My work with Citizen Schools was recently featured in UNC Charlotte Magazine.
I am currently a NASA GSRP fellow advised by Dr. Tiffany Barnes at NC State University and mentored by Dr. Mabel Matthews in NASA's Office of Higher Education as well as a Research Intern mentored by Rane Johnson on the Microsoft Research Connections team.
My research involves educational technology and serious games, any game with a purpose beyond entertainment - including education, physical fitness, and environmental awareness. Currently, my research focus is on how emerging game technologies, specifically ubiquitous and augmented reality gaming, can be used to facilitate new interaction that promote learning and skill adoption for players more effectively. Beyond research, my passion is project management. I love bringing stakeholders from different backgrounds and perspectives (particularly developers and non-developers) together to work towards a common goal.
I am also actively involved in STEM Education outreach, particularly among women and underrepresented minorities in high-risk schools. I've led a Game Design and Development curriculum at the middle school level through a partnership with Citizen Schools for the past four years as a way to teach Computer Science concepts and Computational Thinking, inspire students to consider Computer Science as a career, and empower students to become creators of technology rather than simply consumers. I've also traveled twice to rural, northern Haiti as part of a One Laptop Per Child deployment. I am continually amazed by what students, even students from the worst schools and the poorest neighborhoods, can accomplish with computers. I can say with absolute certainty that I've learned more from the students I've worked with than they have from me.
Not enough information on what I do? Here are some more fun facts: (1) I've successfully reformatted a full-size SCSI-1 hard drive (manufactured Nov. 1989) to provide a functional backup for a mission critical system at NASA. (2) I've spent an entire day sitting on a concrete floor with a projector as my monitor working in the Linux command line to set up a server all while running on generator power. (3) I have two cats with only one eye total and a python named Monty.