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09-14-2011

Clarkson University Faculty Named National Academies Education Fellows in Life Sciences

Clarkson University biology professors James Schulte and Cintia Hongay have been named Education Fellows in the Life Sciences by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, National Research Council and Institute of Medicine.

Schulte and Hongay attended the week-long Summer Institute on Undergraduate Education in Biology at Yale University sponsored by the National Academies, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Center for Scientific Teaching at Yale.

All participants attended seminars on active learning, assessment, and diversity, as well as working in small groups to develop teachable units in the style of scientific teaching.

The goal of scientific teaching is to transform education at universities nationwide by improving classroom teaching and attracting a diverse community of students to science.

The method moves away from the “professor speaks - student listens” mode of teaching to one that utilizes a variety of active learning techniques, engaging students to be actively involved in the classroom by educating themselves and their peers

Along with active learning methods, scientific teaching stresses the importance of frequent assessment to gauge student comprehension and retention, as well as incorporation of diversity into the classroom.

Over the next several months, Schulte and Hongay will be conducting several information sessions, regular meetings, and workshops on the scientific teaching methods, as well as providing training on mentoring in research for undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. Their goal is to make research at the University more efficient and productive from all these diverse perspectives.

Schulte has been a faculty member in the Department of Biology at Clarkson since 2005. He received his B.S. in biology (zoology) from Southeast Missouri State University and his Ph.D. in evolutionary and population biology from Washington University in St. Louis. After his Ph.D., he was a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in the Division of Amphibians and Reptiles and is presently a research collaborator with the museum.

Hongay is one of the newest faculty members at Clarkson, starting this fall. She received her B.S. in biology from Suffolk University and her Ph.D. in genetics from Harvard University. Subsequent to her Ph.D., she was an NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow in genetics at the Whitehead Institute at MIT as well as an NIH K99 Postdoctoral Fellow in cell/developmental biology at MIT.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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