Date: Feb. 21, 2006
Contacts: Bill Kearney, Director of Media Relations
Chris Dobbins, Media Relations Assistant
Office of News and Public Information
202-334-2138; e-mail <news@nas.edu>

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

National Academies Name Biology Teaching Fellows and Mentors

WASHINGTON -- The National Academies have bestowed the title of Education Fellow in the Life Sciences to 42 educators around the country who successfully completed a summer institute aimed at fostering innovative approaches to teaching undergraduate biology.

The fellows are members of teams from 19 research-intensive colleges and universities who were selected to attend the summer institute based on the teams' ideas for enhancing undergraduate biology education and a commitment by their universities to support teaching innovations. Teams also were chosen based on their willingness to collaborate on the development of "teachable units" -- curriculum packages encompassing up to a week of classes and laboratory activities on a specific topic -- and their pledge to implement at least one of the units in the courses they teach this year. Admission to the summer institute was highly competitive.

The institute grew out of a recommendation in a 2003 report issued by the National Academies' National Research Council titled Bio2010: Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists, which called for changes in the way college students are taught biology. The report noted that undergraduate biology education was failing to keep pace with revolutionary advances in biomedical research that require those working in the field to have a good understanding of other scientific disciplines -- such as math and computer sciences -- and urged instructors to integrate other subjects into their biology classes. Bio2010 also called for faculty development opportunities to improve the interdisciplinary knowledge and teaching capabilities of biology professors.

The 2005 summer institute focused on how to improve large introductory biology courses. Besides developing the teachable units, participants at the institute discussed how to encourage colleagues and graduate teaching assistants to adopt new teaching practices, how to engage nonbiology majors and increase student participation in large lectures, and how to properly assess student learning. Participants will become part of a growing network of summer institute alumni, and some will be recruited as mentors for future institutes.

In addition to the fellows, the Academies also named 20 Education Mentors in the Life Sciences. The recipients of this title were speakers, facilitators, or organizers at the institute, and will continue to serve as mentors to participants for at least the next academic year.

The 2005 National Academies Summer Institute on Undergraduate Education in Biology was held at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Major funding for the institute was provided by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, along with support from the host university and the National Academies. Information about applying for next summer's institute is available at <http://www.AcademiesSummerInstitute.org>. A roster of the fellows and mentors follows.

National Academies Summer Institute on Undergraduate Education in Biology
2005 Participant Teams

City College of the City University of New York
Sally Hoskins, Professor of Biology
Ross H. Nehm, Assistant Professor, School of Education and Department of Biology

Cornell University
Kuei-chiu Chen, Director of Introductory Biology Laboratory
Thomas G. Owens, Associate Professor of Plant Biology

Dartmouth College
F. Jon Kull, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Roger D. Sloboda, Ira Allen Eastman Professor of Biological Sciences

George Washington University
Robert P. Donaldson, R.L. Weintraub Chair and Professor of Biological Sciences
Jane E. Ferguson, Laboratory Coordinator for Introductory Biology

Georgia State University
Laura Carruth, Assistant Professor of Biology
Therese Poole, Lecturer and Undergraduate Director, Department of Biology

Iowa State University
Diane Bassham, Assistant Professor of Genetics, Development and Cell Biology
Jim Colbert, Associate Professor of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology
Warren D. Dolphin, University Professor; Coordinator, Undergraduate Interdepartmental Biology
Louisiana State University
Christopher Gregg, Instructor of Biological Sciences
Joseph F. Siebenaller, Professor of Biological Sciences

Mississippi State University
Mary Celeste Reese, Instructor of Biological Sciences
Giselle Thibaudeau, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
Emily Gay Williamson, Instructor of Biological Sciences

New York University
Kristin Gunsalus, Research Assistant Professor of Biology
David A. Scicchitano, Associate Professor of Biology
Mark L. Siegal, Assistant Professor of Biology

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Diana Martin, Director, General Biology Program, Division of Life Sciences
Gregg Transue, Director, Biology Gateway Program, Division of Life Sciences; Associate Director, Math & Science Learning Center

University of Alabama
Kim A. Caldwell, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
Juan Lopez-Bautista, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

University of Arizona
Kathleen Dixon, Professor and Head, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Lisa K. Elfring, Senior Lecturer on Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics; Biology Educator
Joceline Lega, Associate Professor of Mathematics

University of California, Davis
Kenneth G. Burtis, Professor of Genetics; Associate Dean of Biological Sciences; Interim Dean, College of Biological Sciences
Susan L. Keen, Lecturer on Evolution and Ecology; Academic Coordinator II

University of California, Los Angeles
Debra B. Pires, Academic Coordinator, Life Sciences Core Curriculum
Robert Simons, Chairman, Life Sciences Core Curriculum; Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

University of Hawaii at Manoa
Steven Robinow, Associate Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Zoology
Athula Wikramanayake, Associate Professor of Zoology

University of Kansas
Mark E. Mort, Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Assistant Curator, National History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center
James A. Orr, Professor and Chair, Department of Molecular Biosciences

University of Michigan
Josepha P. Kurdziel, Lecturer III and Assistant Research Scientist, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Laura J. Olsen, Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Research and Facilities, Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

University of Wisconsin–Madison
Brian Manske, Assistant Faculty Associate, Department of Zoology

University of Wyoming
Patricia J.S. Colberg, Associate Professor of Zoology and Physiology
Brent E. Ewers, Assistant Professor of Botany
Mark E. Lyford, Director, Biology Program

National Academies Education Mentors in the Life Sciences 2005-2006

Facilitators, instructors, and organizers are named as Mentors to recognize their role in mentoring Institute participants as well as their history of involvement in improving undergraduate education. American Society for Microbiology
Amy Chang, Director, Education Department

Case Western Reserve University
Nancy DiIulio, Instructor of Biology; 2004 Summer Institute participant

Clark Atlanta University
Ishrat Khan, Associate Professor of Chemistry

Louisiana State University
Michelle Withers, Instructor of Biological Sciences; 2004 Summer Institute participant

Michigan State University
Diane Ebert-May, Professor of Plant Biology

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Michael Hanna, Associate Professor of Biology; 2004 Summer Institute participant

Research Corporation
James M. Gentile, President

Texas Tech University
Lauren Gollahon, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences; 2004 Summer Institute participant

University of California, Berkeley
Robert J. Full, Professor of Integrative Biology; Chancellor's Professor

University of Colorado–Boulder
Jennifer K. Knight, Instructor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology; 2004 Summer Institute participant
William B. Wood (NAS), Distinguished Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology

University of Massachusetts–Amherst
Randy Phillis, Associate Professor of Biology

University of Michigan
Daniel J. Klionsky, Abram Sager Collegiate Professor of Life Sciences; Professor, Department of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology and Department of Biological Chemistry; Research Professor, Life Sciences Institute; NSF Distinguished Teaching Scholar

University of Minnesota
Robin Wright, Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs, College of Biological Sciences; Professor of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development

University of Washington
Clarissa Dirks, Lecturer in Biology; Coordinator, UW/HHMI Programs in Science; 2004 Summer Institute participant

University of Wisconsin–Madison
Jo Handelsman, Professor of Plant Biology; HHMI Professor; Director, Wisconsin Program for Scientific Teaching
Sarah Miller Lauffer, Co-Director, Wisconsin Program for Scientific Teaching
Christine Pfund, Co-Director, Wisconsin Program for Scientific Teaching; Associate Director, DELTA: Integrating Research, Teaching, and Learning
Millard Susman, Professor Emeritus of Genetics; Vice President of Sciences, Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters
Lillian Tong, Undergraduate Education Coordinator and Director of Faculty/Staff Programs, Center for Biology Education

[ This news release is available at http://national-academies.org ]