B.S. in Mathematics and Mathematical Biology, Beloit College
Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California – Berkeley
I have been teaching biology at the undergraduate level for thirteen years. Two following two questions guide my thinking about teaching
What does it mean to be a biologist in the 21st century?
How do I prepare my students to become scientists and leaders in the evolving, expanding field of biological science?
The discipline of biology is expanding rapidly, with new molecular and genomic data being generated at an increasing rate. Boundaries between areas such as molecular biology, genetics and biochemistry are becoming blurred, and interdisciplinary research combining biology with chemistry, physics, mathematics and computational science is becoming a norm at leading research centers. Phrases such as the “human microbiome genomics” and “CRISPR technology” which did not even exist while I was in graduate school, are now regularly found in some of the most exciting new research papers. Clearly, the discipline is constantly evolving – and it is my responsibility to keep my teaching up to date and engaging to my students.
I have particularly enjoyed designing, developing and and teaching my bioinformatics course. Bioinformatics is absolutely essential for biology of the 21st century. The rapid development of the field makes it almost impossible to rely on textbooks in teaching. Current, engaging teaching modules, such as those found in CourseSource, are crucial for bioinformatics teaching. The need for new teaching materials is bioinformatics is overwhelming, and I am really excited to help bioinformatics educators disseminate new and exciting teaching materials through CourseSource.
B.S. Botany, University of Texas, Austin
Ph.D. Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of Houston
Dr. Hauser received his undergraduate training in botany and chemistry from the University of Texas, Austin. While there he carried out undergraduate research in the lab of Marshall Johnston, where he carried out a plant survey for land overlooking Redbud Island in Austin. Upon graduation, he worked with a research group at Shell Research, studying the formulation of solid resins used in a diverse array of products from sailboat hulls to carbon-fiber bicycles. Dr. Hauser returned academics, and receiving his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics working with Dr. H. Gray at the University of Houston focused on the enzymology of the nuclease BAL31, a dual-functional endo- and exonuclease. His post-doctoral work at Duke University in the lab of Drs. N.W. Gillham and J.E. Boynton focused on characterization of chloroplast post-transcriptional regulation mechanisms in the unicellular green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Dr. Hauser extended his stay at Duke, where as a research scientist he was involved with building the first set of gene models for the Chlamydomonas genome project, and later with annotation of the draft genomic sequence generated by DOE-JGI in collaboration with Dr. Arthur Grossman at Stanford. Dr. Hauser, an Associate Professor of Bioinformatics, began at St. Edward's University in 2004 to establish the Bioinformatics Program.
Ph.D., Yale University
B.S., Cornell University
The life sciences – and life science education – has changed tremendously in the nearly 30 years that I’ve been a college professor. I recognized early on that traditional lectures weren’t the best way to foster student learning and have experimented over the years with a variety of teaching approaches including problem-based learning, case studies, and flipped classrooms. While numerous studies have now demonstrated that active-learning significantly improves student education compared to traditional lectures, a major challenge for instructors continues to be ready access to a sufficiently deep collection of high-quality teaching resources.
This is why I have been excited by the potential of a journal for peer-evaluated teaching resources ever since I first heard about CourseSource. The peer-review system both ensures the quality of the material collected and properly recognizes authors, who are often overburdened with teaching, research, and service responsibilities, for their valuable contributions. As chair of the Resource Review Committee, I worked with NIBLSE colleagues to establish an “incubator” system where authors can work in small, collaborative groups to refine their bioinformatics teaching materials. As we anticipated, several authors have gone on to submit their final products to CourseSource for publication. Now as a Bioinformatics Course Editor I’m eager to further advance these efforts to share high-quality educational resources with interested colleagues.