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Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Roger Sloboda, the Ira Allen Eastman Professor of Biological Sciences, and F. Jon Kull, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, have been named Education Fellows in the Life Sciences by the National Academies. The two Dartmouth professors were part of a 42-person group, representing 19 colleges and universities, who were selected to attend a 2005 summer institute aimed at enhancing undergraduate biology education.
"We were chosen to attend the institute in part based on our proposal to combine the teaching of two courses from each of our departments. We blended introduction to cell biology with introduction to chemistry to make one interdisciplinary course," said Sloboda.
Added Kull, "Participating in the summer institute was a way to energize our teaching and collaborate with colleagues from across the country. We are all facing some of the same challenges, so it was good to get together and develop some practical teaching tools and learn new methods for interactive teaching."
The idea for the institute came from a 2003 report issued by the National Academies' National Research Council titled Bio2010: Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists. The report stated that undergraduate biology education was not keeping up with advances in biomedical research, and that students who choose to work in that field need a good understanding of other scientific disciplines, such as computer science and chemistry. The report called for faculty development opportunities to improve interdisciplinary knowledge and teaching capabilities, which the summer institute addresses.
"It is wonderful to see Roger and Jon recognized for their commitment to undergraduate teaching and learning," says Carol Folt, Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Biological Sciences at Dartmouth. "They are spearheading a curricular initiative that melds chemistry and biology in an innovative interdisciplinary introductory sequence. Dartmouth faculty see the value of addressing scientific questions through a multidisciplinary framework from their own experience as scientists. This award underscores the wonderful synergy here that comes from having a faculty of scholars who are also innovators in undergraduate education."
The National Academies is made up of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the Institute of Medicine (IOM), and the National Research Council (NRC). According to their website, the National Academies brings together experts in all areas of scientific and technological endeavor to address critical national issues and give advice to the federal government and the public. For more information, see: [www.nationalacademies.org]
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