Growing up as a missionary kid in a large family, I learned to be adaptable and independent. This experience also nurtured my passion for bringing people together in communities built on individual dignity and mutual respect.
My visit to a sustainable agricultural training center in Vietnam inspired me to pursue an education in plant biology. After graduating summa cum laude from WMU, my eagerness to learn got me hired as a research tech at Dow Chemical. After 3 years, my superiors and co-workers urged me to get my PhD. At MSU, I designed and led a collaborative dissertation project investigating how temperature affects plant disease. My work helped provide the basis for the HEAT project of the Plant Resilience Institute at MSU. Analytical by nature with strong writing skills, I gained a reputation as the “protocol queen.” Being goal-oriented, I see efficient methodology as a route to success.
I work comfortably with diverse people in various environments. Possessing what some call an “expressive personality,” I have a smile that is supported by my entire face and a laugh that lets you know I’m there. Embracing these attributes, I created a scientific research and education community I call “The Pub Club”. Using Boyle’s “Invisible College” model, The Pub Club averaged 33 members and hosted 28 guest speakers over 3 years. In 2016, I extended our community internationally, organizing a Skype mini-conference with the Weigel lab in Germany. My website, TheCOMonline.net, serves as a resource Hub to help students and postdocs use a “Community of Minds” approach to strategically manage the Education phase of their careers.
I am currently applying the skills I have developed in scientific inquiry, leadership, project management, community-building and education towards helping others Find their Passion, Identify their VOID and Bridge the Gap to their chosen career.