NSM Faculty/Staff Newsletter

From the Office of the Dean

Student Success Update

NSF Research Coordination Network Grant: Undergraduate Biology Education–CRISPR in the Classroom

The University of Houston is the lead institute on a newly awarded NSF Research Coordination Network grant for Undergraduate Biology Education. The award, in the amount of $499,218 over five years, provides funding for the development of a CRISPR in the Classroom Network to support undergraduate laboratory instructors in introducing CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology into their courses. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded for discovery and development of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system which is a once-in-a-generation advancement in molecular biology that has become mainstream in research.

The CRISPR in the Classroom Network will provide hands-on training workshops annually, as well as continuous mentoring support and guidance for instructors as they design and implement curriculum for their courses. The network is a UH collaboration with eight partner institutes who will each form the center of a regional hub, serving as a resources center of expertise for community colleges and other institutes in their area. The network will be led by Dr. Donna Pattison, Instructional Professor and Laboratory Coordinator in the Department of Biology & Biochemistry, and Assistant Dean for Student Success.

teachHOUSTON Updates: UH-REACH Multicultural Success Initiative

The teachHOUSTON Raising Equitable Access for Children in Houston (UH-REACH) program hosted a summer professional development for 30 secondary in-service teachers in high-need school districts from Greater Houston. This program, funded by the Provost’s Office Multicultural Success Initiative, provided sessions to guide teachers on the incorporation of culturally responsive pedagogy, inquiry-based lessons, engineering design, and technology into their STEM lessons.

It is anticipated that utilization of theses teaching techniques in their classrooms will promote students’ interest in STEM majors and hence STEM careers. In addition, many of the teachers will serve as mentors for preservice STEM teachers in the teachHOUSTON program.

TC Energy Summer Scholars Academy: Building Community

TC Energy Summer Scholars Academy The 2021 TC Energy Summer Scholars Academy cohort participated in their first in-person outing in late July. Twenty-five SSA participants along with instructors, peer mentors, and other members of the administration team, attended the Astros game at Minute Maid Park on Sunday, July 25, against the Texas Rangers. The students were excited to see their fellow classmates and instructors who they have only interacted with in a virtual environment.