Original story by Mark Wilcox in 15 July Tech Today
A Michigan Tech professor has received a prestigious national recognition. Ebenezer Tumban (Bio Sci) has been named a National Academies Fellow in the Life Sciences for the 2016-17 academic year by the National Academies in Washington, DC.
In a letter to University President Glenn Mroz, Barbara A. Schaal, vice president of the academy and chair of the division of earth and life sciences, said the honor was bestowed upon Tumban because of his selection and “enthusiastic participation” in the 2016 National Academies Northstar Summer Institute (NANSI) on Undergraduate Education in Biology held last month at the University of Minnesota.
According to the letter, representatives from 15 U.S. research universities met in Minneapolis for three days of workshops, discussions, intensive teamwork and analysis focused on enhancing undergraduate education within the themes of active learning, assessment and diversity.
Tumban says he was “overwhelmed with joy” when he learned of the honor. Of the three-day summer institute he says, “I put in a lot of effort to prepare a learning activity which I used during my teaching demonstration, and I’m glad it paid off.”
Tumban expressed gratitude to Bruce Seely, dean of the College of Sciences and Arts, Provost Jackie Huntoon and Chandrashekhar Joshi, chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, for providing the financial support needed to attend the workshop.
Joshi calls Tumban “an outstanding and dedicated teacher.”
“Dr. Tumban is a phenomenal instructor who truly enjoys teaching; he is an active researcher who is engaged in developing new vaccines against human papilloma virus and he is a delightful colleague who is always willing to help others,” Joshi says.
Joshi adds that when the opportunity came for Tumban to attend the NANSI workshop, he enthusiastically volunteered. “So far, four other faculty members in biological sciences and one faculty member in chemistry have previously participated in similar NANSI workshops, and they have already incorporated what they learned into their regular classroom teachings,” Joshi said.
Tumban said he appreciates all the support he’s received. “I would also like to thank NANSI for organizing the workshop and the Center for Teaching and Learning at Michigan Tech for exposing me to different active learning strategies which were instrumental in the workshop.”
In her letter to Mroz, Schaal said, “by sending participants to the National Academies Summer Institute, your institution is at the forefront of improving undergraduate education that is so essential for preparing both future scientists and scientifically literate citizens.