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CourseSource announces both bitter and sweet news!

CourseSource Editors-in-Chief: Michelle Smith (current) and Jenny Knight (incoming).

Michelle Smith, CourseSource’s Editor-in-Chief since 2017, has accepted the position of Senior Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education for the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell University. We are thrilled for Michelle’s new position and the opportunities it will provide for students at Cornell. Unfortunately, Michelle will be stepping away from her position as CourseSource Editor-in-Chief – though she will remain actively involved with CourseSource as a member of the Advisory Board and as Principal Investigator on the recently awarded National Science Foundation IUSE (Improving Undergraduate STEM Education) project, “Collaborative Research: Online4Bio: Building adaptability for teaching online through peer-reviewed, active-learning resources and professional development.” Michelle has succeeded in not only growing CourseSource and its community, but also in securing funding for the journal to continue well into the future – with grant funding from the NSF, a generous donation from Dr. Carl Wieman, and additional strategies for lowering costs to run the journal. 

“I am excited for the future of CourseSource. It has been such a joy to help instructors share their innovative work in the classroom with the broader community and I look forward to seeing these opportunities grow with the new leadership,” Michelle said. “I am very thankful for all the help of the editors and advisory board members, you make CourseSource a success. And a huge thank you to Managing Editor Erin Vinson for her fantastic work, you are critical to the success of this journal!”

The entire CourseSource community – of editors, senior editors, reviewers, authors, users, advisory board members, and staff – cannot thank Michelle enough for the incredible and tireless work she has put into ensuring CourseSource’s success!

And now the good news! The CourseSource Advisory Board has unanimously approved Dr. Jenny Knight as the new Editor-in-Chief, starting in Summer 2021. Jenny is an Associate Professor in the Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Michigan, where she studied retinal development, and post-doctoral training in C. elegans genetics. She has been teaching undergraduates at all levels for over twenty years, ranging from first-year genetics to senior-level developmental biology. She led the development of multiple concept assessments designed to diagnose student misunderstandings and measure learning gains in typical undergraduate biology courses, as well as helping to develop an attitudes assessment, the Bio-CLASS, and a taxonomy for measuring Scientific Teaching (MIST). Additional studies have explored the use and benefits of clicker questions in large lecture environments, demonstrating that students learn from each other during peer discussions of questions, and that the nature of their discussions is heavily influenced by cues from instructors. Her current work focuses on understanding how students engage in complex problem solving, scientific reasoning, and metacognition, particularly in genetics. Dr. Knight coordinated the MCDB Science Education Initiative for 7 years (2007-2014), ran the Mountain West Regional National Academies Summer Institute on Undergraduate Education in Biology for 5 years (2010-2015) and now serves on the National Institute of Scientific Teaching executive committee. She was the president of SABER from 2019-2020 and continues to serve on the executive committee. She has been involved with CourseSource since 2018 - as a Genetics Editor, a senior editor, and an advisory board member. 

“I am so looking forward to the opportunity to work with all of the people who make CourseSource a reality,” Jenny said. “It is truly an honor.”  

CourseSource is confident in our incredibly bright future with both the past successes under Michelle and the future innovations and growth under Jenny! Please join us in congratulating Michelle and in welcoming Jenny!

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