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  • Biography

    Teaching Philosophy I believe that it is the responsibility of educators to prepare undergraduates in the sciences to be a) intellectually equipped in the best possible manner, b) adaptable in the workplace, c) able to obtain the most up-to-date information available in their chosen discipline. In addition, I feel it is our responsibility to aid them in every way possible to secure job placement once they have graduated. This is a demanding task for educators, but it is critical in order to insure the future of our students as well as increasing the reputation of our institute for imbuing our students with strong scientific abilities. The following text describes my teaching philosophy as well as how I am striving to meet some of the problems facing our new graduates today. 1. Education starts with the effective dissemination of the most current information available. Newer textbooks are essential in order to give the students as much current information as possible for the topic. Besides textbooks, scientific articles i.e. Journal Club oral presentations and group projects work well in small classrooms. Allowing groups of students to prepare specific lecture topics and then grade them on their depth of knowledge, preparation and presentation is an effective technique. This also facilitates public speaking strengths. 2. Although memorization is important in many respects and will prove useful especially in daily applications, it is my opinion that conceptual learning is more important because it gives the student direction and a course of study/action when confronted with a new topic. Thus when given a major task to complete or a change or addition to their area of specialization, the student will adapt more quickly and be more effective at addressing new disciplines. 3. In order to insure that the students have the fullest advantage of their education, it is my responsibility to stay abreast of the literature. New findings in specialized courses not only keep the students’ interest, it causes me, as an educator, to continue learning. This also means that both the student and the educator are enthusiastic about the study. 4. Having been in the working world, we, the educators, know the difficulty of finding a satisfying job. This would be one that is secure, challenging (intellectually and/or physically) and holds our interest. It is my responsibility to determine the strengths of the students that I mentor. Therefore I need to listen to them and get to know who they are as individuals. Then I can better suggest career goals in which they would be most content and effective. As a biomedical researcher and mentor/advisor, I have a dual role. First, I am responsible for progressing knowledge in my area of specialization. The area my lab focuses on investigating is cancer. Specifically breast cancer and cervical cancer. In order to effectively add knowledge to the growing database of information on the disease, one of my priorities is to stay current with new findings by reading the literature. In addition, I feel that collaborations and intercollegiate interactions serve a very important purpose. They foster goodwill and the idea of individual project investigators working together towards a common goal. By integrating and applying our different areas of expertise, questions may be more quickly answered ultimately leading to a better quality of life for the cancer victim. The second part to my research philosophy involves the students that I mentor. I feel compelled to help our undergraduate/graduate students further their careers. Once they establish themselves as independent researchers, their additive efforts bring the answers to questions of cancer development and progression closer. In order to be an impetus into their career path, I am continuously looking to established liaisons with Biotech companies and institutes offering graduate studies. Many businesses are interested in hiring new graduates and ideally, companies with co-op programs would meet this need. With the advantage of practical experience along with their education, our students would have an edge over competitors in job opportunities and placement. Colleague networking also aids in placing graduates out of the lab. Integrating State-of-the-Art Research and Teaching In order to accomplish this goal, I emphasize developing analytical skills, critical thinking, and presentation techniques to my students. Laboratory experiences for graduate and undergraduate students are highly interactive, with an emphasis on developing precise bench skills as well as cooperative project responsibilities. An immediate goal of the program is that students develop skills and background to stay current with the research literature. Another goal is for graduates to take their expertise with them from the laboratory to industry or academia. To that end, each student has his/her own assigned project or is responsible for a specific aspect of a group project. Once that is complete, the student initially interprets the results and then moves on to the next step, which usually involves a different technique. The completed project is signified by a student presentation at a scientific meeting.


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