Tuesday, 23 May 2017 11:25

ASM Microbe 2017 for Microbiology Educators: What Not to Miss

Written by 
Published in Teaching Microbiology

Written by Merrilee Anderson, Ph.D.

Headed to New Orleans for ASM Microbe 2017? The online program is now available, and as a microbiology educator there are a few sessions that have me excited for the meeting to get under way. First, the Keynote Speaker, Dr. Kate Rubins, is a molecular biologist and NASA astronaut who, with colleagues from the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, developed the first model of smallpox infection. She has studied poxviruses and host-pathogen interactions, and I look forward to her address Science in Extreme Environments: Building Extraterrestrial and Earth Based Research Capabilities.

I registered for the Profession of Microbiology (POM) track, which includes 12 subtracks. The subtracks range from enhancing laboratory and research experiences (POM05), public outreach and informal science education (POM10), to science communication and social media (POM12).  Registering for a particular track does not mean you can’t attend sessions on other tracks.

Some examples of sessions that caught my eye are the Thursday June 1 workshop Science Outreach for the Microbiologist: Tips and Tools for Incorporating Outreach into your Career (12:30-4 PM) and the Friday June 2 Film Sneak Peek I Contain Multitudes (5:45-6:30 PM). I’m hoping to learn about student learning assessment at several symposia such as Assessing National Trends (Friday at 4:30 PM) and Award Winning Teaching, Mentoring, and Advocacy (Saturday at 2:30 PM). I’m also excited to get inspired by Career Talks given by scientists in education, research, and industry such as Jennifer Dien Bard (Friday at 1:30 PM) and Holly Ganz (Saturday at 1:45 PM). 

The meeting will also feature “Lounge and Learn” spaces in the lobby of the convention center to watch live broadcasts of selected sessions, network with peers, or rehearse your presentation one more time. Last year I attended the ASM Microbe meeting in Boston, and throughout the year I found myself returning to that experience in my role as a teacher and administrator, trying out new educational strategies and thinking critically about shaping future scientists. This year I’m taking some time to better prepare myself for the sessions I’d like to attend and fellow members I’d like to connect with so I can maximize my Microbe 2017 experience. I look forward to seeing you in NOLA!


Dr. Merrilee Anderson has served in a variety of teaching and administrative roles since she began working at Mount Aloysius College in 2000.  She enjoys searching for diatoms, teaching undergraduates, and learning from her colleagues in the Allegheny Branch of ASM.

Last modified on Tuesday, 23 May 2017 12:16

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.