Who is Deb Rook, FMN Project Manager?
As one of the newest members of the QUBES team, I'd like to introduce myself to the community.
I remember the moment I decided I should be a teacher. I was 19 and walking through the Cleveland Museum of Natural History with my preteen sister, who was visiting me for sibling weekend at Case Western. We turned the corner to see Lucy, the Australopithecus afarensis. In view from there, there's also a human and chimp skeleton. I pointed out the differences, and the transitional characters, including focusing on how our ancestors stood up before our big brains evolved. At that moment, she had a light bulb go on somewhere in her mind, and I saw it in her eyes. From then on, I was hooked.
I finished up my bachelor's degree in Biology and Evolutionary Biology, including research on the diets of an extinct group of South American mammals called Notoungulates based on patterns in the teeth. After that, I headed to Ohio State to cement my career as a paleontologist, completing my master's study of phylogenetic relationships of an odd group of extinct North American mammals called the Taeniodonts. Finally, I completed my PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying connections between the fossil and rock records in the last 65 million years of North American history, using large, new, connected data sets to analyze these phenomena. During my PhD I also completed a teaching certificate with the Delta program in Research, Teaching and Learning, including extensive work in pedagogy and an education research project.
After working as an educator for the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL), an adjunct geology lab professor at George Mason University, and a curriculum developer and blogger for Inner City Science, I found my way to QUBES. Here I will be working as the Project Manager for the Faculty Mentoring Networks, bringing together faculty from across country to learn new skills, implement new and published materials, and simply build community around increasing the quantitative skills in life sciences classrooms and beyond.