ASMCUE 2014 Highlights and Proceedings


ASMCUE 2014 logo print2 Inc.




Conference Steering Committee 

Mawn Web regassa225x150 NTB 8-23-2013
Mary Mawn 
SUNY Empire State College, Saratoga Springs, New York
Vice Chair 
Laura Regassa
Georgia Southern University
Statesboro, Georgia
Abstract Review Chair Robyn Puffenbarger
Bridgewater College, Bridgewater, Virginia
Microbrew Review Chair 
Ned Barden
MCPHS University, Boston, Massachusetts


Naomi Wernick opt tcm18-36766

Local Organizing Chair 
Northeastern University 
Boston, Massachusetts
Local Organizing Chair 
Naomi Wernick 
University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Lowell, Massachusetts

Conference Statistics   

There are 397 participants, compared to 395 in 2013. Of those registered, there are:   

  • 353 conference attendees and 44 exhibitors
  • 281ASM Members and 72 nonmembers (among the faculty participants)   
  • 43% first-time attendees
  • 27 international attendees representing 15 countries   
  • 126 conference attendees registered for the asm2014 field trip on Saturday   
  • 44 conference attendees registered for the asm2014 one-day pass on Sunday

This year’s 21st annual meeting in Danvers, MA, “NextGen MicroEdu: Engage, Construct, Connect,” provided us with multiple opportunities to explore scientific and pedagogical advances for the 21st century. We engaged with colleagues, constructed new understandings, and made connections between theory and practice. We hope that all attendees left feeling energized and brimming with new ideas, and that these conversations and interactions will continue beyond the “walls” of the conference.

Building on the conference theme, ASMCUE held several excellent plenary sessions on cutting-edge science and the latest research in science education:

  • Katherine P. Lemon (The Forsyth Institute, Boston Children's Hospital, and Harvard Medical School) opened the conference with her presentation, “Picking for Progress: Mining Nostril Microbiota for New Insights into Pathobionts.” Dr. Lemon’s research on nasal microbiota highlighted the many molecular interactions that can occur between benign and pathogenic bacteria. Her work has implications for the development of new therapies to control infection.

  • Juliette N. Rooney-Varga (University of Massachusetts-Lowell) presented her work during the presentation, “Bringing Role-Playing Exercises, Interactive Simulations, and Climate Change Science Together for Transformative STEM Education.” Through the use of simulations, Dr. Rooney-Varga actively engaged audience members in a role-playing exercise where they served as “delegates” in UN climate negotiation. This experience highlighted how immersive environments can engage students in climate change discussions.

  • Carl E. Wieman (Stanford University) led a timely and relevant presentation, “Taking a Scientific Approach to Science Education.” Dr. Wieman summarized the research on how people learn and how this information can inform educators, and he challenged attendees to consider new ways to effectively teach and evaluate these approaches. This highlighted how educational environments need to respond to needs of the 21st century learner.

  • In addition, two cutting-edge presentations were sponsored by the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM): “The Human Microbiome” by Curtis Huttenhower and “How Microbes Can Help Feed the World” by Gwyn Beattie. Both topics were very timely and relevant to microbiologists, students, and the public alike.

The plenary and AAM-sponsored sessions were complemented by concurrent pedagogy and scientific sessions, microbrew symposia, and poster presentations. As has been the case in previous years, these sessions were designed “by faculty, for faculty” to provide opportunities to share resources and approaches, to showcase one’s work, to share best practices or a favorite activity, and to present one’s scholarship in microbiology and biology education. To this end, 81% of concurrent presentations were submitted by the community. Session themes this year included assessment tools and techniques, broadening participation, course-integrated undergraduate research, distance learning, facilitating active learning, professional development, and teaching resources. In addition, poster presentations were organized by content and pedagogy themes, with abstracts being published in the Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education (v15:1).

In addition to scheduled presentations, there were multiple, informal ways to interact with colleagues. These included breakout groups based on the ASM Curriculum Guidelines, where colleagues reviewed learning objectives and drafted relevant assessment questions. There were opportunities to network with colleagues during receptions, the exhibitor showcase and poster presentations, and during breakfasts organized by themes. Additionally, attendees were asked to “dress for microbial success” by wearing items based on their school colors or institution type.

Finally, there was time to interact with colleagues during a field trip to the asm2014 opening keynote session in Boston. In addition, this year premiered the first joint interactive plenary session, “NextGen Microbiologist,” which was streamed live from Boston to Danvers. asm2014 presenters gave multiple “shout-outs” to remote ASMCUE attendees, who in turn asked questions and interacted with presenters through the use of social media. Related to technology, the Guidebook mobile app provided attendees with a convenient way to connect with each other and access conference information. Attendees created personal schedules, provided conference and session feedback, accessed Twitter feeds, and shared conference photos.

In closing, we thank all those who supported ASMCUE 2014, including ASM Education Department staff, Steering and Local Organizing Committee members, abstract and microbrew reviewers, Education Board representatives, microbrew facilitators and conference volunteers, exhibitors and sponsors, and presenters and attendees. Their efforts were much appreciated and greatly contributed towards the success of this year’s conference.

See you next year at the 22nd annual ASMCUE!


Final Program 

The ASMCUE 2014 Final Program is available in pdf format.

Final Program (pdf - 90 pages)

ASMCUE Mobile App

Poster Session Abstracts

Abstracts for the ASMCUE poster sessions are featured in Volume 15, Issue 1 of the Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education

Plenary, Concurrent, and Microbrew Sessions 

Sessions and Handouts 

Travel Awards

2014 Travel Award Winners


2014 Exhibitors and Sponsors 

Photo Slideshow

Photos by