October 23, 2012
By Kim McDonald
Gabriele Wienhausen, the Division's Associate Dean for Education, has been selected as one of 40 Vision and Change Leadership Fellows to lead an effort over the next year in catalyzing reform in undergraduate biology education.
The Fellows were selected from a pool of more than 250 applicants and will work as a team to produce a strategy for change within the biology departments at all types of post-secondary educational institutions. They will be part of the Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education, or PULSE, a joint effort by National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health's National Institute of General Medical Sciences and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and will review the recommendations of the group's 2011 report "Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action" and other similar calls for transformation of undergraduate life sciences education.
The fellows come from 24 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and represent research universities, liberal arts colleges, comprehensive/regional universities and two-year colleges.
"The fellows represent a diverse group of extremely capable faculty," said Judith Verbeke of NSF. "They bring a variety of experiences that will inform the development of an implementation framework that will transform undergraduate education in the life sciences."
"We are very excited about the work on which the fellows are about to embark," said Clifton A. Poodry of NIH's National Institute of General Medical Sciences. "The PULSE program will help move life sciences education forward."
"The strong response we received to the call for applications reflects broad consensus in the community that change is needed," said HHMI's Cynthia Bauerle. The way biology is taught needs to change in order to spark student interest in science and prepare them to answer challenging 21st century problems. "The time is now," said Bauerle.
The work of the Leadership Fellows will be available on the PULSE website where others may review it and provide comments through May 2013. The entire biology community is encouraged to enrich this framework via the PULSE online colleague community. To learn more about the initiative, interact with the Leadership Fellows team and engage with the growing online PULSE community, go to pulsecommunity.org