My love of science education quietly revealed itself to me while I led my classmates through an AP Chemistry solutions set in high school. I had always been interested in science, which provides my innate curiosity with an outlet, but I had not expected to find fulfillment in teaching others. I discovered that I could satisfy my otherwise insatiable desire for growth by helping others grow in their understanding of themselves and the universe.
I've followed the subtle pulls of curiosity and growth to Northwestern University, where I am a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and PhD candidate.
My research focuses on water-soluble nanoparticles, which we may be used for medical imaging or biological sensing.
Outside the lab, I'm immersed in improving classrooms via scientific inquiry through the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning. This takes many forms, such as completing and presenting a Teaching-As-Research experiment, or developing new curricula. I am also working with colleagues to design/conduct teaching assistant training workshops, advocate for evidenced-based changes to existing undergraduate curricula, and support our departmental commitment to pedagogy.
I am devoted to making science accessible to everyone. This endeavor has manifested in a myriad of ways, including participating in amateur stand-up comedy through Science Riot presented by the Chicago Council of Science and Technology. I also enjoy teaching society’s youngest scientists through a variety of after school science education programs for local K-12 students.
I serve my department and academic community by creating opportunities for growth and leading discussions with multiple stakeholders. I've co-founded Chemistry Graduate Student Teachers, a graduate student group focused on science education and graduate student professional development, to build a space for learning how to teach within my department. I am also a member of the Graduate Liaison Committee, which brings together other student organizations, staff, and faculty to improve the graduate student experience in the Northwestern Chemistry Department.
I enthusiastically seek opportunities to improve my leadership, communication, and teaching abilities—particularly opportunities that leverage these skills in service of my community. Can I be of help in anyway? Email me at schwabacher [at] northwestern.edu