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A 4-year College Professorship: Striking a Balance between Teaching and Research Amy Cheng Vollmer Professor of Biology Swarthmore College

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Presentation on theme: "A 4-year College Professorship: Striking a Balance between Teaching and Research Amy Cheng Vollmer Professor of Biology Swarthmore College"— Presentation transcript:

1 A 4-year College Professorship: Striking a Balance between Teaching and Research Amy Cheng Vollmer Professor of Biology Swarthmore College

2 Overview Its not easier, its different Diversity of institutions Youre the only one Teaching: What, how, to whom? Research: How, what, when, when, why? Promotion and tenure Life lines: Mentoring and Networking Resources and support Jobs and Job Hunting Balance

3 Faculty Position at a 4-year College Compared with a university professorship…… its not easier or harder, its different You still have to be excellent: to be hired to be promoted

4 A 4-Year College Career: Its not easier, its different Advantage Disadvantage family friendlyits harder to keep up students move onstudents move on projects can be high riskprogress is slow no huge grant neededgrants still needed salary not from grantno summer $ if no grant University faculty want your students, but dont always respect your work in grant panels always respect your work in grant panels

5 Diversity of institutions: Learn about the history, traditions, role in the community and in higher education Public vs private Religious denomination vs non-sectarian Liberal arts vs technical/vocational Suburban vs rural vs urban Residential vs commuter Co-ed vs single sex Teaching load: 4-6 courses per year Involvement with the community/town Outreach

6 Youre the only one Biology department at Swarthmore microbiologist cell biologist geneticist animal developmental biologist neurobiologist animal behaviorist vertebrate physiologist invertebrate biomechanist plant ecologist plant evolutionary biologist plant developmental biologist General microbiology Medical microbiology Microbial ecology Biotechnology Industrial microbiology Immune response Virology Symbiosis Introductory microbiology Bioethics Astrobiology Why We Get Sick

7 Teaching: What, how, to whom? What - CURRICULAR NEEDS (ASM curriculum guidelines) microbiology, molecular biology, microbial genetics, metabolism, microbial ecology, evolution How - RESPOND TO DIFFERENT LEARNING STYLES not just lecture: interactive, cooperative learning, open-ended, problem-based, investigative To whom - KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE!!!!! large/small classes majors/non-majors introductory/advanced basic/applied

8 Syllabus, textbooks Assignments, expectations Lab manual, experiments Lab preparation: media, reagents, strains Assessment/Rubrics – Exams – Papers – Lab reports – Oral presentations Decisions, decisions…….

9 How to gain teaching experience guest lecturing mentoring a research student teaching a course or lab planning a meeting/symposium designing a lab exercise filling in: a one-year position* sit in on good lectures - note what is good practice, practice, practice!!

10 Research: How, what, when, where, why? How - short projects, build in continuity you must be in the lab What- choice of system is key whats the burning question? When - during the semester (part of a lab class) during the summer Where - on or off campus Why - to keep your teaching relevant to answer the burning question to train students to have fun

11 Recruiting students introduce your system/questions in class posters showing student work Training students How and why Controls Record keeping Lab dynamics Getting results focus the project Realistic expectations Communicating results weekly group meetings public meetings Funding NIH AREA grants, NSF-RUIs, ASM-URFs, Merck-AAAS Other Aspects of Research to Consider

12 Elsewhere DuPont: Construction of stress responsive strains VA Tech: Environmental levels of ammonia, phosphate At Swarthmore Chemistry: Protein structure of genes of interest Engineering: Does ultrasound induce bacterial stress? Physics: Do laser tweezers stress bacteria? Ecology:Do soil microbes account for success of invasive maple species? Animal behavior: Are bacterial responsible for differential scent production on birds during mating season? Animal physiology: does fatty acid in diet affect profile of gut microbiota? My own collaborations in research:

13 Projects in my lab: Basic microbiology role of E. coli usp genes/proteins in stress response genetics, physiology, biochemistry role of uspA biofilm formation alanine replacements of ser/thr in uspA (18 of them) Applied Microbiology Use of stress responsive strains as biosensors for: anti-oxidants (green tea) environmental pollutants (ammonia, phosphate) Can luminous bacteria be used to report the sterilization effects of ultrasound on bacteria in: water, cider, biofilms Do laser tweezers generate oxidative or heat stress?

14 Promotion and tenure Spelled out in faculty handbook: rules of conduct, review criteria Teaching - how is it measured? how do you improve? Research - does it count? What counts? do expectations match support, facilities? is there a culture of research in the dept? is it a requirement for students? Service - committees advising specifics: radiation safety, animal care professional activities professional society editorial service peer review panels

15 Is it necessary to do a post-doc? Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!* momentum for research start up networking more experience as investigator more techniques more time to write - grants, papers * For an institution like Swarthmore

16 Professional Life lines: Mentoring Its like parenting Its like herding Its like housekeeping You need to be a mentor You need to seek mentors Networking since youre the only one, you need to stay in the loop local colleagues seminars at other campuses guest lectures conferences and meetings LISTSERVES

17 Resources and Support ASM Resources for teachers: MicrobeLibraryMicroWorld Curriculum recommendations Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education Conference for Undergraduate Educators!!!!!

18 Just as you do in research: consult literature for methods attend meetings and conferences Learn about pedagogy Different styles of learning Different ways to assess learning How to mentor students Literature

19 For the beginning faculty member: Start up Setting up lab Hiring/firing Grant writing A methods manual Many faculty have this on their shelves At the Helm, by Kathy Barker (in its 2nd edition) Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press

20 Mking the Right Moves: A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdoc and New Faculty

21 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press (2005) Lab Dynamics: Management Skills for Scientists by Carl M Cohen and Suzanne L, Cohen …about the challenges of doing science and dealing with the individuals involved, including oneself. The authors, a scientist and a psychotherapist, draw on principles of group and behavioral psychology but speak to scientists in their own language about their experiences. They offer in depth, practical advice, real-life examples and exercises tailored to scientific and technical workplaces on topics as diverse as conflict resolution, negotiation, dealing with supervision, working with competing peers……

22 df df Entering Mentoring: A Seminar to Train a New Generation of Scientists by Jo Handelsman Christine Pfund Sarah Miller Louffer Christine Haide Pribbenow df

23 The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education Cell Biology Education Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education Journal of Chemical Education Other journals published by: National Association of Biology Teachers National Association of Science Teaching Association of Biology Laboratory Educators

24 - click on education ASMCUE (conference for undergraduate educators) precedes the annual general meeting of the ASM ASM Kadner summer institute For senior grad students and postdocs Late July or early August Deadline: June 15 MANY OTHER CAREER TRAJECTORIES

25 Examples of other trajectories: Alternative Careers in Science, edited by Cynthia Robbins-Roth (Academic Press) Tech writer PublishingJournalism Venture capital Business analyst Entrepreneur Patent agent; law Public policy Regulatory affairs

26 Job Hunting A career should match your temperament, skills Educate yourself about careers Educate yourself about a particular workplace What is the daily life for that professional?

27 Job Hunting Read the ad carefully and show that you are a great match Cover letter should answer any questions Teaching and research statements CV should show teaching and research Copies of papers if requested No extras - less is more! Request appropriate reference letters Proofread Observe deadlines

28 Negotiating the offer Dont be a jerk/prima dona Dont be a jerk/prima dona Negotiate in good faith Negotiate in good faith Find out what is typical for new faculty Find out what is typical for new faculty Be willing to share, wait Be willing to share, wait Dont spend all of the start-up immediately Dont spend all of the start-up immediately Get everything in writing Get everything in writing Be grateful and a good departmental citizen Be grateful and a good departmental citizen

29 Balance You cant do it all: limit and focus Prioritize See advice Dont procrastinate Just say no - dont over-extend Network Check in with your mentors Reduce stress

30 Follow your passion! Choose a subject you love Pursue knowledge, skill aggressively Encourage and inspire others Be broad and inclusive Share your knowledge and ideas: mentor and be mentored

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