I teach a number of guest lectures on everything from genetics to substance use to how to be a researcher, for lots of different classes around the university. I have also worked with my colleague Dr. Amy Adkins to develop courses in the area of behavior genetics.
As part of these classes, students learn about research going on in the area of behavior genetics, and get to meet top researchers in the field, studying topics such as substance use, depression, anxiety, smoking, drug use, and health disparities. We also cover some basic genetics and talk about hot topics like genetic testing and genetic discrimination. Students have opportunity to be a part of the research process and do everything from help with data collection to developing their own research questions and analyzing and presenting the data.
But here’s the coolest part – I don’t think students should just passively take classes, I want you to be a part of making the class. That means we can work together to tailor the class content to things you are interested in.
If you’re interested in race, genetics and identity – let’s talk about that. If you’re interested in designer babies or genetic discrimination, let’s talk about that. If you’re interested in what causes alcoholism or depression or anxiety – let’s talk about that. If you’re interested in what role parents really have in shaping their kids’ outcomes – let’s talk about that.
The point is – standing in front of a class and lecturing about the same thing semester after semester is as boring for me as it is for you. So let’s do something different and learn together.
Spit for Science: Conducting and Understanding Research, undergraduate level
Science of Happiness, undergraduate level
Genes, Environment, and Human Behavior, undergraduate level