After graduating from Duke, I spent three years as a postdoc at Carnegie Mellon University with Bob Siegler examining children's and adults' understanding of fractions. I then spent one year at the Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh as a postdoc with Chris Schunn working to improve undergraduate's science writing before joining the faculty at Vanderbilt University in 2014. My current research focuses on using cognitive science principles to improve student learning, particularly of mathematics concepts.
My training and experiences at Duke have been invaluable in preparing me for my career. Beth Marsh was an amazing mentor and gave me the tools and experience I needed to conduct independent research. I entered my postdoc feeling confident in my ability to plan, conduct and interpret cognitive research. And the entire department is filled with incredible researchers. There are few better places in the country for memory research. The powerhouse of Beth, David Rubin and Roberto Cabeza (plus Patricia Bauer and Ian Dobbins during part of my training) meant that I was familiar not just with one small area of research, but with the entire memory field. This was especially true given the close collaboration with UNC that allowed me to take courses with Neil Mulligan and Peter Ornstein and to eventually develop a collaboration with Peter. Furthermore, while I am not a Neuroscientist and have not used neuroimagining in any of my research, my interactions with the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience during my time at Duke have made me a competent consumer of neuroimaging research. In fact, one of my current research project was inspired by recent neuroimaging findings. It was only after I left Duke that I discovered how many psychologists are currently lacking that training that I took for granted.