Learning Through Research

CUR Conference 2018 Speakers


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CUR Conference Speakers 2018

Freeman A. Hrabowski, III

Sunday, July 1, 2018 – Morning Plenary

Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, president of UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) since 1992, is a consultant on science and math education to national agencies, universities, and school systems. He was named by President Obama to chair the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. He also chaired the National Academies’ committee that produced the report Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads (2011). His 2013 TED talk highlights the “Four Pillars of College Success in Science.”

Named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time Magazine (2012) and one of America’s best leaders by U.S. News & World Report (2008), he also received TIAA-CREF’s Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence (2011), the Carnegie Corporation’s Academic Leadership Award (2011), and the Heinz Award (2012) for contributions to improving the human condition. UMBC has been recognized as a model for inclusive excellence by such publications as U.S. News, which in the past eight years has recognized UMBC as a national leader in academic innovation and undergraduate teaching. Hrabowski’s most recent book, Holding Fast to Dreams: Empowering Youth from the Civil Rights Crusade to STEM Achievement, describes the events and experiences that played a central role in his development as an educator and leader.

Robin Wright

Monday, July 2, 2018 – Morning Plenary

Robin Wright earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Georgia and a PhD from Carnegie-Mellon University. After postdoctoral training at UC-Berkeley, she was on the faculty of the University of Washington (Zoology Department) before moving to the University of Minnesota in 2003, where she served as associate dean for faculty and academic affairs; as head of the Department of Biology Teaching and Learning; and as professor of genetics, cell biology, and development. 

Prior to her turning to an exclusive focus on undergraduate education, her lab used genetic, cell biological, ecological, and evolutionary approaches to explore cold adaptation. In addition, her laboratory was well known as a great place for undergraduates to pursue research. Over the past 27 years, she has mentored nearly 100 undergraduate researchers. At Minnesota, she helped to develop and co-teaches the Nature of Life orientation program and has been a leader in development of Foundations of Biology, an innovative, team-based introductory biology course for biological sciences majors. She leads HHMI- and NSF-supported initiatives to deliver discovery-based research experience for the thousands of majors and nonmajors who take biology classes in the College of Biological Sciences.

Wright has served on the Education Committee of the American Society for Cell Biology and as chair of the Education Committee for the Genetics Society of America. In addition, she was a senior editor of CBE-Life Science Education and is the founding editor-in-chief of the new biology curriculum journal CourseSource. She is a member of the Executive Committee for the HHMI/National Academies of Science-sponsored Summer Institute on Biology Education and the National Academies Scientific Teaching Alliance. She was named as a National Academies Biology Education Mentor for 14 years. She was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2012 and was recognized by the Genetics Society of America with the Elizabeth Jones Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education. She currently serves as director of the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation.

David Lopatto

Monday, July 2, 2018 – Lunch Plenary

David Lopatto is professor of psychology and the Samuel R. and Marie-Louise Rosenthal Professor of Natural Science and Mathematics at Grinnell College. His career includes a term as chair of the Faculty as well as a stint as interim dean of the College. Lopatto is currently director of Grinnell College’s Center for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment.

Lopatto’s research on the psychology of learning and motivation has come to focus on the learning outcomes of undergraduate experiences in science, especially the effect of undergraduate research experience on student learning, career choice, and attitude. He is the author of several surveys for the assessment of undergraduate science learning that are used by more than 150 institutions and more than 10,000 undergraduates annually.  His published work includes the book Science in Solution: The Impact of Undergraduate Research on Student Learning. Lopatto’s work uncovers the complex career and personal gains acquired by students through conducting authentic research with faculty mentors. He was elected a Fellow of the Education Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2015 and was awarded the Bruce Alberts Award for distinguished contributions to science education by the American Society for Cell Biology in 2016.

José Antonio Bowen

Tuesday, July 3, 2018 – Closing Plenary

José Antonio Bowen is president of Goucher College. Bowen has won teaching awards at Stanford University, Georgetown University, University of Miami, and Southern Methodist University; he was dean of SMU's Meadows School of the Arts for eight years. He is the founding director of the Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music (C.H.A.R.M.) at the University of Southampton, England. He has written more than 100 scholarly articles, edited the Cambridge Companion to Conducting (2003), received a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship, and contributed to Discover Jazz (Pearson, 2011). He is an editor of the 6-CD set Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology (2011). He has appeared in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the United States with Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Bobby McFerrin, Dave Brubeck, Liberace, and many other musicians. He has written a symphony (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Music); a film score; and music for Hubert Laws, Jerry Garcia, and many other musicians. He has served on the Editorial Boards for Jazz Research Journal, the Journal of the Society for American Music (Cambridge University Press), the Journal of Music History Pedagogy, and Per Musi: Revista Acadêmica de Música. He is also a founding board member of the National Recording Preservation Board for the Library of Congress and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) in England. Bowen has been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and on NPR for his book Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology out of Your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2012, and winner of the Ness Award for Best Book on Higher Education from the Association of American Colleges and Universities). This book was followed by Teaching Naked Techniques: A Practical Guide to Designing Better Classes with G. Edward Watson (Jossey-Bass, 2017). He received the Ernest L. Boyer Award for significant contributions to American higher education from the New American Colleges and Universities in January 2018, and Stanford honored him as a Distinguished Alumni Scholar in 2010.

His book in progress is  A New 3Rs: Using Behavioral Science to Prepare Students for a New Learning Economy (Johns Hopkins University Press, due 2019). For more on his teaching, see his blog at teachingnaked.com or follow him on Twitter @josebowen.