I am a Research Scientist in the Department of Computer Science at North Carolina State University, where I received my B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science. I received my Masters degree in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a concentration in mobile game development. My overall goal has been on improving K-12 education through computing. My earlier work involved evaluating ways to determine affect in intelligent game-based learning environments, then moved on to developing platforms for social game-based learning (both programming and human networking skills).
My current research interests address teacher training and curriculum development for computing education. My dissertation work focused on developing support mechanisms for novice computing teachers assessing high school programming labs, which was recognized with back-to-back Best Paper awards at the international conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education. Since then, I have been working to incorporate computing and computational thinking into core classes. This research looks into a faded scaffolding approach to both teacher professional development and student activities. This work is assessed using a mixed methods CEO model of intelligent code traces, exit ticket feedback, and formalized field observations.
In addition to my academic research path, I’ve been leading computer science outreach to middle school students since January 2009. I’ve been able to pilot ideas and develop new insights into computing education research. My outreach efforts have grown from one local middle school to over 1000 students across North Carolina. Internationally, I am a member of NCSU’s Global Engagement Institute, where I work with Mothering Across Continents to assess hands on computational thinking and engineering design cycles with rural secondary schools in Rwanda developing teacher PD and local sustainability teams.