3 Researchers Named National Academies Education Fellows in the Life Sciences

UC Riverside’s Rick Redak, William Walton and James Burnette III will promote mentorship of undergraduates

Photo shows Rick Redak.

Rick Redak.

Three researchers at the University of California, Riverside have each been named by the National Academy of Sciences as a National Academies Education Fellow in the Life Sciences for the 2012-2013 academic year.

The honor was bestowed on Rick Redak, William Walton and James Burnette III by virtue of their selection to and participation in the 2012 National Academies Regional Summer Institute on Undergraduate Education in Biology, held July 2012 in Olympia, Wash.  The institute is a program of professional development to engage faculty at research-intensive institutions in taking greater responsibility for high-quality undergraduate biology teaching.

Photo shows William Walton.

William Walton.

Redak is a professor of entomology and the chair of the Department of Entomology.  Walton is a professor of entomology and the department’s vice chair.  Burnette is an academic coordinator and professional researcher who assists in running the Neil A. Campbell Science Learning Laboratory.

Teams from 16 research universities in the United States, including UC Riverside, assembled in Olympia for more than five days of presentations, discussions, intensive group work and other activities — all focused on enhancing undergraduate education. Active learning, assessment, and diversity were the primary foci.

Photo shows James Burnette III.

James Burnette III.

The UCR team worked with other teams to develop a series of “teachable tidbits” that it will implement in a course during the coming academic year. The team will assess whether students learn from that unit. It will also implement a mentoring seminar designed to enhance the ability of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and others to mentor undergraduates in the research laboratory.

In a letter dated Sept. 2, 2012, to the campus, Barbara A. Schaal, the vice president of the National Academy of Sciences, noted that UCR is “at the forefront of improvement of undergraduate education that is so essential for preparing both future scientists and scientifically-literate citizens.”

Schaal wrote, “I thank you not only for supporting the participation of your team, but also for recognizing the scholarship in which team members from your institution have and will continue to engage as they implement and evaluate the teachable units in their courses.”

The following UCR researchers were named National Academies Education Fellows in the Life Sciences in past years: Richard Cardullo (2006), Morris Maduro (2006), Kimberly Hammond (2007), Bradley Hyman (2007), John Oross (2007), Timothy Paine (2008), Helen Regan (2008) and Michael Fugate (2008).

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