I earned my PhD in botany and plant pathology at Oregon State University in 1997, and I have been teaching nonmajors biology at the University of Oklahoma ever since. It is my favorite part of my job at OU. I love helping students learn about a topic that they might have feared in the past, and I love coaching them to help improve their study skills.
Shortly after coming to OU, I became a McGraw-Hill textbook author. At first I was a coauthor on Ricki Lewis’s Life book, but I eventually developed my own titles (Biology: Concepts and Investigations and Biology: The Essentials). For me, writing and teaching are perfectly complementary activities. I think about my students as I write, and I think about how best to explain topics in the book as I teach.