Each Research Action Cluster (RAC) has leaders responsible for the activities of the RAC, including coordinating communication, representing the RAC at meetings and reporting back to the Research Hub and Steering Committee.
University of Kansas
Dan Bernstein is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Kansas. He was at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln from 1973 until 2002, when he became Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at KU. His recent writing has focused on electronic course portfolios centered on student learning, and he works with colleagues from many fields of study to showcase the quality of their student work and the practices that have helped that work emerge. Recent grants from the Teagle and Spencer Foundations have enhanced writing and library skills through team-designed assignments and the use of assessment data in course and curriculum change. Currently he explores and evaluates various uses of technology to promote student understanding, and his ongoing courses are a laboratory for evaluating the impact of out of class web-based activities on deep understanding of conceptual material. A new grant from the Teagle Foundation is developing use of active and student centered learning in humanities, both in and out of class time. He was a Charter Member of the University of Nebraska Academy of Distinguished Teachers, and he was a Carnegie Scholar in 1998. Recently he received the J. Michael Young Academic Advising Award at KU and the Fred S. Keller Behavioral Education Award from Div. 25 of the American Psychological Association. He has completed his service at the KU CTE and continues as a psychology professor.
University of Kansas
Andrea Follmer Greenhoot (Dea) is Professor of Psychology, Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence and Gautt Teaching Scholar at the University of Kansas. Her research in psychology examines the development of memory. Much of this work looks at how children, adolescents, and adults come to remember both good and bad experiences, with a focus on the intersections between memory and emotional processes and social processes. In addition to her memory research, she studies the applications of cognitive and developmental science to questions about teaching and learning in higher education. Supported by grants from the Spencer and Teagle Foundations, as well as the National Science Foundation, her work has examined strategies for enhancing learning and skill development in large courses, for assessing learning, and for using the evidence to improve education. She also led the development, evaluation, and scaling-up of KU’s first year seminar program.
She currently co-leads BVA’s RAC1, which looks at collaborative course transformation and community building as mechanisms for advancing teaching and improving student learning. She is principle investigator on the new NSF-funded TRESTLE project (Transforming Education, Stimulating Teaching and Learning Excellence) to implement and study a model of improving undergraduate STEM Education at a network of seven research universities. The RAC1 TRESTLE project is one of several collaborations among university partners in the Bay View Alliance.
Brian Frank is an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the Dupont Canada Chair in Engineering Education Research and Development, and the Director of Program Development in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science where he works on engineering curriculum development, program assessment, and developing educational technology. His teaching interest is project based courses, and he currently coordinates APSC-100, a required course that includes a semester-long team client-based design project, primarily service learning projects. He was also co-chair of the Physical Sciences panel of the HEQCO Sector-based Tuning project, developing proposals for learning outcomes in physical sciences, social sciences, and life and health sciences in Ontario. He is a co-founder of the Canadian Engineering Education Association, and is currently coordinating the Engineering Graduate Attribute Development Project, working to develop national guidelines and resources for outcomes assessment in engineering education. Currently he is co-principal investigator of Queen’s University’s project on the HEQCO Learning Outcomes Consortium.
Jill Scott is Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning) and Professor in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Queen’s University. She is the author of Electra after Freud (Cornell University Press, 2005), A Poetics of Forgiveness (Palgrave, 2010) and a co-edited volume (with Leo Riegert and Jack Shuler), Thinking and Practicing Reconciliation: Teaching and Learning Through Literary Responses to Conflict (Cambridge Scholars Press). She is the Principal Investigator for the HEQCO Learning Outcomes Assessment study at Queen’s, and her current research projects include: “MicroWriting: Twitter Teaching for Clear, Concise and Convincing Communication” and “Kaswentha: Haudenosaunee Peacebuilding Practices and the Future of Indigenous-Settler Relations in Canada.” She is leading Queen’s portion of a Productivity and Innovation Fund project on Student Rating of Instruction, and together with Brian Frank , she is developing a Bay View Alliance Research Action Cluster on the development of transferable intellectual skills.
Marco Molinaro, Ph.D., is the Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Director of the iAMSTEM Education Hub at UCD. Dr. Molinaro has been a project director of numerous nationally funded STEM educational and training programs for grades 6-16 and has developed and taught multiple undergraduate courses. He has over 19 years of educational experience creating and leading applications of technology for instruction, scientific visualization and simulation, curriculum, and science exhibits for students from elementary school through graduate school and for the general public. The educational technology products he has developed are still in use many years later as part of nationwide curricular projects such as FOSS (upper elementary and middle school science), Chemlinks (undergraduate chemistry instruction) and Nanozone.org (public exhibit on nanotechnology). Most recently Molinaro is leading a UC Davis university wide STEM education effort working across all STEM disciplines to improve undergraduate STEM student success – the iAMSTEM Hub. As part of the effort, the Hub is bringing together the campus educational STEM community and relevant resources, working with faculty across STEM departments to evolve the undergraduate STEM curriculum, and developing new academic analytics tools and approaches to help guide instructional change and maximize student success. His projects have been funded though the NSF, NIH and various private foundations such as Gates and Helmsley.
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Jennifer Normanly has served as the Head of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst since 2011 and has been involved in STEM education for 22 years.
Her research is in plant metabolic engineering and has included over 34 undergraduates. She was the lead PI on an NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates site focusing on plant biology and has been the lead instructor for the Techniques in Plant Biology summer course at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories. Having participated in an NSF-funded STEM undergraduate curriculum reform project early in her teaching career, she has taught broadly in the undergraduate curriculum, revamping numerous courses to foster student-active learning and has been an early adopter of instructional technology in the classroom. As a department head she has facilitated the efforts of junior faculty to incorporate evidence-based teaching practices into their teaching portfolios.
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Gabriela C. Weaver is Vice Provost for Faculty Development, Director of the Center for Teaching and Faculty Development and professor of chemistry at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Dr. Weaver received her B.S. in Chemistry in 1989 from the California Institute of Technology, and her Ph.D. in Chemical Physics in 1994 from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Dr. Weaver joined the Chemistry faculty at the University of Colorado at Denver in 1994 and joined the Chemistry faculty at Purdue University in 2001, where she served as Associate Head of the department from 2008-2009 and as the Jerry and Rosie Semler Director of the Discovery Learning Research Center from 2008-2014. Dr. Weaver’s research work in science education has focused on using inquiry-based methods for teaching science and on supplementing innovative instruction with technology tools. She has also engaged in work on faculty development and institutional transformation toward institutionalizing research-based teaching practices.
From 2004-2012 she directed the NSF-funded Center for Authentic Science Practice in Education (CASPiE), a consortium of 17 universities and 2-year colleges that developed and implemented a teaching approach to provide 1st and 2nd year undergraduate students with authentic research experiences as part of their laboratory coursework. Initially developed for chemistry, the program is now being adopted in other science disciplines, including biology and atmospheric sciences. Over 5200 students at 17 institutions nationwide and in Australia have been through the program in the last 5 years. The success of the program among several different dimensions of learning and perception has been assessed. New institutions continue to adapt the CASPiE approach – the newest of which is the United States Military Academy at West Point, combining research projects in analytical chemistry, toxicology and chemical engineering through the CASPiE framework.