The Committee on Undergraduate Education focuses on advancing excellence and scholarship in undergraduate biology education. Its activities include sponsoring the ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators (ASMCUE), Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education (JMBE), ASM Undergraduate Research Fellowship (ASM-URF), Biology Scholars Program, and Faculty Development Programs. Susan M. Merkel, Ph.D., of Cornell University (Ithaca, New York) chairs the committee.


The mission of the Committee on Undergraduate Education is to:

  • Provide leadership in undergraduate education,
  • Provide student and faculty professional development opportunities,
  • Develop and disseminate resources for undergraduate microbiology education, and
  • Encourage communities and partnerships in microbiology education.


Goal 1.  Promote the importance of microbiology as a discipline through undergraduate education.

  • Foster the preservation of microbiology as an integral part of undergraduate education.
  • Continue to develop and disseminate curricula for undergraduate microbiology education.
  • Provide forums for curriculum development and assessment.

Goal 2.  Promote recognition of the scholarship of undergraduate teaching and learning.

  • Sustain the ASM Scholars-in-Residence program.
  • Sustain, expand and promote the peer-reviewed journal, Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education (JMBE) and Focus on Microbiology Education (FOME) newsmagazine.
  • Elevate the importance of teaching among faculty and decision makers at all institutions, especially research-intensive institutions

Goal 3.  Improve the teaching and learning of microbiology for all undergraduate students.

  • Explore effective laboratory experiences across the microbiology education curricula.
  • Encourage and support the integration of research in undergraduate education within and beyond coursework.
  • Encourage and support more students to pursue K-12 teaching.

Goal 4. Promote programs that attract and retain undergraduate students in microbiology.

  • Provide programs in career preparation and advancement in microbiology.
  • Provide teaching and research fellowship programs within and beyond coursework.
  • Recognize student achievement in research and teaching through awards and certificates.

Goal 5.  Provide and promote professional development for undergraduate educators.

  • Obj. 5.1. Facilitate career transitions and professional development.
  • Collaborate with ASM committees, branches, and divisions to provide professional development opportunities.
  • Collaborate with national and international organizations to provide professional development opportunities.

Goal 6. Collaborate with other ASM committees to increase participation in undergraduate education.

  • Collaborate with ASM committees, branches, and divisions to provide professional development opportunities.
  • Collaborate with national and international organizations to provide professional development opportunities.

Goal 7.  Continue to increase participation of individuals from underrepresented groups in undergraduate microbiology education.

  • Recruit and support students and faculty from underrepresented groups into the field of microbiology.
  • Encourage participation of minority representatives in Committee activities.
  • Consider minority perspectives and cultural differences during the development of curricula, programs, and activities. 

Goal 8.  Sustain effective communication about Committee activities.

  • Sustain communications with ASM members, Divisions, Branches, and other entities.
  • Sustain communications with other professional scientific societies, educators, and students. 

Goal 9.  Increase volunteer involvement, staff support, and financial resources to sustain Committee programs.

  • Recruit, train, reward, and retain volunteers.
  • Obtain additional funding to expand Committee programs.
  • Encourage more ASM members to become involved in undergraduate education.

Goal 10. Assess the effectiveness and impact of Committee programs.

  • Use assessment results to improve programs and obtain funding.

Susan M. Merkel - CHAIR
Department of Microbiology
Cornell University
111 Wing Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-5701
T: 607-254-2767
F: 607-255-3904

Laurie F. Caslake
213 Kunkel Hall
Lafayette College
Easton, PA 18042
T: 610-330-5462

Brad Goodner
Department of Biology
Hiram College
Hiram, OH 44234
T: 330-569-5260
F: 330-569-5448

Todd P. Primm
Department of Biological Sciences
Sam Houston State University
1900 Ave I, Lee Drain Bldg (LDB) Suite 300
PO Box 2116
Huntsville, TX 77341
T: 936-294-1538
F: 936-294-3940
Loretta Brancaccio-Taras
Department of Biological Sciences
Kingsborough Community College
2001 Oriental Boulevard
Brooklyn, NY 11235-2398
T: 718-368-5502



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