I enjoy teaching and consider it critical part of a fulfilling career. Teaching is an honor and a privilege, not an inconvenience or obligation. I believe the primary goal of teaching is to empower students. Effective teaching is accomplished through well-prepared content that engages students and encourages application of concepts to real life situations. Good teaching does not simply supply answers, it cultivates the ability to think and question, preparing students to solve problems and excel in the workplace.
At Penn State University I have served as a teaching assistant and as an instructor. My primary involvement has been with HORT 138 (Ornamental Plant Materials) and HORT 232 (Horticultural Systematics). Ornamental Plant Materials covers the identification, description, and proper use of woody shrubs and small trees. My responsibilities included teaching lab sections, conducting and grading quizzes, and answering students’ questions. Horticultural Systematics covers the fundamentals of horticultural crop plant classification and systematics. The class begins with a botany review centered on vegetative and reproductive morphology. Throughout the semester plants are dissected and analyzed. As an instructor I had full responsibility for this class. In semesters when I served as a teaching assistant I gave lectures, set up labs, developed quizzes, graded projects, and answered students’ questions.
Subjects of horticulture and plant science of interest to me include: botany, plant physiology, herbaceous plant identification and use, woody plant identification and use, plant propagation, plant pathology, and landscape maintenance.