mentored me closely, as I was new to the research process.
What undergraduate or graduate class/program/experience inspired you the most and why?
My undergraduate summer research program (NSF REU) that took me to Dominican Republic to do field research. It was an amazing experience, and I was paid to do it!
What is your favorite restaurant or food?
What is your favorite movie, book or music?
When Harry Met Sally
What is your favorite vacation destination?
I love to travel. Two of my favorite places are Folegandros in Greece, and Iguazu, Argentina.