I’ve been fortunate to teach classes in two subject areas, nutrition and behavioral economics, that are interesting, current, and engaging. When I’m teaching I strive to achieve three main goals: impart specific knowledge while encouraging “big picture” thinking and application, help and challenge students to meet rigorous expectations, and inspire curiosity and excitement.
Whether I’m teaching Fundamentals of Nutrition or Dietetics Senior Seminar I design every class hoping that students will learn information that is immediately applicable to their lives. By using various technologies, humor, pop-culture, real-world stories, and innovative assessment methods like specifications grading I’m better able to connect with students and foster learning. I’m also actively engaged in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) which enables me to study and reflect on new techniques I use in the classroom. SoTL work helps turn my classroom into a “learning lab” where the goal is to increase engagement and lifelong useful knowledge!
Along with SoTL research, I am currently working on several projects that relate to why people do or do not engage in certain health behaviors, and how individuals’ decisions around health behaviors can be influenced. This work draws on behavioral economics, and often employs incentives or default option shifts to influence nutrition choices. At this moment most of my effort is focused on examining why people don’t cook at home, and how they could be incentivized to do so, as well as how to encourage intuitive eating in college students. I have involved many student researchers (both undergraduate and masters level) in my work, and love answering new research questions with students.