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!

Cissy attended the Evolution meeting in Cleveland, Ohio this week to participate on a panel focused on incorporating research into teaching (and got to catch up with some of her favorite evolutionary biologists!).

Summer REU student Amelia Radocha is co-hosting a Pride event to highlight the science and experiences of those who self-identify as LGBTQIA+ community and allies in Auburn. This event will include the voices of undergraduates, graduates, post-docs, and faculty.

Amelia and Sam host Pride even in Auburn!

NSF REU student Amelia Radocha presented her work today on help-seeking behaviors in biology. Awesome job Amelia!

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.

Welcome to the lab, Ryan Dunk!! Ryan joins the lab as a postdoc after completing a BER PhD with the Wiles lab from Syracuse University. They just finished up a postdoc with Emily Holt from University of Northern Colorado.

The NSF DataVersify team in DC! We’ve been meeting fortnightly since 2018 over zoom, and are together for the first time to discuss next steps and big ideas.

We are at the NSF Summit for the Improvement of Undergraduate STEM Education in Washington DC this week – connecting with colleagues (IRL!) and presenting progress on our DataVersify project!

Robin Costello presents a poster showing the impacts of diversified and humanized role models on student attitudes and interest in science careers.

Todd Lamb delivered a stellar thesis defense presentation, and passed his final oral exam. Many congrats Todd!

Cissy visited the Department of Biology Teaching & Learning last week at the University of Minnesota to discuss recent research from the lab. It was so wonderful sharing ideas and catching up with the department!

^Several years ago in a massive lecture hall at UMN that seats 700 students!

Cissy delivered a virtual seminar on inclusive representation of scientists in biology to the Department of Botany at the University of Wyoming!

Undergraduate researchers Rachel Youngblood and William Grogan presented their work at this year’s undergraduate research symposium! 

The 2022 Auburn Speedy Weenie Run! A Swabian Tradition, where people run a 3-5km race while carrying 1kg of wieners (or sides), to a BBQ finish line.

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.

Welcome to the lab, Robin Costello!! Robin joins the Ballen lab as a postdoctoral associate after completing a disciplinary biology PhD with the Brodie lab from UVA. We’re excited to have her join the group!

Todd Lamb was selected to receive the 2021 Carlock Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Research in Biology Education from the Association of the College and University Biology Educators (ACUBE). Congrats Todd!!

Emily Driessen and Abby Beatty were selected as EDU-STEM Scholar Mentors over the Fall 2021 semester. In addition to receiving funding for research, they will participate in a professional development mentorship program. Congrats to both! Sept 2021.

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!

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! 

We were awarded a “Supported Preliminary Awards for Research Collaboration” (SPARC) Grant through the NSF-funded iEMBER network, led by postdoc Abby Beatty. This funding will bring together folks from institutions across Alabama to conduct research.

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!

Big showing at the inaugural X-DBER conference hosted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). Nice going Claire Tracy & Jenna Pruett, Abby Beatty, Emily Driessen, Tashitso Anamza, & Todd Lamb!

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. 

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 HenningHidden identities shape student perceptions of active learning environments

Jeremiah Henning and Ballen invited to co-present a plenary talk at the annual EDU-STEM meeting on July 22nd, 2020, entitled Addressing intersectionality in Biology Education Research: the power of collaborative networks. 

Jul 8, 2020 Sara Odom delivered an excellent thesis defense presentation, and passed her final oral exam. Congrats Sara!

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 receives NSF-funded Equity & Diversity in Undergraduate STEM (EDU-STEM) Research Coordination Network grant to coordinate and conduct research on STEM equity!

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

Emily Driessen selected to receive the Carlock Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Research in Biology Education from the Association of the College and University Biology Educators (ACUBE). Congrats Emily!