After a first career in information systems development and information engineering, I completed a BS in Molecular, Cellular Biology and Genetics in 1997 from the University of Maryland. With an ever-deepening desire to teach, I found my way to Tucson where my family resided and began my career as an educator. For the next eight years, I was privileged to teach not only AP and honors biology courses but also basic high school science courses. I completed my MS in General Biology at the University of Arizona in 2003. My thesis focused on a newly found proboscipedia–like gene by characterizing its molecular function and evolution during grasshopper development. Since 2005, I have worked to design educational programs and provide education technology services to schools embarking on 21st Century Classroom initiatives. I enjoy developing constructivist, inquiry-driven science curricula that involve traditional lab and new technology tools to further STEM education efforts. Before joining the Arnold lab I worked for the Arizona Science Center instructing STEM outreach programs, providing a launching pad for my current role in serving the STEM outreach goals of DoB. My research on fungal symbionts of the desert southwest focuses on endophyte community structure and diversity within Ephedra aspera, and on applying bioinformatics and molecular systematics tools to studies of endophyte biodiversity.