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American Society of Plant Biologists

American Society of Plant Biologists logo

The American Society of Plant Biologists was founded in 1924 to promote the growth and development of plant biology, to encourage and publish research in plant biology, and to promote the interests and growth of plant scientists in general. Members spanning six continents work in academia, government laboratories, and industrial and commercial environments. ASPB plays a key role in uniting the international plant science disciplines.


Susan Wick
Editor Degrees: 
  • Ph.D. in Biological Sciences, Stanford    
  • B.S. in Botany, Oregon State University
About Teaching and Course Source: 

In my career, I have taught at all levels, from college freshman, through PhD students and K-6 teachers.  I very much enjoy teaching lower division students, many of whom are discovering that there is much more to biology than they ever dreamed of. My approach to teaching is to put some tantalizing questions or curious bits of information in front of students and then turn them loose, with guidance, to explore those areas. I am also a big fan of giving students a choice about the medium through which they can demonstrate their knowledge, something I learned from elementary teachers.  A dramatic re-enactment of a metabolic pathway, for example, can convey accurate and detailed information in a way that reaches students who are otherwise lost!

There are many instructors who have a sense that there is so much more they can do with students besides lecture to them, but are at a loss to figure out how to devise meaningful and effective classroom activities.  With core concepts of various areas of biology named by some of the professional societies, CourseSource allows instructors to hone in on materials that address particular concepts in ways that have already been vetted and shown to be effective.  I want to be part of making those materials available and spreading the word on ways to improve learning.

Valerie Haywood
Valerie Haywood
Editor Degrees: 
  • Ph.D. in Plant Biology from University of California, Davis
  • B.S. in Plant Biology (with distinction in Molecular Biology) from Ohio State University
About Teaching and Course Source: 

Valerie Haywood is a faculty member in the Biology Department at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in Cleveland, Ohio.  She earned a Ph.D. in Plant Biology from the University of California, Davis where her graduate work focused on elucidating the mechanisms involved in phloem-mediated translocation of mRNA molecules in angiosperms. To broaden her biology education, Dr. Haywood went on to do postdoctoral work in the Department of Biological Sciences at Stanford University where she studied mechanisms involved in sexual differentiation in Drosophila. 

While Dr. Haywood’s broad interest in plant biology remains, her current focus is undergraduate biology education, particularly assessment of student performance and retention rates in the large introductory biology courses she teaches at CWRU. Dr. Haywood has been invited to present her educational research at several national conferences, including the National Association of Biology Teachers Professional Development Conference, the American Association of Plant Biologists (ASPB) Annual Conference, and the Gordon Research Conference on Undergraduate Biology Education Research. Dr. Haywood’s commitment to undergraduate education was recognized by the National Academies of Science, who named Dr. Haywood an “Education Fellow in Life Sciences.” Dr. Haywood currently serves as President of OH-PKAL, the Ohio regional network for Project Kaleidoscope. Dr. Haywood is also serving her second term on the Education Committee for the ASPB.  Dr. Haywood is excited to be a part of the CourseSource community and looks forward to working with others dedicated to improving science education.

Plant Biology