Q: What lead you to your specific field and when did you know you wanted to pursue a career in your specific field?
I have been interested in what most people call “bad” weather since I was about 5 years old.
Q: Describe your teaching philosophy or teaching style.
Understand the fundamentals or you really don’t know as much as you think. Do your work on time and follow directions or there will be a price to pay! Never be afraid to ask questions.
Q: What do you hope students take with them from your classes?
Be cognizant of the importance of weather and climate on everything from our daily activities to the global economy, and be ready to intelligently discuss weather and climate-related topics when called upon—and that will be very often, people are interested!
Q: What makes the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences unique and why come to Penn State and choose a major in EMS?
Our college provides a much more personal experience than most people expect at a large university, starting with a wonderful first-year orientation program and continuing with personal advising, small classes and fascinating, diverse research.
Q: Why should students choose a major in your field?
All of the EMS majors, including Meteorology and Atmospheric Science, are very highly ranked among their peers. The Meteorology and Atmospheric Science program is special because of its breadth, large and diverse faculty and a very large and involved alumni body.
Q: What are some of the career opportunities for students who a choose major in your field?
Careers include weather forecasting for government agencies, airlines, utilities and many other private companies, data analysis, research, education and broadcasting.
Q: What do you like most about mentoring students?
I enjoy seeing students with the same passions as me, and I want to help them obtain a career where their job is rarely “work,” but is important and valued by everyone.
Q: Did you go to college with the intention of getting the job you have now? If not, briefly explain how you came to the position you're in now at the University.
I was very shy and thought a behind-the-scenes weather forecasting job would be ideal. At Penn State I met faculty who were kind enough to involve me in their research as an undergraduate, which led to graduate school and ultimately a job in teaching and research.
Q: How do you like to spend your free time?
I enjoy vegetable gardening, bowling, solving puzzles (including income tax preparation), and occasionally chasing severe weather.
Q: Growing up, what did you want to be?
Always wanted to be involved with meteorology, just didn’t know exactly how!
Q: If you could go back in time, what if anything would you do differently as a student?
I would have challenged myself more in high school to ease my transition into a challenging major, but I have absolute confidence that coming to Penn State to study meteorology was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.