September 2010

Meeting Theme: Education and Professional Development

The Classroom

On Sunday afternoon, the emphasis will shift to the classroom, where new faculty members are asked to sink-or-swim with little formal training. In a session titled “Classroom of the Future: Classroom Management Skills,” speakers will offer a series of primers on managing the classroom environment. Valeri Farmer-Dougan (Illinois State University) will speak on “Strategies for Engaging Students in Large Classroom Settings.” Rebecca Foushee (Fontbonne University) will discuss how to distinguish problem students from students encountering problems in a talk titled “Identifying Academically Struggling Students.” And, finally, Gabriele Bauer (University of Delaware) will provide an overview on contemporary techniques for “Dealing with Disruptive Behavior” in the classroom.

The Research Laboratory

On Monday, April 11, the morning’s session will shift the instructional venue to the research laboratory, in the “Classroom of the Future II: Mentoring Students in the Research Laboratory” session. David O’Connor (University of Wisconsin-Madison) will speak about the benefits of setting clear ground rules for new trainees in “The Importance of Defining Expectations.” F. Ann Droughan (University of Tennessee) will then discuss the challenges encountered mentoring students of diverse origins and culture in “Communicating Across the Cultural Spectrum.” And lastly, Sharon Milgram (National Institute of Health) will give a talk entitled “Techniques for Building Student Confidence,” which will focus on approaches to developing competence-based confidence in students.


Monday afternoon’s session will focus on “The Art of Collaboration.” In a team-oriented research environment, unexpected outcomes and difficulties can lead to misunderstanding, tension and conflict between collaborators. Carla Mattos (North Carolina State University) will discuss “Collaboration within the Laboratory Group.” Next, Peter J. Roach (Indiana University School of Medicine) will survey common practices and pitfalls in “External Collaboration: Some Basic Rules of the Road.” And Karen Allen (Boston University) will discuss seeking out partners in “Identifying and Negotiating with Potential Collaborators.”

To conclude, Jennifer Loertscher (Seattle University) and Vicky Minderhout (Seattle University) will present a workshop on Process-oriented Guided Inquiry Learning.

Although we can’t eliminate the frustrations inherent in our challenging profession, we hope these presentations will help you enjoy a greater share of its rewards.

Carla Mattos ( is an associate professor of biochemistry at North Carolina State University. Peter J. Kennelly ( is a professor and head of the department of biochemistry at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.


Theme: Education and Professional Development

Session: Fostering Interactions between College/University Scientists and High School Students & Teachers
Wiki Wizardry: Using Information Technology for Outreach, Erin Dolan, Virginia Tech
Preparing for Graduate School: a Workshop for Undergraduates, Chairwoman: Carla Mattos, North Carolina State University

Session: It’s Not Your Fault: Dealing with Frustration at the Bench
Overcoming the Perception of Failure: Helping Students Develop a Constructive Approach, Ann Stock, UNDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine
An Ounce of Prevention: Failure-resistant Experimental Design, Peter J. Kennelly, Virginia Tech
Manuscripts and Grant Applications: Reading and Responding to Critiques, Phillip Pekala, East Carolina University

Session: Classroom of the Future I: Classroom-management Skills
Strategies for Engaging Students in Large Classroom Settings, Valeri Farmer-Dougan, Illinois State University
Identifying and Assisting Academically Struggling Students: What to Do and When to Do It, Rebecca Foushee, Fontbonne University
Dealing with Disruptive Behavior, Gabriele Bauer, University of Delaware

Session: Classroom of the Future II: Mentoring Students in the Research Laboratory 
The Importance of Defining Expectations, David O’Connor, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Communicating Across the Cultural Spectrum, F. Ann Draughon, University of Tennessee
Techniques for Building Student Confidence, Sharon L. Milgram, NIH

Session: The Art of Collaboration
Collaboration within the Laboratory Group, Carla Mattos, North Carolina State University
External Collaboration: Some Basic Rules of the Road, Peter J. Roach, Indiana University School of Medicine
Identifying and Negotiating with Potential Collaborators, Karen Allen, Boston University

Session: Using Active Learning in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Classroom —
A Workshop for Instructors
Chairs: Jennifer Loertscher (Seattle University) and Vicky Minderhout (Seattle University)

Session: Promoting Concept-driven Teaching Strategies in BMB through Concept Assessments
What Are Concept Assessments and How Might They Be Used?, Cheryl Bailey, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Foundational Concepts for the Molecular Life Sciences, Michael M. Cox, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Creating Networks to Enhance Teaching Pedagogy, J. Ellis Bell, University of Richmond
Teaching and Learning Concepts, Richard S. Moog, Franklin & Marshall College


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This meeting will be very fruitful.



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