Congrats to Maria De Jesus for being awarded a travel grant to attend the 2023 ASCB|EMBO Cell Bio Meeting in Boston, MA, from December 2 – 6, 2023! They will presenting research on students’ understanding of sex and gender in undergraduate biology.
Huge thanks to University of Georgia Assistant Professor Dax Ovid for visiting Auburn last week and delivering a dynamite, interactive seminar on Instructor Talk in Biology. Cissy and Robin also had the pleasure of co-hosting a meeting to develop an Essay about role models in Biology with Dax and UGA graduate student Selorm Sovi.
Postdoc Ryan Dunk presented a keynote presentation on ideological awareness at the PULSE network workshop at Indiana University last week.
Updates from University of Bergen! Incoming PhD student Maria De Jesus is in Bergen this month to collect data and collaborate with Sehoya Cotner and bioCEED on projects related to biology education research.
Huge congrats to Emily Driessen for successfully defending her PhD yesterday. Emily is the first PhD student to graduate from the lab, and she’s a rockstar! We are going to miss her dearly. She is heading to the Lane Lab in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Biology Teaching and Learning to begin a postdoctoral research position. (Photo cred: M. Driessen)
Undergraduate research fellow Rachel Youngblood will be presenting her research this week at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Good luck Rachel!!!
We were delighted to host Elli Theobald from University of Washington as our BER seminar speaker this week. Her talk entitled “Mind the gap: active learning improves equity in STEM classrooms” was excellent!
Postdoc Robin Costello is at the Southern Sociology Society meeting in Myrtle Beach, SC, to participate in research group iEMBER‘s workshop on Defining Inclusive Education.
Congrats to undergraduate researcher Jordan Fluker! He was awarded an Auburn University Undergraduate Research Fellowship to work in the Ballen lab as a part of the inaugural group of Matthews Scholars. This research fellowship will be supported by the College of Science and Mathematics and the Matthews Scholar Program, a collaboration between the Office of Undergraduate Research, the Honors College, and the Office of Inclusion and Diversity.
We are SO excited for Maria De Jesus to join the crew as PhD student. They are currently at Florida State University and will be working in the lab this summer through an NSF Summers Scholars Internship Program. Welcome!
Ballen was awarded the 2022 Inclusive Excellence in STEM (IES) Award from the College of Science and Mathematics at Auburn University. Read more about it here!
Heading into Christmas, I want to share my early Christmas present- I am thrilled to announce that I have accepted a tenure track Assistant Professor position in the Department of Biology at the University of Mississippi starting August 2023!— Sade! Shardae! Sharday! (@sweetesttaboo85) December 24, 2022
Totally delighted for postdoctoral researcher Dr. Sharday Ewell for her upcoming position as an assistant professor at University of Mississippi, starting Fall 2023!
Ballen and Postdoc Ryan Dunk presented work on ideological awareness at the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) conference in Indianapolis, IN. We co-presented with Dr. Jeremiah Henning and M.S. student Darrien Caudle from South Alabama through the support of the iEmber Research Coordination Network. Also – SNOW! We were happy to retreat back into the subtropics.
Dr. Sharday Ewell selected for SEC’s Emerging Scholars Program! She’s at University of Missouri this week to participate in workshops that prepare future-faculty.
Robin Costello presents DataVersify research in a STEM Education Research symposium at the Centre for Excellence in Biology Education (bioCEED) in Bergen. Robin is in Norway studying the impacts of high stakes exams on Norwegian students in collaboration with Sehoya Cotner through mobility funds from University of Bergen.
Emily Driessen educated a different crop of students through Gross Out Camp last week, a science experience for campers entering first through fourth grade (ages 6-10). It’s taught by expert naturalists and instructors with advanced science degrees and the campers explore their world to discover zoology in the form of local critters!
Robin Costello is representing the lab at this year’s iEmber Conference in beautiful Billings, Montana! This meeting brings together folks from biology and multiple social science disciplines to collaborate and share ideas related to DEI in biology. She’ll be presenting results from our DataVersify project: studying the impacts of highlighting and humanizing scientists as role models in undergraduate biology courses.
Congrats to Sharday Ewell for being selected to participate in the SEC Emerging Scholars Program! The program is designed to encourage top scholars to pursue careers in higher education through professional development and networking opportunities.
Congrats to postdoc Sharday Ewell for getting her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Adult Education! #ProudPI
Emily Driessen is representing the lab at AERA in San Diego, presenting a round-table discussion of open-note exams in undergraduate science.
New CourseSource article features research from the lab about gender and participation in Norway. Check it out! Gender and Classroom Participation: A Case for Quantitative Analysis
Undergraduate award! BIG CONGRATS to undergraduate researcher Rachel Youngblood who was awarded an Auburn University Undergraduate Research Fellowship to work with me, Robin Costello, and the Dataversify team. The fellowship supports her independent research over the upcoming Summer, Fall and Spring semesters.
Postdoc Abby Beatty and honorary labber David Boa participate in EmpowHER Conference, which celebrates girls in STEM.
University news covers the Auburn DBER network across the College of Science and Mathematics: COSAM Discipline-Based Education Research cluster seeks to investigate and improve learning.
Ballen and postdoc Abby Beatty featured in Auburn University news for NSF grant (Oct 2021): The impact of going beyond a ‘value-free’ biology curriculum with award from NSF.
Many congrats to postdoc Sharday Ewell for being selected to receive a 2021 Attendance Grant for the Cell Bio 2021 Meeting!
Received official award notice from the NSF about our Improving Undergraduate STEM Education grant! This kicks off 3 yrs of research exploring ideological awareness in bio classrooms with soon-to-be postdoc Abby Beatty, Jeremiah Henning, & alongside students and bio instructors!
Congrats to Enya Granados, a Master’s student working in the lab over Fall 2021-Spring 2022, for being awarded the National Association of Biology Teachers 2021 Outstanding New Biology Teacher Achievement Award. Excited to have Enya join the lab!
SABER 2021 is underway and we have some great presentations from the lab (and friends) happening over the next few weeks.
Friday, July 9: Emily Driessen (talk – check out recording!), Todd Lamb (poster)
Friday, July 16: Claire Tracy & Jenna Pruett (poster), Abby Esco (poster)
Friday, July 23: Sara Odom (talk), Shima Salehi (talk), Taylor Gusler (poster), Madison Nelson (poster), Sharday Ewell & Chloe Josefson (poster)
Friday, July 30: Lina Arcila Hernandez (talk)
Our annual Equity & Diversity in Undergraduate STEM (EDU-STEM) Research Coordination Network meeting took place June 29-30, 2021! Biology ed researchers and instructors from across the United States caught up and discussed projects, ideas, and future directions. It was great to see everyone and strike up some new collaborations!
Ballen interviewed for article on representation in chemistry textbooks for the news site c&en. Check it out! Chemistry textbooks still lack gender and racial representation.
Our “Fostering Ideological Awareness In Postsecondary Biology” collaborative earned an iEMBER Inclusive Teaching and Research Project Idea Award. This project is led by Abby Beatty and in collaboration with Jeremiah Henning (South Alabama), Sheritta Fagbodun (Tuskegee University), Randy Klabacka (AU), and Kimberly Mulligan (AU). Way to go team!
Lab members Todd Lamb and Cissy Ballen featured in Science Daily: Research network aims to improve learning outcomes for students underrepresented in STEM.
How students relate to scientists impacts student retention: A $1 million NSF funds a study to examine data literacy instruction with direct connection to STEM. Lab members Emily Driessen and Cissy Ballen in COSAM News! See the full story here.
Congrats to Abby Beatty for receiving COSAM’s Inclusive Excellence in STEM Award!
The Ballen lab and the Weber lab at Michigan State were awarded a 5-year collaborative grant from the National Science Foundation (IUSE) to develop biology materials with humanized and diverse scientist role models – and research those impacts! Excited to welcome postdoc Ash Zemenick, founder of Project Biodiversify, to the lab!
Many labbers are presenting research at this year’s virtual July SABER conference! Check us out (all central time)!
>Jul 10, 3pm, Sara Berk, Context matters: variation in psychosocial factors across three institution types
>Jul 17, 12pm, Cissy & Ash Zemenick, A scientist like me: demographic analysis of biology textbooks reveals both progress and long-term lags
>Jul 24, 12pm, Emily Driessen, Demystifying the Meaning of Active Learning in Undergraduate Biology Education
>Jul 31, 12:20pm, Jeremiah Henning, Hidden identities shape student perceptions of active learning environments
Emily Driessen delivered a webinar at University of South Alabama’s Conference on Teaching and Learning on her research about demystifying active learning in biology education research. Check out the recording here. Nice job Emily!
Undergraduate awards! Undergraduate researcher Taylor Gusler is AU’s 2021 nominee for the Be The Creed Award, an award that “was created to recognize Auburn students who exemplify the values of the Auburn Creed: hard work, honesty, sympathy, respect, helpfulness, obedience and good sportsmanship.” Additionally, undergraduate researcher Abby Esco was selected as a War Eagle Girl for 2021-2022 to represent Auburn University as a student ambassador. Congrats Taylor and Abby!
Ballen lab featured in EDU-STEM’s monthly spotlight: Breaking down barriers in biology.
EDU-STEM launches in Las Vegas! The network coordinates and researches evidence-based classroom experiences across biology curricula. For more information, check out the website for our network here.
Ballen’s research featured in an article published in Cornell’s Ezra Magazine shows that students benefit from elements of active learning, and this in turn positively affects learning and student performance.
Ballen selected to receive the Totten Geoscience Education Research Award at the 2019 Geological Society of America annual conference.
Ballen featured in Auburn University’s COSAM Faculty Focus.
CUREs for nonmajors paper featured as Science Editor’s Choice.
Active learning enhances diversity in undergraduate science: Cornell chronicle, University of Minnesota- TC news, Featured in Cornell’s College of Arts & Sciences Innovative Approaches to Teaching
Ballen & Sehoya Cotner featured in University of Minnesota’s Spring 2017 BIO magazine.
Research on gender and participation in Norway covered in STUDVEST and Bergens Tidende!