I am an Associate Professor of Biological Systems Engineering. I have a 60% teaching and 40% research appointment. I teach several undergraduate courses and am heavily involved in advising and curriculum activities. My research is focused on improving the conversion of biological materials into biofuels. I also coordinate the Justin Smith Morrill Scholars program which is focused on leadership, service, and civic engagement. Starting next Fall, I will be the faculty sponsor for the Ag Futures First Year Learning Community.
What drew you to UNL?:
I got my undergraduate and masters degrees at UNL and absolutely enjoyed my time here. The BSE department had a positive and encouraging culture. When it became apparent that an academic career was what I wanted, I couldn’t think of a better place than UNL. Lincoln is a great place to live and I am glad I had the opportunity to come back.
What aspect of working in an educational setting do you enjoy the most?:
Working with students is probably the best part of this job. I particularly enjoy helping students in the first year of college transition both academically and personally. Working at UNL has also provided me with some unique collaborative opportunities that I am thankful for. For example, I am working with the Lied Center and the College of Journalism & Mass Communication on a civic engagement class.
What are the most challenging and the most rewarding parts of your job?:
The most challenging aspect is figuring out what to say no to! There are so many great opportunities to pursue, but alas! one has only has so much time.
The most rewarding part of my job is working with students. As faculty, we have this awesome opportunity to play a role in the development of students. It is a responsibility I take seriously and I am thankful for the opportunity.
What is something that most people don’t know about you?:
I am a foodie! I enjoy eating at all the new and exciting restaurants opening up in Lincoln.
What is your life like outside of work?:
This past year life has been super exciting. Over the past year, I got married and bought a house. My wife and I try to be intentional about building community with our friends.
Do you have any advice for current or prospective students?:
College is a great opportunity to develop life-long friendships and build your sphere of influence. Every student has an opportunity to impact the campus and be impacted by others. That opportunity can only be realized if you get involved and build meaningful relationships with fellow students, faculty, and staff!