After graduating from Ursinus in 2015, I taught middle school humanities for five years at Frankford Friends School in Philadelphia. My experiences at Ursinus helped me become involved in curriculum design at Frankford Friends right away and I learned I wanted to work with teachers on curriculum and instruction long-term. So, I left the classroom to earn a Masters of Education in teaching, learning, and leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. My Master’s degree helped me develop a deeper passion for research on social studies teaching so I began a Ph.D. program in teacher education and professional development at the University of Maryland College Park in the fall of 2021.
I study how teachers can support students to navigate social and political information online. In an age of smartphones and social media, young people are mostly getting their information online, but research shows that people - even smart people like professors! - can be duped by misinformation. If we want schools to foster active citizens who can make informed decisions about public life, researchers and educators need to better support young people to evaluate political and social content online. Therefore, I study an idea called “civic online reasoning” and how educators can teach students to engage in civic online reasoning in their everyday lives.
I cannot imagine being where I am right now without the endless support of the Ursinus Education Department. Ursinus provided me with the opportunity to dive into both research and practice in education. The faculty was always supportive of my goals and let me explore my curiosities. With my Ursinus education, I was ready to hit the ground running as a teacher-leader. I was prepared to lead in my school right away because of the rigorous program at Ursinus. Finally, Ursinus showed me the power of excellent, inquiry-driven teaching which still motivates my research every day. While work in education will always have its challenges, I learned through the Ursinus Education Department that effective teaching can be the cornerstone of powerful transformations in students’ lives. The belief in the power of teaching has been central to my career and my research.