Gordon Research Conferences
Meeting Details

Undergraduate Biology Education Research
Gordon Research Conference

Improving Diversity, Equity, and Learning in Biology Education


July 9-14, 2017


Stonehill College
Easton, MA Site Information


Susan Elrod

Vice Chairs:
Jose Herrera & Debra Pires

Application Deadline

Applications for this meeting must be submitted by June 11, 2017. Please apply early, as some meetings become oversubscribed (full) before this deadline. If the meeting is oversubscribed, it will be stated here. Note: Applications for oversubscribed meetings will only be considered by the Conference Chair if more seats become available due to cancellations.

Meeting Description

Education research in undergraduate biology teaching and learning has led to significant advances in our understanding of how teaching, assessment and other undergraduate education practices can be changed to improve student learning as well as persistence in programs, particularly for students from underrepresented minority (URM) populations. While we have learned much, new research is providing further information on new methods as well as a better understanding of how evidence-based practices in teaching can be more effectively implemented. In particular, research that focuses on improving diversity and equity in STEM programs is particularly relevant as national, state and local goals for increasing the number and diversity of STEM graduates continue. This conference will bring together researchers, practitioners, and national leaders to discuss how new research and trends are improving undergraduate biology education for all.


Meeting Program

2:00 pm - 9:00 pmArrival and Check-in
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 7:40 pmWelcome / Introductory Comments by GRC Site Staff
7:40 pm - 9:30 pmFraming UBER in the Context of Improving Diversity, Equity and Learning
Discussion Leader: Linda Slakey (Coalition for Reform of Undergraduate STEM Education, USA)
7:40 pm - 7:50 pmOpening Remarks
7:50 pm - 8:00 pmIntroduction by Discussion Leader
8:00 pm - 8:30 pmSusan Singer (Rollins College, USA)
"Tipping Towards a New Normal in Undergraduate Biology Education"
8:30 pm - 8:45 pmDiscussion
8:45 pm - 9:15 pmShirley Malcom (American Association for the Advancement of Science, USA)
"Undergraduate Biology Education: Better Serving the Students We Have"
9:15 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
8:30 amGroup Photo
9:00 am - 12:30 pmNational Trends and Reports that Inform UBER Research and Practice
National reports and projects continue to influence the outcomes in undergraduate biology education and the research agendas that inform practice. This session will frame the larger context for this conference by featuring speakers from recent national reports and other trends in higher education that are providing policy, research and practice benchmarks for the field.
Discussion Leader: Gita Bangera (Bellevue College, USA)
9:00 am - 9:30 amHeidi Schweingruber (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, USA)
"Trends in STEM Higher Education: A View from the National Academies"
9:30 am - 9:45 amDiscussion
9:45 am - 10:15 amGabriela Weaver (University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA)
"Are We Making Progress Toward Improving STEM Higher Education? Developing an Indicator System to Help Guide the National Conversation"
10:15 am - 10:30 amDiscussion
10:30 am - 11:00 amCoffee Break
11:00 am - 11:30 amCynthia Bauerle (James Madison University, USA)
"Grounding STEM Education Reform: Thinking Globally, Acting Locally"
11:30 am - 11:45 amDiscussion
11:45 am - 12:15 pmRandall Bass (Georgetown University, USA)
"Open and Integrative: The New Digital Learning Ecosystem"
12:15 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
3:00 pm - 4:00 pmPower Hour
The GRC Power Hour is an optional informal gathering open to all meeting participants. It is designed to help address the challenges women face in science and support the professional growth of women in our communities by providing an open forum for discussion and mentoring.
Organizer: Muriel Poston (National Science Foundation, USA)
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmNew Research: What We Know About Creating More Inclusive Environments for Diverse Student Populations
This session will focus on what new research is helping us understand about cognition and learning that will create learning environments that will be more inclusive of all students in biology.
Discussion Leader: April Maskeiwicz (Point Loma Nazarene University, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:55 pmKimberly Tanner (San Francisco State University, USA)
"Talk Matters: Classroom Characteristics that May Mediate Student Inclusion, Engagement, and Learning"
7:55 pm - 8:10 pmDiscussion
8:10 pm - 8:35 pmBryan Dewsbury (University of Rhode Island, USA)
"A Whole Classroom: Deconstructing the Role of Community in Higher Education Pedagogy"
8:35 pm - 8:50 pmDiscussion
8:50 pm - 9:15 pmSarah Eddy (Florida International University, USA)
"Making Room at the Table: Evidence-Based Considerations for More Inclusive Biology Teaching"
9:15 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmTransforming Programs: Best Practices that Promote Diversity and Equity
This session will feature new research regarding innovations in programs that go beyond the classroom to improve student success and faculty diversity.
Discussion Leader: Ryan Kelsey (Achieving the Dream, USA)
9:00 am - 9:30 amBecky Wai-Ling Packard (Mount Holyoke College, USA)
"Mentoring: Preparing Mentors and Students for Overcoming Barriers"
9:30 am - 9:45 amDiscussion
9:45 am - 10:15 amAnna Woodcock (California State University San Marcos, USA)
"Diversifying the Biomedical Sciences: What Is Working and Why"
10:15 am - 10:30 amDiscussion
10:30 am - 11:00 amCoffee Break
11:00 am - 11:30 amMark Connolly (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA)
"Twenty Years After Talking About Leaving: A New Look at Undergraduate STEM Switching and Persistence"
11:30 am - 11:45 amDiscussion
11:45 am - 12:15 pmBarbara Endemaño Walker (University of California, Santa Barbara, USA)
"The Promise of Diverse Scientific Teams: Theory and Praxis"
12:15 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmInstitutional Change Projects: Large-Scale Research on Campus Change Initiatives
UBER has moved beyond individual classrooms into larger program level and institutional change initiatives. This session will feature projects that are focused on program, department, university or multi-campus initiatives that are making progress integrating research-based practices across multiple courses and programs.
Discussion Leader: Jay Labov (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:55 pmEllen Goldey (Florida Atlantic University, USA)
"Beyond Content: Setting Priorities for Department-Wide Reform"
7:55 pm - 8:10 pmDiscussion
8:10 pm - 8:35 pmMara Brady (California State University, Fresno, USA)
"Growing the Best Students: Implementing a STEM First Year Learning Community to Build Student Sense of Belonging and Self-Efficacy"
8:35 pm - 8:50 pmDiscussion
8:50 pm - 9:15 pmMarco Molinaro (University of California, Davis, USA)
"Using Data to Inform, Drive and Scale STEM Instructional Reform"
9:15 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmResearch Experiences and Other High Impact Practices: New Approaches to Providing Access to High Quality, Authentic Learning Environments
Research experiences are one of the most engaging and effective undergraduate learning approaches. This session will feature research-based programs that foster development of high level learning, scientific research skills and also create more equitable learning environments for students.
Discussion Leader: Stephanie Gardner (Purdue University, USA)
9:00 am - 9:30 amSarah C. Elgin (Washington University in St. Louis, USA)
"Integrating Discovery-Based Research into Undergraduate Education Report from the National Academies"
9:30 am - 9:45 amDiscussion
9:45 am - 10:15 amJames Hewlett (Finger Lakes Community College, USA)
"Undergraduate Research at Community Colleges: Barriers and Opportunities"
10:15 am - 10:30 amDiscussion
10:30 am - 11:00 amCoffee Break
11:00 am - 11:30 amSara Brownell (Arizona State University, USA)
"Who Gets to Participate in Undergraduate Research and How Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences Can Make Scientific Research More Inclusive"
11:30 am - 11:45 amDiscussion
11:45 am - 12:15 pmAvrom Caplan (City University of New York, USA)
"CUNY's Undergraduate Research Initiative"
12:15 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:00 pm - 7:30 pmBusiness Meeting
Nominations for the Next Vice Chair; Fill in Conference Evaluation Forms; Discuss Future Site and Scheduling Preferences; Election of the Next Vice Chair
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmNetworking for Equity and Change: NSF Research Coordination Networks and Other National Research Networks
Formation of national networks has increased in the past several years, spurred by the National Science Foundation’s Research Coordination Network – Undergraduate Biology Education program. This session will feature projects funded through this NSF program and other agencies are focused on forming networks to foster larger scale change.
Discussion Leader: Chris Meyer (National Science Foundation, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:55 pmGordon Uno (University of Oklahoma, USA)
"How to Network for Change: Lessons Learned from RCN-UBE Projects"
7:55 pm - 8:10 pmDiscussion
8:10 pm - 8:35 pmCarrie Eaton (Unity College, USA)
"QUBES: Collaborating Together to Improve Quantitative Biology Education"
8:35 pm - 8:50 pmDiscussion
8:50 pm - 9:15 pmCharles Henderson (Western Michigan University, USA)
"The Accelerating Systemic Change Network (ASCN): A Research to Practice Network to Promote Institutional Change in Postsecondary STEM Education"
9:15 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pmThe Future of Biology Education: Building a System from K-12 Through Graduate Education
Undergraduate biology education depends on K-12 teaching effectiveness as well as the graduate pipeline to prepare future faculty and professionals. Professional development for faculty in higher education and K-12 teachers continues to play a critical role in transforming classrooms toward more research-based and inclusive learning environments. New K-12 Next Generation Science Standards and Advanced Placement programs are also having an impact on undergraduate education. This session will feature the latest research on effective professional development programs and new trends that will have an impact on undergraduate education from the K-20 spectrum.
Discussion Leader: Brian Sato (University of California, Irvine, USA)
9:00 am - 9:30 amKenneth Gibbs (National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH, USA)
"From Initial Curiosity to Deciding What to Be with a Ph.D.: Similarities and Differences in the Career Development of Life Scientists Across Race/Ethnicity and Gender"
9:30 am - 9:45 amDiscussion
9:45 am - 10:15 amLiz Roth-Johnson (University of California, Los Angeles, USA)
"So You Want to Hire a DBER Fellow? Some Lessons Learned from a New DBER Position at UCLA"
10:15 am - 10:30 amDiscussion
10:30 am - 11:00 amCoffee Break
11:00 am - 11:30 amKacy Redd (Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, USA)
"Network of STEM Education Centers (NSEC): The Network for Supporting the Transformation of Undergraduate STEM Education"
11:30 am - 11:45 amDiscussion
11:45 am - 12:15 pmJulia Savoy (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA)
"Building a Better STEM Faculty: How Teaching Development Programs Can Improve Undergraduate Education"
12:15 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pmFuture Directions in Undergraduate Biology Education Research (UBER)
New research areas and cutting edge programs in higher education will be featured in this session to keep the UBER community informed on the latest trends that will be important in framing future research in undergraduate biology education research.
Discussion Leader: Erin Dolan (University of Georgia, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:55 pmDavid Schonstein (Inspark Teaching Network, USA)
"Education Through Exploration: Motivating Students with Narrative-Driven Biology Courses"
7:55 pm - 8:05 pmDiscussion
8:05 pm - 8:30 pmSheryl Grant (Duke University, USA)
"What Counts as Learning: Open Badges for New Opportunities"
8:30 pm - 8:40 pmDiscussion
8:40 pm - 9:05 pmChristine Ortiz (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
"Personalized Curricular Design in a New University Model"
9:05 pm - 9:15 pmDiscussion
9:15 pm - 9:30 pmGeneral Discussion: The Future of Undergraduate Biology Education
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 amDeparture
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