Dr. Susan Kalisz, former head of the EEB department, along with Cary Staples of the School of Design and Tim Arment from the College of Architecture and Design have created the UNDERstory board game based on their long-term research. The game has received a lot of attention, and the creators are finalists for a 2023 James Paul GEE! Award!
Check out the game here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yD0fSBNVfiQ
and vote for UNDERstory to win the GEE! Award here: https://forms.gle/R3KEi7AFbDA6NRy49
EEB Graduate Student Maryrose Weatherton nominated for Cheek Graduate Student Medal of Excellence Award
The Jimmy and Ileen Cheek Graduate Student Medal of Excellence is awarded annually to an outstanding graduate student currently enrolled at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The award is given to a student pursuing a PhD and has completed at least four semesters of study. Nominees are considered for their high academic potential and achievement, leadership and community involvement, commitment to and passion for the chosen field of study, personal sacrifice for their education and effort above and beyond the call of duty.
Maryrose Weatherton, a PhD student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, was among the nominees honored last Thursday, April 27 in the Mary Greer room in Hodges Library. Maryrose was one of only four nominees from the College of Arts and Sciences. Maryrose works in Dr. Elizabeth Schussler’s lab, and her research interests include education research, student success, and resource use. The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology looks forward to celebrating Maryrose’s accomplishments at the Spring Semester celebration later this month.
Three five-day National Science Foundation Ideas Labs —one for biology, one for engineering, and one for geosciences—are being held this month through April 4 in the Washington, D.C., area. Each lab involves participants from various disciplines and backgrounds, as well as prospective employers and representatives of scientific and professional societies. The goals of the labs are to incubate innovative approaches to improve undergraduate STEM education and produce research agendas that address workforce development needs.
Louis Gross, director of the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis at UT, will serve as director of the Biology Ideas Lab, to be held March 30 to April 4 in Leesburg, Virginia.
Read the full Tennessee Today article.
Recent work by grad student Denise Kendall and assistant professor Beth Schussler was selected as an Editors’ Choice by Science.
Article abstract: Graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) are used extensively as instructors in higher education, yet their status and authority as teachers may be unclear to undergraduates, to administrators, and even to the GTAs themselves. This study explored undergraduate perception of classroom instruction by GTAs and professors to identify factors unique to each type of instructor versus the type of classes they teach. Data collection was via an online survey composed of subscales from two validated instruments, as well as one open-ended question asking students to compare the same class taught by a professor versus a GTA. Quantitative and qualitative results indicated that some student instructional perceptions are specific to instructor type, and not class type. For example, regardless of type of class, professors are perceived as being confident, in control, organized, experienced, knowledgeable, distant, formal, strict, hard, boring, and respected. Conversely, GTAs are perceived as uncertain, hesitant, nervous, relaxed, laid-back, engaging, interactive, relatable, understanding, and able to personalize teaching. Overall, undergraduates seem to perceive professors as having more knowledge and authority over the curriculum, but enjoy the instructional style of GTAs. The results of this study will be used to make recommendations for GTA professional development programs.