Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP)—I partner with LSAMP undergraduates from underrepresented groups in STEM, providing research opportunities focused on fern microbial communities. These students have helped me considerably in my dissertation work and one is currently employed at a private laboratory after graduating. Thanks so much, LSAMP students! You’re the best.
Planting Science—I have played an active role as a liaison and mentor in the Planting Science program for middle and high school students since the Fall of 2015. This program is associated with the Botanical Society of America. Through an online forum, I support teachers and students in their botany-focused experiments and coordinate with other mentors to ensure consistent feedback to the students. We sometimes get to Skype with the classes when they present their projects, which is both fun and rewarding.
Deliberative Democracy Pedagogy (DDP)—I have had the fortunate opportunity to develop curriculum for the introductory majors biology course taught at Portland State, in the framework of Deliberative Democracy Pedagogy. Funded through a Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant to Portland State, we are implementing and analyzing the effectiveness of small group activities that utilize deliberation to extend the classroom content. Students engage with the literature both from instructor-chosen articles and also independently. They are able to use data from the peer-reviewed work to form a consensus, but must also consider ethical and social impacts of their final decision. A cohort of upperclassmen that have previously excelled in introductory coursework, which I oversee, provide feedback on the DDP activities.