ASMCUE 2015 Highlights and Proceedings


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Conference Steering Committee

Regassa Photo Naomi Wernick opt tcm18-36766 NTB 8-23-2013
Laura Regassa
Georgia Southern University,
Statesboro, Georgia
Vice Chair 
Naomi Wernick
University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Lowell, Massachusetts
Abstract Review Chair Robyn Puffenbarger
Bridgewater College, Bridgewater, Virginia
Microbrew Review Chair 
Ned Barden
MCPHS University, Boston, Massachusetts

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Local Organizing Chair 
Lee Hughes
University of North Texas, 
Denton, Texas
 Local Organizing Chair 
Shelley Payne
The University of Texas at Austin, 
Austin, Texas


Conference Statistics   

There are 398 participants, compared to 397 in 2014. Of those registered, there are:

• 352 conference attendees and 46 exhibitors
• 281 ASM Members and 71 nonmembers (among the faculty participants)
• 43% first-time attendees
• 25 international attendees representing 15 countries

This year’s 22nd annual meeting in Austin, TX was a huge success! The conference focused on the intersection of technology and education, while exploring scientific advances and pedagogical theory and practices. Over the course of four days, we heard from educational thought leaders and scientists on topics ranging from Apps to Ebola to outer space, explored resources from national initiatives and programs, engaged with colleagues, constructed new understandings, and made connections between theory and practice. We hope that you left the conference feeling energized and brimming with new ideas!

ASMCUE had several excellent plenary sessions on cutting-edge science and the latest research in science education:
• José Antonio Bowen (Goucher College) opened the conference with his presentation, Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology out of your College Classroom will Improve Student Learning. He discussed the intersection of technology and education, emphasizing the importance of face-to-face interactions between faculty and students. He also presented strategies to effectively utilize technology (mostly outside of the classroom) and highlighted tools to meet our students where they live (e.g. virtual office hours). This session was sponsored by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
• Erica Ollmann Saphire (The Scripps Research Institute) provided us with a timely update on Ebola virus research during her presentation entitled Antibodies Against Ebola Virus: The Road Map. Her collaborative work as part of an international consortium provided a fascinating look at the progress of vaccine development and the power of large-scale scientific collaborations.
• Education and Medical Development Executives (Apple Inc.) gave a presentation on Mobility and Higher Education. They explored the impact of mobile technologies on higher education and helped us align strong pedagogical approaches with current Apps available for a range of mobile devices.
• Duane Pierson (NASA) presented his research in a talk entitled The Role of Microbiology in Human Space Exploration: How NASA Can Be a Tool for STEM Educators. He explored a range of programs, sharing unique looks at the international space station and shuttle launches, while explaining the importance of microbiology in space missions (e.g. environmental monitoring, increased virulence of some pathogens).
• Carl E. Wieman (Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative and Stanford University), Erin L. Dolan (The University of Texas at Austin), Philip D. Long (The University of Texas at Austin), and Susan A. Musante (Howard Hughes Medical Institute) were panelists during a conference anchor session, Where is Higher Education Going and How Will We Get There? These educational leaders provided thought-provoking insights into challenges facing higher education. This session is available at

The plenary sessions were complemented by concurrent pedagogy and scientific sessions, microbrew symposia, poster presentations and resource dissemination exhibits. These sessions provided opportunities for faculty to share resources and approaches, to share best practices or a favorite activity, and to present scholarship in microbiology and biology education. This year’s robust program drew 80% of concurrent presentations from submissions. Session themes included assessment tools and techniques, broadening participation, course-integrated undergraduate research, facilitating active learning, digital resources, non-traditional learning environments, professional development, quantitative biology, and teaching resources. In addition, poster presentations were organized by content and pedagogy themes, with abstracts being published in Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education (v16:1).

There were multiple, informal ways to interact with colleagues throughout the conference. There were opportunities to network with colleagues during receptions, the exhibitor showcase, poster presentations, and breakfasts organized by themes. A fun, new event was the Director’s Choice: HHMI Night at the Movies that featured a reception, two films, and a Q&A session with Julia Clarke who hosted one of the films. Additionally, attendees were asked to “dress for microbial success” by wearing items based on their school colors or institution type. Finally, the Guidebook mobile app provided attendees with a convenient way to connect with each other and access conference information.

In closing, we thank all those who supported ASMCUE 2015, 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 23rd annual ASMCUE!


Final Program 

The ASMCUE 2015 Final Program is available in pdf format.

Final Program

ASMCUE Mobile App

Poster Session Abstracts

Abstracts for the ASMCUE poster sessions are featured in Volume 16, Issue 1 of the Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education

Plenary, Concurrent, and Microbrew Sessions 

Sessions and Handouts 

Travel Awards

2015 Travel Award Winners


2015 Exhibitors and Sponsors 

Photo Slideshow