Dr. Cruze earned her B.S. at University of Tennessee and her Ph.D. at the University of Florida. Prior to attending graduate school, Cruze worked as a research technician in the Phillips’ lab at the University of Oregon, where she studied thermal preference, reproduction, and sperm competition in the soil nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans. At the University of Florida, she investigated the evolution of steroid hormone synthesis and signaling in the extra-embryonic membranes of egg-laying amniotes (birds, crocodilians, and turtles). Before joining the Wofford’s faculty in 2015 as a visiting assistant professor, she worked at the Medical University of South Carolina as a postdoctoral fellow and research assistant professor studying the effects of prenatal exposure to endocrine-disrupting contaminants on development in baby boys and girls.Cruze is fascinated by how environmental factors, such as temperature and environmental contaminants, affect reproductive physiology and embryonic development. She collaborates with colleagues at the Medical University of South Carolina on human exposure to phthalates and bisphenol A. For the summer of 2016 Dr. Cruze was awarded a grant from the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities to supervise a student research project with C. elegans on the Wofford Campus.
Cruze enjoys live-music, backpacking, gardening, and spending time with her chocolate lab, Jed.She teaches both first year courses (Bio 150 and 151) with passion and her students rave about her effectiveness in course evaluations. This is one reason her position has been converted to the tenure track. She will offer upper division courses in her specialties of Physiology (342) and eagerly anticipates creating a Developmental Biology course for Wofford students.