Current job/institution: Assistant Teaching Professor & Director of the Chemistry Center at Wake Forest University, Department of Chemistry
Degrees and Institutions (include postdocs):
B.S., Chemistry, 2005, University of California, Davis
M.S., Biochemistry, 2008, University of Colorado, Boulder
Ph.D., Chemical Education, 2013, University of Northern Colorado
Title (proposed if graduate student) of your dissertation and/or masters work:
Dissertation Title: Development and Evaluation of a Thermochemistry Concept Inventory for College-Level General Chemistry
Master Thesis Title: Measuring Calcium in Pseudomonas aeruginosa Using a Genetically Encoded Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) Sensor
Hometown: Paradise, CA
Research Summary: Dr. Wren’s research interests center broadly on understanding the challenges students face while taking introductory chemistry courses. Measuring student learning or attitudinal outcomes using existing assessment instruments, or developing new assessments is central to this understanding. As part of this research, Dr. Wren hopes to identify both traditional and contemporary teaching practices that maximize student learning for students of different backgrounds and preparations.
Ask me about: (hobbies and interests) Road bicycling, running, soccer, skiing, brewing beer, playing with my kids, remodeling our house one room at a time
Why did you choose Chem Ed? I love to teach and I am fascinated with how people learn. Chemical education research is a perfect combination of these two interests. My research has made me a better teacher and aware of the many variable outside “chemical content” that challenge students.
Things you are looking forward to being part of this committee? My path to my current position has been very non-traditional. I was unaware about the possibility of getting a Ph.D. in Chemical Education and the potential for getting a job in academia. Given the trend of more departments valuing and hiring chemical education researchers to run and revamp introductory chemistry programs, I want to increase awareness of undergraduate and graduate students about this potential career path.