Tuesday, 31 January 2017 11:29

ASMCUE Travel Award Winners Share Tips for Faculty

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Published in Teaching Microbiology
Written by Bethany Adamec
Planning is underway for the 2017 ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators (ASMCUE), and applications are now being accepted for the ASMCUE Textbook Travel Award. We recently checked in with past award winners, who shared their current teaching and research activities as well as tips for fellow faculty.

DeChenne Peters

Name: Sue Ellen DeChenne-Peters, Ph.D.

Current Role: Assistant Professor, University of Northern Colorado School of Biological Sciences

Teaching and Research Activities: I teach undergraduate microbiology courses for majors and nursing students using a flipped-course format, scientific writing, as well as graduate coursework in biology pedagogy at a doctoral research university. I conduct research on comparisons of active learning teaching strategies in introductory biology, development of science process skills in undergraduate students and impacts of course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs). We recently received a grant to compare the effects of an introductory biology CURE at a research-intensive Hispanic-serving institution, small women’s minority-serving institution, and a selective liberal arts institution.

Tip for Other Faculty: Join the SABER (Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research) listserv, where people post about education research, teaching and biology.


LeeName: Alice Lee, Ph.D.

Current Role: Teaching Assistant Professor, North Carolina State University

Teaching and Research Activities: I work at a public research university where I teach microbiology courses and run undergraduate research projects studying the impact of lactic acid bacteria on oral pathogens and biofilm formation. In addition, I conduct education research on large course redesigns and how the learning environment affects student learning. In the future, we hope to evaluate how incorporation of discovery-based labs helps student engagement in introductory microbiology labs.

Tip for Other Faculty: Make an effort to collaborate with colleagues on a variety of projects; this makes your teaching and research experience deeper and richer.


RhollName: Drew Rholl, Ph.D.

Current Role: Assistant Professor of Biology at North Park University

Teaching and Research Activities: I primarily teach Microbiology to nursing and premed students at a small, private undergraduate teaching institution. I also lead a small research group on tick-borne pathogens and environmental bacteria antibiosis, and I teach Marine and Aquatic Biology, Immunology, Medical Microbiology, and Ethics in Biology. The Ethics course is one of my favorites because we get to spend the entire semester focusing not simply on “How does _______ happen?”, but rather “If scientists can do _______, how/when should we use this ability?” Students become more empathetic members of society.

Tip for Other Faculty: Acknowledge to students that you don’t know everything, that you can make mistakes. Then encourage your students to embrace the confusion and questions that precede clarity.


SustacekName: Maire Sustacek, Ph.D.

Current Role: Biology Faculty, Minneapolis Community and Technical College

Teaching and Research Activities: I teach introductory microbiology and general biology to pre-nursing and science majors, as well as serving as the Coordinator for the Science Division. Research interests include genome stability and DNA repair in stationary-phase yeast and bacteria.

Tip for Other Faculty: Get in touch with library staff at your institution; they can provide great research and citation resources for your students.


 Applications for the 2017 ASMCUE Textbook Travel Award will be accepted through April 17, 2017. The award helps faculty defray costs of attending ASMCUE 2017 in Denver, CO. At ASMCUE, attendees will participate in plenary, concurrent, poster, discussion, and exhibit sessions to improve teaching and learning in the biological sciences.


Bethany Adamec is a Science Education Specialist at ASM, where she communicates about ASM’s work in student and faculty professional development, supports the ASM Education Board, and works with colleagues to promote evidence-based education reform.


Last modified on Tuesday, 31 January 2017 13:29

Amy L. Chang is the Education Director at ASM. She is using this space to communicate practical advice to develop courses, enhance one’s teaching, and motivate and retain students in the microbial sciences. She has 35 years of expertise in mentoring and advising students, fellows, advisers and faculty in the microbial sciences.