Preliminary Program

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NEW in 2015!

Anchor Plenary Session

Where is Higher Education Going and How Will We Get There?

Sunday, May 31 at 10:15 am-12:00 pm

Laura Regassa, Georgia Southern University

Erin L. Dolan, The University of Texas at Austin
Susan A. MusanteHoward Hughes Medical Institute
Philip D. Long, The University of Texas at Austin
Carl E. Wieman, Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative and Stanford University

The anchor session will challenge you to reflect upon the lessons learned at the conference, to put your understanding into a larger context, and to align your goals with future actions.  Educational thought leaders will address overarching questions during this interactive session, and participants will discuss how these trends and ideas relate to their own campuses and experiences.  In addition, participants will develop a clearer vision for the future of higher education and how that will translate to their own work.

Dissemination Station Resource Fair

Are you a member of an NSF RCN-UBE community and want to share your networks’ accomplishments and future plans? Does your institution have a grant that brings together STEM educators to improve student learning? If so, ASMCUE organizers have developed a new venue for you to find or exchange information and resources relevant to your work as educators. 

The new ASMCUE “Dissemination Station Resource Fair” features tables from grant-funded programs and non-profit organizations. Interested in reserving a table? Here's what you need to know:

  • The Resource Fair will be held Friday, May 29, from 12:30 pm-2:00 pm
  • There is no reservation fee, but you must be registered for ASMCUE to request a table.
  • Tables must have a representative present for the full duration of the session.
  • Materials and services may NOT be offered for sale or promoted for sale during the Fair.

Most grantors want you to identify ways you have “disseminated” your projects and findings to a broader audience.  This is your chance! Please reserve your table in advance by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  More information will be distributed in April to those who have reserved a table. 

Director's Choice: HHMI Night at the Movies

director mikey hhmi 

Animated Life: Seeing the Invisible

This animated feature celebrates 17th-century citizen-scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, whose discoveries of microbes changed our view of the biological world.

Great Transitions: The Origin of Birds
In the second film of the Great Transitions trilogy, paleontologist Julia Clarke takes us on a journey to uncover the evidence that birds descended from dinosaurs.

The presentations will be followed by at Q&A session moderated by Jennifer Bricken, HHMI, featuring Julia Clarke, The University of Texas at Austin, host of Great Transitions: The Origin of Birds. 

Pre-Conference Workshops

Integrating Quantitative Reasoning in Biology Education: Making the Science More Authentic and the Learning More Robust

Thursday, May 28 at 10:00 am-12:00 pm and 1:00 pm-3:00 pm (Lunch will NOT be provided during the 12:00 pm-1:00 pm meal break.)

Louis Gross, University of Tennessee - Knoxville
Sam Donovan, University of Pittsburgh

Join us for an education workshop where you will get hands on experience using a variety of freely available scientific tools to explore biological problems. Our primary goal is to help participants adopt and adapt existing curriculum modules that address two of the core competencies outlined in the Vision and Change report (“Ability to use quantitative reasoning” and “Ability to use modeling and simulation”). The tools and modules we will present are appropriate for use in introductory biology and microbiology course and laboratory settings. One tool introduced will be the R package, a freely available statistics and modeling package available on multiple platforms that has become prevalent in many areas of biology. Attendees will work with examples of its use with naive students to enhance quantitative analysis of data. Topics will include data analysis/visualization, agent based modeling, and general strategies for engaging students quantitative reasoning. (Select this option when you register for ASMCUE. Registration Fee: $100 (until March 9); $125 (March 10-April 20))

Creating a Successful Grant Proposal to Explore STEM Education

Thursday, May 28 at 10:00 am-12:00 pm and 1:00 pm-3:00 pm (Lunch will NOT be provided during the 12:00 pm-1:00 pm meal break.)

Loretta Brancaccio-Taras, Kingsborough Community College CUNY
Lee Hughes, University of North Texas
Mary Ortiz, Kingsborough Community College CUNY 

This workshop will actively engage participants in the thinking and writing of a successful NSF grant proposal for its Division of Undergraduate Education.   You will hear case studies from educators who have received funding for grants such as Advanced Technological Education (ATE) and Improvement in Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE).  Participants will be coached through the steps of preparing a proposal, starting with the “big picture” thinking that leads to the development of sound goals and objectives.  Good alignment of objectives and measures is paramount to a successful proposal.  A particular emphasis will be placed on the development of objectives that are aligned with measures that will maximize to maximize your chances of your proposal being funded. Participants will be given time to write proposal’s goal(s) and objectives and receive feedback.  The criteria of intellectual merit and broader impacts, used by grant reviewers to critically assess proposals will be discussed as well as the “do’s and don’ts” of a grant budget.    By the end of the session, participants will be able to craft a one-page description of their research proposal, with its goals and objectives.  (Select this option when you register for ASMCUE. Registration Fee: $60 (until March 9); $85 (March 10-April 20)) 

Designing Courses Based on National Recommendations for STEM Education

Thursday, May 28 at 10:00 am-12:00 pm and 1:00 pm-3:00 pm (Lunch will NOT be provided during the 12:00 pm-1:00 pm meal break.)

Susan Merkel, Cornell University
Ann Stevens, Virginia Tech
Heather Seitz, Johnston County Community College

This writing workshop will help you with the process for re-considering an existing course or designing a new course. Although participants will not be able to complete the design of an entire course in the short workshop session, we aim for participants to leave with a strategy to implement national recommendations and curriculum guidelines into their course, concrete ideas for prioritizing course outcomes and aligned assessments, and support and excitement for continuing the course planning process. During the workshop, participants will use principles of backwards course design and evidence-based teaching to guide the course design process. Participants will be encouraged to incorporate guidelines from recently published national recommendations for STEM education, such as Vision and Change and the ASM Curriculum Guidelines for Undergraduate Microbiology, in their course, and participants will learn strategies to implement the national recommendations into their classroom. Participants will receive instructor, peer, and self-feedback on the process throughout the workshop. Participants are encouraged to bring an existing syllabus to the workshop, and they will be assigned a short pre-workshop assignment (reading and watching a webinar) to help ensure that they will arrive prepared to write. (Select this option when you register for ASMCUE. Registration Fee: $60 (until March 9); $85 (March 10-April 20))

Case Study and PBL in STEM Education

Thursday, May 28 at 9:00 am-3:00 pm

Participants in this workshop will engage in strategies for writing, adapting, and implementing cases for their classes, including assessment of learning outcomes. Science Case Network SOTL Scholars and New Case Scholars also will present results from their 2014-15 projects. For more information and to register please visit: (No charge to attend. Applicants must register by April 24th to be considered.) 
Sponsored by Science Case Network 

 Plenary Lecturers at the Forefront of Science and Teaching

Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology out of your College Classroom will Improve Student Learning
José Antonio Bowen, President, Goucher College 
National award-winning educator and author of Teaching Naked 
  Sponsored by: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Antibodies Against Ebola Virus: The Road Map
Erica Ollmann Saphire, The Scripps Research Institute 


pierson duaneThe Role of Microbiology in Human Space Exploration: How NASA Can Be a Tool for STEM Educators
Duane Pierson, NASA 

no-personMobility and Higher Education
Education and Medical Development Executives, Apple Inc.

Plenary Session Abstracts

Scientific Updates

Finding a Needle in a Haystack: Parsing Large-Scale Data to Define Regulatory Networks for Strain Engineering
Lydia Contreras, The University of Texas at Austin

Getting Wasted with Old Foes and New Friends: Microbial Ecology Investigations of Pacific Sea Star Wasting Disease

Ian Hewson, Cornell University

Bacterial Symbionts of Insects
Nancy Moran, The University of Texas at Austin 

Digested Fungal Genomes: Several Studies of Fungal Evolution Using Genomics
Jason Stajich, University of California, Riverside

RNAi: A Tool for the Enemy During Viral Infection of Mammalian Cells?
Christopher Sullivan, The University of Texas at Austin

Microbial Biofilms
Marvin Whiteley, University of Texas at Austin

Scientific Updates Session Abstracts

Assessment Tools and Techniques

Why am I Teaching this Class? Aligning Program Outcomes with Course Outcomes and Assessment
Loretta Brancaccio-Taras, Kingsborough Community College CUNY

Designing Studies and Collecting Data on Students
Kristin Harvey, The University of Texas at Austin

Making Sense of Student Data
Kristin Harvey, The University of Texas at Austin

Backward Design: Getting Started
Jennifer Moon, The University of Texas at Austin

Qualitative Assessment: A Hands-On Introduction
Miriam Segura-Totten, University of North Georgia

Assessment Tools and Techniques Session Abstracts 

Broadening Participation

STEMing the Tide: Fostering a Pipeline of Successful STEM Graduates
Ashley Hagler and Cliff Grimsley, Gaston College

Meeting the Vision: Implementing Vision and Change in a Life Science Living-Learning Program
Boots Quimby, University of Maryland

Citizen Science: Science Literacy Education in the College Curriculum 
Amy Savage, Bard College

Broadening Participation Session Abstracts

Course-Integrated Undergraduate Research

UT Freshman Research Initiative
Eman Ghanem, The University of Texas at Austin

Practical Considerations: Making Classroom-Based Research Work for You
Lee Hughes, University of North Texas

GENI-ACT: Facilitating Original Research in Undergraduate Science Classrooms
David Rhoads, California State University, San Bernardino

Course-Integrated Undergraduate Research Session Abstracts

Facilitating Active Learning

Which Way to Success? Pathway Modeling to Guide Course Design and Assessment
Lisa Corwin, The University of Texas at Austin 

The Use of Social Media to Enhance Student Engagement
Priscilla Johanesen and Meredith HughesMonash University

Implementation of Active Learning in the Biology Classroom: An Observational Study
Jeffrey Olimpo and Sue Ellen DeChenne, University of Northern Colorado

Facilitating Active Learning Session Abstracts

Facilitating Active Learning: Case Studies

How to Write and Publish Your Own Case Study
Kevin Bonney, New York University

“An Inexplicable Disease”- Prion Disease as a ‘Choose-Your-Own-Experiment’ Case to Introduce Students to Scientific Inquiry
Justin Hines, Lafayette College

Thinking on your Feet: How to Use Case Study Pedagogy in a Large Lecture
Ally Hunter, UMass Amherst

Facilitating Active Learning: Case Studies Session Abstracts

Flipped/Digital Resources

Tools in the Classroom
Steven Fletcher and William Quinn, 
St. Edward's University

How to Support your Flip using Instructional Technology
Derek Weber, Raritan Valley Community College

Calibrated Peer Review (CPR) for Developing Understanding and Skills of Science
X. Ben Wu, Texas A&M University 

Flipped/Digital Resources Session Abstracts

Non-Traditional Learning Environments

Digital Resources for Engaging Learners in the Online Classroom
Mary Mawn, SUNY Empire State College

UTeach Outreach – A Cost Effective Model for Community Impact
Mary Miller, University of Texas at Austin

Biology on the Go – Science Outreach for K to 12 and Beyond!
Ann Williams, University of Tampa
Aarti Raja, Nova Southeastern University 

Non-Traditional Learning Environments Session Abstracts

Professional Development

MicrobePoweredJobsMicrobe-Powered Jobs! From Science to Business in Biomanufacturing: The Missing Link for the US Biotechnology Industry
Joy Doran-Peterson, University of Georgia

Communicate More Effectively with Colleagues and Students
Karen Klyczek, University of Wisconsin-River Falls  
Loretta Brancaccio-Taras, Kingsborough Community College CUNY

Incorporating Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) in Your Teaching Toolbox: Lessons from the
JMBE Theme Issue on Scientific Ethics

Samantha Elliott,
St. Mary's College of Maryland

Pamela Marshall,
Arizona State University
Andrea Rediske, University of Central Florida

Speed-Networking Session: Getting Hired, Surviving the Classroom, and Thriving as an Early-Career Educator
Rachel Horak, American Society for Microbiology
Ines Rauschenbach, Rutgers University
Veronica Segarra, High Point University
Scott Tanner, Limestone College

Research for All: Integrating a Research Project in Functional Genomics into a Large, Introductory Laboratory Course
Clare O'Connor, Boston College 

The NSF RCN-UBE: Microbial Genome Annotation Network
Lori Scott, Augustana College
Christopher Kvaal, St. Cloud State University

Seeking Funding for your Pedagogical Research and High Impact Practices at a Community College
Mangala TawdeQueensborough Community College, CUNY

Professional Development Session Abstracts

Quantitative Biology

Preparing "Fearless" Biologists: the Quantitative Component of Undergraduate Education
Louis Gross, University of Tennessee – Knoxville

Teaching Quantitative Approaches in Biology: Where do We Stand?
Melissa Aikens, University of Texas at Austin

Addressing the “Last Mile” Problem in Quantitative Biology Education: QUBES Opportunities and Resources
Sam Donovan, University of Pittsburgh

Quantitative Biology Session Abstracts

Teaching Resources

A Constructivist Approach to Student Success:  Using Web-Based Tools to Create a Constructivism Lesson Plan
Warner Bair III, Lone Star College-CyFair

Avida-ED: An Artificial Life Platform for Teaching Evolutionary Principles and the Nature of Science
Jim Smith, Michigan State University and Lyman Briggs College

Rubrics: Set Student Expectations and Standardize Grading
Naomi Wernick, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Laurence Clement, University of California, San Francisco 

Teaching Resources Session Abstracts

Networking Sessions

Sharing Issues, Finding Local Support, and More
One of the top reasons attendees give for attending ASMCUE is the opportunity to network with fellow educators. Meals at the Conference are intentionally served as a group to allow a time and place for this important networking to occur. This year, the three breakfast meals have been organized to maximize attendee interaction.

Friday - Breakfast by Topical Areas
Several issues have been identified by the Steering Committee such as implementing the lab safety guidelines, community colleges issues, online teaching, Meet the JMBE Board, curriculum guidelines, and more.  If you have a topic for an interest group, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Saturday - Breakfast by Location
ASM's supports thirty-five Branches organized by geographical territories that are defined by one or more states and/or zip code areas. On site, attendees will receive information about their branch and region and be encouraged to meet others in the same vicinity. International attendees will have an opportunity to meet as well.

Sunday - Free for All!
You are on your own! Take a chance. Sit at a table where you recognize no one. Experienced faculty, introduce yourself to a first-timer. First-timers, hobnob with a speaker or ASM leader. Go outside your comfort zone! You never know, you may meet a collaborator or a friend for life. Many close friendships were born and nurtured at an ASMCUE meeting. 

Microbrew Session: Mixing Ideas for Successful Teaching Strategies in Microbiology

These sessions provide a forum for attendees to share ideas and thoughts on best practices in microbiology and biology education. Oral presenters are selected from attendees submitting abstracts for consideration in the Microbrew categories and give 15 minutes "chalk-talks" in which they share their activity.

Poster Presentation Session

The poster abstracts are organized by both content and pedagogy. The content themes are evolution, cell structure and function, metabolic pathways, information flow and genetics, microbial systems, and impact of microorganisms. For the purposes of ASMCUE, a seventh concept, advancing STEM education and research has been added to the abstract in order to identify authors working in this broader-scoped area. The pedagogy themes are organized into five categories: course design, hands-on projects, student learning, teaching approaches, and teaching tools.