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My Background

I have not had a traditional academic career, which I hope is encouraging for those of you who are considering computing but may not have the background.  My undergraduate degree is in Animal Science. I got a job managing a 40-stall dressage barn and about a year after I graduated, I still couldn’t pay my car insurance. I figured that there had to be a better way to ride while still being able to make a living.

I then got an MS and a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering. I spent the first 11 years of my career teaching adult working professionals at Rensselaer at Hartford.  The work ethic and professionalism of this audience make teaching both challenging (boy, you’d better know your stuff!) and fun (nothing like trying out the latest technology in the classroom!).

I then spent four years at Trinity College where I came to understand that wearing Sponge Bob pajama pants to class was not uncommon. I also learned that undergraduates bring lots of energy and enthusiasm into the classroom.  So a different kind of challenge keeping up with the fast moving minds of 18-22 year-olds.

For the past year, I have been Chair of the Computer Science and Information Technology department at Western New England College. Yet another challenge of learning how the internals of a department work and about the Information Technology degree.

I have two main areas of research:

  1. The Xcite group is a group of researchers focusing on exciting students to learn computing.
  2. The CONNJUR group is investigating automating the process of determining the structure of large protein molecules using NMR.
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