Dyson College of Arts and Sciences

Dyson Year In Review 2012-2013

Dyson College of Arts and Sciences - Year in Review 2011-2012

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FORGING NEW GROUND IN THE SCIENCES MARCY KELLY AWARDED NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION GRANT Marcy Kelly, associate professor in the Department of Biology and Health Sciences, was awarded a $180K Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for her work creating and adapting new teaching materials and strategies for undergraduate science education. An example of her classroom innovation can be seen in the way she teaches students about notifiable diseases—diseases that pose a public health threat and must be reported to the Centers for Disease Control. Taking a page from modern courtship, Kelly uses the principles of speed dating to teach the causes, symptoms, risk factors and treatments of approximately 30 diseases. Each student is assigned a disease and paired with another student. Each pair has five minutes to exchange as much information as possible about their respective diseases before time is called, then each student moves onto their next partner. Class is lively and the students enthusiastic. Kelly is an early implementer of "vision and change," a call to action by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the NSF, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to transform the way undergraduate biology is taught. It is, in part, a response to President Obama's 2012 announcement of the priority goal of increasing the number of students who receive undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by one million over the next decade. 6 • Dyson College of Arts and Sciences MOBILE TECHNOLOGY COMMUNES WITH NATURE We are very fortunate to have a Westchester Campus that is rich in plant and animal diversity. But, it is likely that only a few of us can identify more than a small number of the different species that populate the campus. To change this, Professor Josh Schwartz, of the Department of Biology and Health Sciences, and Martina Blackwood, Dyson College's director of instructional technology, joined forces to create NaturesPace. Supported by a Verizon Foundation Thinkfinity grant, NaturesPace enables passersby to use their mobile devices to instantly obtain information about habitat, physical characteristics, scientific research and interesting facts about a particular plant just by scanning Quick Response (QR) codes on signposts posted nearby. QR codes are the square black and white bar codes found on everything from billboards to bottles of ketchup. How cool is that!? Be on the lookout for more QR codes around the Westchester Campus and beyond. The posting of more QR code signposts is planned and a partnership with Yale University to expand the program to other colleges is in the works.

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