TEaching @ UMD

BISI 701: Teaching & Professional Development in biology (PHD)

Provides graduate students in the biological sciences with the foundational knowledge to become better teaching assistants and gives them an introduction into the skills and tools they should develop as professional scientists and educators.

Teaching Experience @ GBC


BIO 110: Introduction to Biology: Cells, Genes & Molecules

Introduction to cell biology, bioenergetics, gene expression, and patterns of inheritance with a focus on important topical issues. Laboratory emphasizes the experimental nature of biological investigation. Students not majoring in biology but who are interested in the health professions may, with a grade of C- or better in Biology 110, enroll in Biology 112. Three class hours and laboratory. Students may not receive credit for both BIO 101 and BIO 110

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BIO 212: Cell Biology (Lecture & Lab)

Structure and function of eukaryotic cells. Topics include protein structure, enzyme function, membrane structure and transport, protein sorting, energy transduction by mitochondria and chloroplasts, chromosome structure, cell division and cell-cycle control, cell communication, cell motility, and cell biology of cancer. Three class hours and laboratory. Prerequisite: Bio 112 and Chem 108 with a grade of C- or better in both courses.

BIO 230: Microbiology (Lecture & Lab)

This course focuses on the biology of microbes and follows curriculum guidelines suggested by the American Society for Microbiology. Biology of viruses and bacteria, with emphasis on morphology, metabolism, taxonomy, reproduction, and ecology. Laboratory includes isolation, culture, environmental influences, identification, and biochemical characterization of bacteria and their viruses. Three class hours and laboratory.

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BIO 290: Independent Research

Quarter credit mentored research internship. Graded S/U

Previous Students: Nene Sy, Amanda Finck, Elli Vickers, Julia Ruff

BIO 333: Molecular Basis of Biofilm Development

Biofilms are communities of microbes that adhere to each other and to surfaces. This course focuses on the molecular mechanisms of biofilms in disease, the natural environment, and the built environment. You will develop an understanding of the strategies biofilm residents employ to form, persist, and disperse. Advanced concepts of molecular and cell biology will be integrated with basic bioinformatics. You will use web-based & commercial applications to examine the structure and function of proteins using computation analysis, statistics, and pattern recognition. Prerequisite: BIO 211 or BIO 212

BIO 460: Individualized Study - Research

Independent investigation of a topic of special interest, normally including both literature and laboratory research. Directed by a faculty member. Results of investigation are presented to the department. Open to juniors and seniors. Capstone course Prerequisite: Approval of both the directing faculty member and department.

Previous Student Projects:

  • Nene Sy, Spring 2017 - Isolation and characterization of plasmids from environmental isolates, Microbacterium sp. and Chryseobacterium sp.

FYS 130: The Fault In Our Genomes (FYS 130)

This seminar-style course introduces first year students (majors and non-majors) to the power of genomics and biotechnology. The course is split into four sections: Introduction to Personal Genetics & Genomics, Genetic Testing, Genetics & Disease, and Emerging Issues in Genetic Testing. Topics discuss include but are not limited to the American eugenics movement, complexities of personal genomics, and perceptions about genetic counseling and testing. Students ask a research question related to genetic technology, design a survey, collect data, and present their findings in a final research paper. The writing and revision process includes workshops on finding primary literature (Janelle Wertzberger - Library), survey design training (Professor Sahana Mukherjee), and IRB certification.

HHMI Peer Science Mentor Program Director (2015-2016)

The Peer Science Mentor program at Gettysburg College is an ongoing seminar intended to develop the teaching, assessment, and mentoring skills of upper-level students in the sciences while simultaneously fostering engagement, persistence, and achievement among their peers enrolled in introductory science courses. Adapted from the work of Ambrose, Bridges, DiPietro, Lovett, and Norman (2010) How Learning Works: 7 Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching, this program is also intended to build bridges between peer science mentors and faculty members as well as foster communication among students from different science disciplines. In this way, the Peer Science Mentor program supports the goal of building a research connected science community at Gettysburg College by offering targeted mentoring to introductory and advanced science students and facilitating participation in a larger learning community. 


Teaching Interests

Course Content:

  • Cellular & Molecular Biology

  • Prokaryotic Genetics

  • History of Genetic Technology

  • Science & Society: Genomic Technology and Public Perception

  • Microbiology

  • Introductory Biology

  • Citizen Science/Science Commmunication

Science of Teaching:

  • Active Learning

  • Assessment of Teaching/Learning Tools

  • Adding Cultural Context to Introductory Biology

  • Interdisciplinary Course Content

  • Curriculum Design