Learning by Doing

The best test of whether or not you really understand a concept is trying to teach it to someone else.    Richard Rusczyk

I am a lifelong learner, my learning continues.  I have learned to follow my instincts and be innovative. I have woven all my experiences and expanded my understanding.


An Evolution of Learning from Doing

From Summer League Swimmer to Design Studio Instructor

Early Experience

While at an uninhibited young age, I found myself in some really great leadership roles that proved that I had the ability to be successful.  Helping others achieve success is very much a part of who I am and complimenting this is my desire to help others expand their knowledge. 


Swim Team Coach - After twelve years as a competitive swimmer I found an opportunity to become the coach of a neighborhood swim team during the summer before my senior year of high school.  Leading almost 100 swimmers that ranged from 5 - 15 years old provided plenty of opportunities and challenges to gain experience in working with kids to understand how to activate and guide their many levels of motivation.

Lifeguard - Next I was a lifeguard for a large public pool.  While the role of lifeguard wasn't exactly best for someone always curious to explore and learn more, I did enjoy the job.  This is where I learned how to do something and then ask for forgiveness instead of asking for permission first.  I observed that the kids who went ahead and did the back flip off the diving board got to do it once and then asked for forgiveness.  The kids who asked for permission to do it  never got the opportunity.

Independent Private Swim Lesson Business - Patience is required for an understanding to take place.  Through practice and experience you can become really good and intuitively know how to solve just about any problem at the fundamental level and how to make it connect to another person if you focus on the right things and care for the right reasons.  

Instructor Duke University TIP Summer Academy - There is more opportunity than most see in the world if you go out there and put yourself close to what you want.  Kids will only engage in what they are interested in, so it's about the instructor understanding their interests and helping them make connections so that they leave with new knowledge and a better understanding of the world.

Taking the Design Path



Refining Raw Ambition to Engage  

Architecture School

Campus of KU-Marvin Hall

Campus of KU-Marvin Hall

To many it doesn't immediately click why someone would study architecture in Kansas where there are not many buildings to be found, although attending the University of Kansas to receive a Masters of Architecture provided a metaphorical "white box" to view the tradition of architecture through a lens, mold my own understanding of architecture and become a strong and capable designer rooted in solving problems, creative synthesis, a forward thinking insight and a focus on helping people live more successfully and connected to their world.    



Helping others learn how to swim.

Private Swim Lesson Instructor

Swimmer/Coach Instructor

Swimmer/Coach Instructor

I coached swimming after a childhood of competitive swimming and it became a launching point for me to continue to take on new experiences.  Coaching the kids was a fantastic experience that opened my eyes to the satisfaction of helping others achieve.  It was about establishing relationships built on trust.  I would help them achieve and overcome their swimming challenges.  I was able to refine my process and technique and had confidence from my understanding of their fears to help them overcome them and provide challenging strategies to help them become capable in the water.  It was my intuition and ability to connect with the kids that helped me be successful.  I observed which methods of instructions worked best and found ways to motivate them through encouragement and developmentally appropriate lessons.



Fully Immersed in Exploring

Thinking with my Hands

Model making in studio.

Model making in studio.

I like to immerse myself into the things I take on in life.  I feel like there is a threshold I seek to cross that surrounds me with enough information to allow for my mind to engage with the full spectrum of information to really see the problem and the possible paths of thinking that break free from a fixed medium based solution into a more encompassing, or system based type solution that carries weight yet remains flexible to changes within the system.  

I like connecting between design thoughts and reality and learning in studio by doing.



Helping others engage with their world

Instructor for Duke University TIP Summer Program

I was hired as a TA but within two weeks assumed the role of lead instructor of an architecture and product design course for Duke University Talent Identification Program.  

I developed my own curriculum based around exploratory learning asking the students to use the world around them and what they knew as a framework for seeing opportunities and figuring out ways to integrate new solutions into the world.  

After teaching for two summers, I knew I would have to incorporate teaching in my life.  I enjoyed guiding them and watching them make connections, and challenging them to think about things in new ways.  It was rewarding to witness the innovation and their excitement for taking on their learning environment every single day.  It helped me to understand how people learn and how people connect and how people learn new things by bridging their schema to their new learning.