“We will be known by the problems we solve.” Plywood People
Philosophy on Service
The community we belong to defines us, at least in part. For many of us, it is a natural inclination to observe problems in our community and desire to be a part of the solution as way to improve our community. Through our own unique gifts and talents, we serve the community we are a part of when we offer up a potential solution to the problems we see. These communities can be our work communities, our child’s school communities, our home community or a community of people with similar religious beliefs. All of these communities experience problems and all of these communities need viable solutions. By engaging in the dialogue and the action, we can bring about improvements to all of these communities.
My philosophy on service is that serving my Agnes community and my Neuroscience community is a way to partner with each and bring improvement to each. I am not equipped with the gifts or energy to solve all the problems that may exist in these communities. But, I can devote myself to their service with my own unique gifts, and make small improvements in my own way and in keeping the underlying philosophies of each community.
I have served the Agnes Scott community on committees each year (excluding my first year) and I plan to continue my commitment to committee work. I have served on PDC (Fall 2013 – Fall 2015) and CASA (Fall 2016- present). Serving on the PDC committee allowed me to gain a better understanding of my colleagues areas of research interest beyond my own field. Service on this committee was engaging as I read applications for sabbaticals and internal funding. While serving on this committee, we worked to streamline the application process for internal funding so it was simple and efficient to apply and analyze the applications. My commitment to continuing my own personal research with students makes service on this committee exciting to observe other faculty seeking similar experiences.
Serving on CASA has allowed me to understand more about Agnes Scott’s commitment to academic excellence. While serving on the committee, we have examined several topics, including the degree completion program, the "three-things" policy, and student petitions. My dedication to academic excellence in my own classroom makes service on CASA a natural fit with my interests and pursuits.
I will continue to serve on committees throughout my career to further connect myself to my colleagues and to the college. There are other committees that would fit with my interests and talents. I will continue to make those talents available through service at Agnes.
I have served the Biology department through my work directing the construction and implementation of the first semester of introductory series, BIO 110 and BIO 111. My work on the first semester, BIO 110 is discussed in my teaching statement. By using evidence based best practices, as a department, we were able to work together to provide an introductory series that delivers contents as well as necessary scientific skills in a cohesive experience utilizing active learning approaches. For the Biology department, I take minutes at each of our department meetings. I am also gathering information necessary to update the Biology website so that it can be utilized as a recruitment tool for future Scotties in STEM. Finally, I am working with Alumnae relations and previous graduation lists to create a list documenting all known graduated Biology majors. With that list, I plan on reaching out to as many of those Alumnae as possible to determine their career path after graduation from Agnes Scott. That information will also be made available on the Biology website.
I currently serve as a co-Director for the Neuroscience Program at Agnes Scott. During my time as a co-Director for the past year and a half, the faculty have worked together to enhance the major requirements based on the requirements for graduate school and medical schools. We have worked towards enhancing our introductory neuroscience sequence including the addition of major skill requirements to both semesters of the introductory series. We are also working on a research competition for our students and potential funding for scholarships through a grant to the NSF. We have updated the Neuroscience program website with more useful information, and we are working on involving more of students in research experiences. This service is at the intersection of serving Agnes and Neuroscience. As such, it is one of the most exciting service opportunities I have the privilege of working on.
I have served Neuroscience for many years and I plan to continue to serve this field of science throughout the remainder of my career. Service to this field strengthens my ability to be relevant in the classroom, enhances my research, and allows me to train the next generation of neuroscientists. I serve on an editorial review board for a neuroscience journals as well as a reviewer for neuroscience journals. I serve as a judge for research presentations and have given talks focused on neuroscience in general, not scholarship. I served as the Director of the NET/work program at Agnes Scott, where I worked with 16 Agnes students over 6 years pairing them with a research lab at GSU or Emory for two academic years and two summer research experiences for undergraduates as well as overseeing professional development workshops for all participants. I also serve as the Neuroscience National Honor Society, Nu Rho Psi, advisor for the Agnes Scott chapter. I will continue to serve Neuroscience to remain a relevant professor and a knowledgeable researcher.