I am currently a professor of biology at South Dakota State University (SDSU). I teach high enrollment general botany and general biology courses as well as coordinate biology education program at SDSU.
My research interests are broad and multifaceted: research projects are across the disciplines including biology education, systematics, ethnobotany of Lakota, and evolution of gene families (R, MAPK and WRKYs). I have successfully mentored nine graduate students and 31 undergraduates and served on 15 graduate committees.
As a loyal member of the BSA for over the past 15 years, I have been actively engaged in the society through my contributions to various sections and through my service as the Chair of teaching section from 2015-2018. I also served as the Vice Chair/Program Director of the section before serving as the Chair. I have been actively supporting BSA education initiatives such as PlantingScience, NSF-funded PLANTS, student award/mentoring programs as well as my current service on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.
I am currently serving as the President of Faculty Senate at SDSU, and as the Chair of Natural Science Discipline Council for South Dakota Board of Regents. Currently serving as the founding faculty of the Institute for STEM Education Enhancement (ISEE), I have successfully led multiple STEM education initiatives in the state: most of them are on serving rural and minority communities for K-12 science education enhancement, science teacher preparation and professional development, as well as mentoring undergraduate and graduate students for their research and transferable skills. Most of these projects are externally funded and integrate botanical education. I am also serving as an Associate Editor of Frontiers in Genetics.
Statement of Interest
I am interested to bring to the BSA board a different perspective, high energy, enthusiasm, and diverse experiences (on botanical education and outreach) to enhance diversity and inclusion as well as to promote, strengthen, and enhance BSA education initiatives toward accomplishing the mission of the society.