My teaching and research projects include student-centered course design, investigating methods to increase science literacy, and developing validated and reliable tools to assess student learning. Course design often includes providing context and increasing the accessibility of microbiology concepts to both majors and non-majors. We often use high-impact pedagogy to increase student engagement (e.g. internships and game-based design). A related project includes developing the tools needed to clearly assess student learning outcomes. Concept inventories are sets of validated multiple-choice questions that can be used by faculty nationwide to determine student understanding of common learning objectives. The third focus of research and curriculum development is science literacy and science communication. The ability to communicate scientific findings to many different audiences (public to peers) is crucial both to student professional success and the ability of the voting populace to make informed decisions regarding science-heavy topics, such as vaccinations, GMO food labeling and the response to COVID-19.
Area of Expertise:
Biology Education Research
Assessment of Student Learning
Accessible Curriculum Design
Ph.D, Iowa State University, 1997 (Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology)
M.S., University of Wisconsin, 1993 (Medical Microbiology & Immunology)
B.A, Wartburg College, 1991 (Biology & Chemistry)