TRANSFORMING STEM TEACHING
The Transforming STEM Teaching Faculty Learning Program supports higher education instructors in adopting STEM active learning techniques, with the goal of improving student outcomes across California's community colleges and public university system.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
In this statewide program, STEM faculty from the UC system, California State University (CSU) system, and two-year institutions learned together to improve their instructional practice and build relationships and understanding of one another’s teaching and learning contexts. The program was developed by UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science and Center for Teaching and Learning and was funded by a major National Science Foundation grant for Improving Undergraduate STEM Education ("Transforming College Teaching: Statewide Implementation of the Faculty Learning Program to Improve STEM Undergraduate Teaching & Learning," DUE #1626624).
Adopted at UC Santa Cruz for two years (January 2018-December 2019), the Transforming STEM Teaching Faculty Learning Program built a cross-institutional, interdisciplinary learning community of UCSC and local community college STEM faculty. Each iteration of the 10-month-long learning program was facilitated by UCSC faculty who themselves participated in the program, and included an in-person, two-day workshop and a series of online, interactive, synchronous sessions.
The program has the following objectives:
1. Faculty develop their STEM education expertise, which includes understanding how learning happens and building skills to facilitate student discussion and reflection—particularly in large, undergraduate STEM lecture courses.
2. Faculty gain experience in using online technologies to develop their own instructional practice and to support student learning in their lecture courses.
3. Faculty redesign their STEM lectures to apply what they learn, and integrate new approaches to their teaching practice.
Each participant received an honorarium in the amount of $1,500, funded through the National Science Foundation grant.
HOW TO APPLY
The Transforming STEM Teaching Faculty Learning Program was open to UC Santa Cruz STEM faculty (both Senate and non-Senate) and to STEM faculty at nearby Community Colleges.
We are no longer accepting applications for this program. If you are a UCSC STEM instructor interested in a learning community, visit the STEM Teaching & Learning Community page.
2019 Transforming STEM Teaching Cohort
Nandini Bhattacharya received her B.A. in Mathematics from Bryn Mawr College, and M.A. in Mathematics and Post-Graduate Certification in Education from UC Santa Cruz. She joined the Academic Excellence (ACE) Program at UCSC when it first started in 1987, and worked there as a Mathematics Coordinator for 20 years. Since 2007, Nandini has been a lecturer in Mathematics, mostly teaching the initial gateway courses College Algebra, Precalculus, and Differential Calculus, where a large number of enrolled students are from underserved or under-represented backgrounds. Compelled to serve these students better, she partnered with the Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Initiatives team to redesign the first two Math gateway courses. She received the UCSC Excellence in Teaching Award in 2012, Excellence in Diversity Award in 2005 and 2013, and the Hero Award from the Educational Opportunity Program in 2016. As a CITL/Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Faculty Fellow in 2017-2018, she designed a training for Math 2 and Math 3 Graduate Teaching Assistants and Instructors that is pedagogically sound and culturally responsive to the current population of the UCSC students, in order to promote equity and educational access.
Nandini BhattacharyaAssociate Director for Teaching
Katie Monsen is a Lecturer in Environmental Studies, Electrical Engineering, and the Rachel Carson College at UC Santa Cruz. She had an engaging undergraduate experience at Pacific Lutheran University; earned a Master’s in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from Iowa State University (ISU), where she also became involved in sustainable agriculture; and dove further into issues of sustainability and food systems while earning her doctorate at UCSC. Katie was introduced to pedagogy as a TA at ISU through a center similar to CITL, and is so glad to be part of this grant to work with colleagues in the region and throughout California to keep learning how to most effectively and deeply engage students in their courses.
Katie MonsenSTEM Faculty Learning Program Facilitator
Caitlin Binder, Ph.D. has been an Organic Chemistry Lecturer at UC Santa Cruz since 2014. She received the Ron Ruby Excellence in Teaching Award in 2016 for her passion and dedication to student success. As a CITL/Division of Student Success (DSS) Senior Faculty Fellow in 2019-20, Caitlin is developing an interactive, multiplayer game to help students learn and get excited about organic synthesis.
Caitlin BinderCITL/DSS Senior Faculty Fellow (2020-21), Faculty Fellow (2018-19), STEM Faculty Learning Program Participant (Chemistry, UC Santa Cruz, 2019)
Giulia Gurun is a Lecturer in the Department of Molecular, Cell & Developmental (MCD) Biology at UC Santa Cruz. She earned a master’s degree in the Biological Sciences from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in MCD Biology from UCSC where her dissertation research focused on chromatin domain dynamics in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Giulia has been teaching full-time since completing her graduate work, and has taught various courses in biology at Monterey Peninsula Community College and Santa Clara University prior to UCSC, where she now teaches courses in human physiology, molecular biology and genetics, and was nominated for an Excellence in Teaching Award in 2017. As a participant in the Transforming STEM Teaching Faculty Learning Program, Giulia redeveloped her human physiology course to increase student engagement and success, and focused on integrating new and effective STEM learning practices into her teaching in order to provide a more enriched learning experience for students. Giulia returns to the Transforming STEM Teaching program in 2019 as a facilitator.
Giulia GurunSTEM Faculty Learning Program Facilitator (2019), STEM Faculty Learning Program Participant (Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology, UC Santa Cruz, 2018)
Rachel Anderson attended graduate school at UC Davis, where she had the opportunity to obtain a broad background in teaching biology courses. Since graduating with her Ph.D. in Ecology in 2017, she has taught at Gavilan and Hartnell Colleges, where she teaches introductory biology, human anatomy and physiology, and ecology/environmental science. She is interested in how to make science education relevant to the lives of all students while also deepening STEM majors’ understanding of and passion for their chosen field.
Rachel AndersonSTEM Faculty Learning Program Participant (Biology, Hartnell and Gavilan Colleges, 2019)
Owen Arden is an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department at UC Santa Cruz. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell University in 2017. Prior to joining UCSC, he worked as a vulnerability analyst at the National Security Agency, where he was involved in the Director’s Summer Program, a summer internship program for mathematics and computer science students, and in teaching courses at the National Cryptologic School. He is interested in developing an inclusive curriculum for teaching functional programming to large undergraduate courses.
Owen ArdenSTEM Faculty Learning Program Participant (Computer Science and Engineering, UC Santa Cruz, 2019)
Jose Antonio Cabrera
Jose Antonio Cabrera completed his postdoctoral work in the department of geophysics at Stanford University. He completed his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of California at Irvine. His B.S. is in chemistry from California State University Los Angeles (CSULA), where he was a MARC fellow. Prior to his time at CSULA, Jose was a student at Cerritos Community College in Norwalk, CA. Since 2008 he has served an amazing cohort of students as instructor in the department of Chemistry at San Jose City College (SJCC). At SJCC, Jose has worked with the Peer-Led Team Learning Program. Since 2010 he has served as faculty advisor to the SJCC-SACNAS chapter. In 2012 he was afforded the opportunity to participate in the Linton-Poodry SACNAS Leadership Institute. In 2017 he was a participant in the SACNAS-HHMI Advanced Leadership Institute. He earned a certificate in College Teaching and Learning in HSIs from ESCALA Educational Services in 2018.
Jose Antonio CabreraSTEM Faculty Learning Program Participant (Chemistry, San Jose City College, 2019)
Penny Carroll is a learning scientist and her biology education research is focused on faculty motivation to adopt evidence-based teaching and on how to increase student voice in undergraduate science classrooms. Penny is an active learning facilitator and lecturer at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Penny has 10 years of experience using active learning and has taught undergraduate biology for five years. Penny enjoys kayaking, meditation, traveling, cooking, and hiking.
Penny CarrollSTEM Faculty Learning Program Participant (Molecular, Cell, & Developmental Biology, UC Santa Cruz, 2019)
Alegra Eroy-Reveles is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the UC Santa Cruz Chemistry and Biochemistry Department, which she joined in September 2018. Previously (2011-2018) she was a Chemistry and Biochemistry faculty member at San Francisco State University where she spearheaded the development of faculty learning communities to support equity-based practices in STEM teaching in the NIH-sponsored SF BUILD program. She is passionate about developing engaging and supportive learning environments for large enrollment general chemistry courses, as well as interventions that increase the performance and retention of historically underrepresented students in STEM courses and majors.
Alegra Eroy-RevelesSTEM Faculty Learning Program Participant (Chemistry and Biochemistry, UC Santa Cruz, 2019)
Heather Faust began teaching at Monterey Peninsula College (MPC) in 2001 upon completing her graduate studies in cardiovascular physiology at Portland State University. Heather teaches large Human Anatomy lecture classes accompanied by labs that include detailed cadaver and mammalian dissections. She is also venturing into online teaching for the first time in Spring 2019. Heather is currently serving as the department chair for A&P and as the division chair for Life Sciences, and she is a member both the Equivalency and LGBTQIA+ & Diversity Advocacy Committees. In her free time, Heather drives her kids to swim practices and enjoys finding time to hike and explore the coastline with her family.
Heather FaustSTEM Faculty Learning Program Participant (Human Anatomy and Physiology, Monterey Peninsula College, 2019)
Emily Gutierrez has a Masters Degree in Software Engineering and has been teaching Computer Science and Information Systems courses for about three years now, but this is her first year teaching full time at the higher education level. In the Transforming STEM Teaching Faculty Learning Program, Emily hopes to gain the skills necessary to become a better instructor for her students and to gain insight into what the ideal classroom looks like from a student and professional perspective. Emily also seeks to learn new teaching methods and techniques that can engage students and help them be better learners.
Emily GutierrezSTEM Faculty Learning Program Participant (Computer Science, Hartnell College, 2019)
Debra Lewis received her B.A. in Applied Mathematics and Ph.D. in Mathematics from UC Berkeley. She joined the UC Santa Cruz Mathematics Department in 1990. Her enthusiasm for innovative teaching and active learning was sparked by her experiences as the Assistant Director of the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications in 2004-06. She chaired UCSC’s Committee on Information Technology during the early stages of the transition to the Learning Management System Canvas and led the adoption of the adaptive learning and assessment system ALEKS PPL for math placement; she is currently vice chair of the University Committee on Preparatory Education and math placement wrangler. She developed an active + adaptive version of UCSC’s College Algebra course and quasi-flipped versions of Linear Algebra and Systems of Differential Equations. She is eager to learn how to increase student engagement and acquisition of conceptual knowledge.
Debra LewisSTEM Faculty Learning Program Participant (Mathematics, UC Santa Cruz, 2019)
Pedro Morales-Almazan is from Guatemala, where he obtained a degree in applied mathematics and a degree in electronics engineering from Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala. Pedro earned his Ph.D. from Baylor University in mathematical physics, specifically working with zeta functions. Before joining the UC Santa Cruz Mathematics department, he worked for five years at the University of Texas at Austin. Pedro is deeply interested in many areas of mathematics, but specifically in spectral zeta functions and their applications into number theory, quantum field theories, and related areas. He is also interested in mathematics education, active learning, experiential learning, quantitative reasoning, math improv, and outreach. His interest in math started while in high school, when on the Guatemalan math national team he discovered that math is more than calculations and numbers; it is a way to describe and create.
Pedro Morales-AlmazanSTEM Faculty Learning Program Participant (Mathematics, UC Santa Cruz, 2019)
Randa Roland is a faculty lecturer that has been teaching general chemistry lecture and lab courses at UC Santa Cruz since 2005. She received the Ron Ruby Teaching Excellence in the Physical and Biological Sciences award from UCSC in 2011 and an honorable mention for excellence in teaching in 2008, as well as the Inclusive Campus Community and Universal Design of Instruction awards in 2011. She is looking forward to learning new pedagogical methods and techniques, particularly more effective active learning strategies, to foster enhanced student success in her classes.
Randa RolandSTEM Faculty Learning Program Participant (Chemistry, UC Santa Cruz, 2019)
Pamela Ruiz is an adjunct instructor at San Jose State University, San Jose City College, De Anza, and Foothill College. Prior to working at the college level, Pamela taught various levels of mathematics to 9-12 graders. Four years ago, Pamela co-founded the high school Luis Valdez Leadership Academy, which focuses on culturally relevant and socially conscious curriculum for first-generation high school students. Pamela has participated in the Ignited fellowship and has served as a cooperating teacher for STEP (Stanford Teacher Education Program). Pamela is interested in finding ways to ensure that content is relevant and transferable to students’ communities so that understanding of mathematics is deepened.
Pamela RuizSTEM Faculty Learning Program Participant (Mathematics, San Jose State University, San Jose City College, De Anza, and Foothill College, 2019)
Alicia Steinhardt has been a Biology instructor at Hartnell Community College since 1996, and also teaches Biology at West Valley and Cabrillo College. Alicia earned a B.A. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from UC San Diego and an M.A. in Molecular, Cell, & Developmental Biology from UC Santa Cruz, and teaches a range of courses including Microbiology, Physiology, Human Biology, General Biology, Genetics, Introduction to DNA Forensics, and Introduction to Microscope.
Alicia SteinhardtSTEM Faculty Learning Program Participant (Biology, Hartnell and Cabrillo Colleges, 2019)
Jessica Thomas earned a B.S.Ed. in Chemistry and General Science Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (2002) and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh (2011). After teaching a variety of 100-level courses at Purdue University Northwest, she became a full-time Chemistry Instructor at Monterey Peninsula College (MPC) in Fall 2018. At MPC her primary teaching responsibility is the Introductory and Organic/Biochemistry sequence of courses for Health Sciences. Her goal for the Faculty Learning Program is to increase engagement, retention, and success in her larger lecture courses.
Jessica ThomasSTEM Faculty Learning Program Participant (Chemistry, Monterey Peninsula College, 2019)
Simon Titen is a lecturer in the School of Natural Sciences at CSU Monterey Bay. He earned a Ph.D. studying the cellular response to telomere loss in the Biology department at University of Utah. Simon is currently building on the strong foundational genetics course established at CSU Monterey Bay to use new models of STEM education to make the subject matter more accessible and significant to our students’ lives.
Simon TitenSTEM Faculty Learning Program Participant (Natural Sciences, CSU Monterey Bay, 2019)
Jordan Ward is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology. As a Masters student at the University of Alberta he received an Excellence in Teaching Letter of Commendation. As a CITL Faculty Fellow, he plans to explore how to integrate active learning and his research into a molecular biology class, and learning how to support students dealing with mental health and disability challenges. He participates in the Transforming STEM Teaching Faculty Learning Program with an eye to continuing to develop and improve his Biology 101 lecture. His goals for the program are to implement Universal Design for Learning elements into his course, and to learn how to better incorporate technology and active learning into his lectures.