I am an associate professor of Physics and Astronomy at George Mason University and Director of Education for the Quantum Materials Center. My astrophysics research is focused on understanding the evolution of galaxies over cosmic time primarily by studying the baryonic content of galaxies and the intergalactic medium. Astronomers are not the only ones fascinated by how the universe works, making astronomy a great way to draw in students and educate the public about science. My work in STEM education research spans undergraduate education, graduate education, and faculty development. I am interested in how we expand the use of research-based teaching practices as a mechanism to improve student learning in the undergraduate classroom. This is the focus of a current project that I am leading in physics which involves introductory physics teaching, but also graduate student and faculty development. With the Quantum Materials Center I am exploring how we can prepare students coming from a broad range of STEM backgrounds for the quantum information science workforce.