Category: Teaching

Biological Sciences Faculty Members Receive Exceptional Spring 2023 Student Evaluation Scores

Heartiest congratulations to the following 10 instructors from the Biological Sciences Department who have been identified as some of the only 74 campus-wide instructors who received exceptional “Average of Seven dimensions” student evaluation scores during the Spring 2023 semester.

Only 89 sections university-wide (out of more than 1,411 evaluated) were rated so highly by the students. Their scores were in the top 10% of similarly sized sections university-wide, with at least a 50% response rate and a minimum of five responses.

Provost Storer recently congratulated them for their outstanding accomplishments in teaching.  

The following faculty/staff/graduate students received the recognition based on an average of 7 elements of a university-wide class size group with a response rate of >50% on student evaluations of their lecture/lab classes:

  • Dr. Casey Huckins, Professor and Associate Chair
  • Ms. Brigitte Morin, MS, Associate Teaching Professor (Winner of MTU teaching award in 2018)
  • Dr. Gordon Paterson, Assistant Professor
  • Ms. Claire Danielson, MS, MLS Program Director, and Assistant Teaching Professor (Nominated for the MTU teaching award, 2022 and 2023)
  • Ms. Sarah LewAllen, MS, MLS Program Coordinator
  • Ms. Jenna Disser, MS Graduate Student
  • Mr. Karl Schneider, Ph.D. Graduate Student
  • Ms. Michelle Kelly, Ph.D. Graduate Student
  • Ms. Nicole Roeper, MS, Director, Pre-Health Professions, and Instructor
  • Mr. Hunter Roose, MS Graduate Student

We are very proud of these achievements, and we thank them and you all for fulfilling the educational mission of our university!

The departmental student rating average for Spring 2023 was 4.51 out of 5. Since 2013, our faculty, staff, and students have been in this top 10% of teachers list 162 times.

Amy Marcarelli Receives the 2023 Distinguished Teaching Award

Amy Marcarelli
Amy Marcarelli

Amy Marcarelli, a professor in Biological Sciences, has received the 2023 Distinguished Teaching Award in the category of Associate Professor/Professor. Dr. Marcarelli is an ecosystem ecologist with an interest in energy and biogeochemical cycles in freshwaters. Her research program blends basic and applied research and integrates across aquatic habitats including stream, river, wetland, lake littoral zones, and the nearshore regions of the Great Lakes.

“That’s fantastic news. Amy is not just passionate about educating the next generation of students but also very kind to her students and creative with her courses. We greatly appreciate her dedication and contributions to the teaching mission of Michigan Tech,” Chandrashekhar Joshi, the Department Chair of Biological Sciences, said.

Dr. Marcarelli said, “Thank you to all of my colleagues in the Biology Department for creating a community where teaching is valued, where we learn from and support each other in our teaching journeys, and where student success is the top priority in and out of the classroom.  I believe that community is why we have had such success in this award, with many more who have been nominated (and with awards in their futures, I’m sure!).  I am inspired by you, and grateful to have you as colleagues and friends.”

Since 1982, a Michigan Tech Distinguished Teaching Award is presented annually in each of two categories: Associate Professor/Professor and Assistant Teaching Professor/Associate Teaching Professor/Teaching Professor/Professor of Practice/Assistant Professor.

Since 1999, a group of five finalists in each of the two categories is selected based on student ratings of instruction completed during a calendar year. All instructional personnel who received at least 35 student ratings during spring and fall semesters within that calendar year are eligible except for those who are previous winners, department chairs, teaching assistants, temporary hires, etc. Eligible faculty are ranked by their cumulative average of the 7-Dimensions on the survey for the given year. The top 5 in each category are selected as finalists.

On behalf of the students, staff, and faculty in the Biological Sciences department, we congratulate Dr. Marcarelli for winning the 2023 Distinguished Teaching Award. It is a terrific achievement. We thank you for your excellent contributions to Michigan Tech’s critically important teaching mission.

Anatomage Table 8.0 is a True Game Changer for Students

Students standing beside an interactive table in a lab
Students using Anatomage Table in A & P

Thanks to the generous support from our alumni and friends, the department purchased a virtual human cadaver dissection table from Anatomage. The table cost about $72,000. Our Anatomy and Physiology (A & P) students have been excited to use this equipment since the Fall of 2021. The table will move to our new H-STEM building when that project is complete (and be joined by a second table). This 7.2-foot-long iPad-like table allows eight students to simultaneously learn and experience medical sciences in a way they have never done before! We would greatly appreciate it if you could contribute to Anatomage Michigan Tech Fund #3454. Funds will go to purchase a second Anatomage table. As a result, this increases instruction for up to 16 students at the same time. We are already halfway there. 

The Anatomage Table 8.0 is one of the most technologically advanced virtual dissection platforms. The Table’s interactive, life-sized display is now available for our undergraduate students to utilize within the Anatomy & Physiology Teaching Laboratory! It expands our ability to provide ultra-high-quality visualization for students to view photorealistic anatomical structures. Students are amazed by the level of detail within each virtual human cadaver. They see value in comparing models and textbook images to actual medical images. The Table includes a robust library of histology scans, CT and MRI scans, clinical cases, and physiology simulations. 

Biological Sciences Faculty Members Receive Exceptional Fall 2022 Student Evaluation Scores

Heartiest congratulations to 12 instructors (that’s 17% of all instructors awarded) from the Biological Sciences Department who have been identified as some of the only 70 campus-wide instructors who received exceptional “Average of Seven dimensions” student evaluation scores during the Fall 2022 semester. Only 91 sections university-wide (out of more than 1,379 evaluated) were rated so highly by the students. Their scores were in the top 10% of similarly sized sections university-wide, with at least a 50% response rate and a minimum of five responses.

The following faculty, staff, and graduate students received the recognition.

  • Dr. Amy Marcarelli, Professor (Nominated for the MTU teaching award, 2018, 2020, and 2022)
  • Ms. Brigitte Morin, MS, Associate Teaching Professor (Winner of MTU teaching award in 2018)
  • Dr. Thomas Werner, Associate Professor (Winner of MTU teaching award in 2013, 2019, and MASU professor of the year, 2021)
  • Dr. Jill Olin, Assistant Professor
  • Ms. Claire Danielson, MS, MLS Program Director, and Assistant Teaching Professor (Nominated for the MTU teaching award, 2022)
  • Ms. Sarah LewAllen, MS, MLS Program Coordinator
  • Ms. Jenna Disser, MS Graduate Student
  • Mr. Karl Schneider, Ph.D. Graduate Student
  • Ms. Michelle Kelly, Ph.D. Graduate Student
  • Mr. Isaac Lennox, MS Graduate student, KIP
  • Mrs. Nicole Roeper, MS, Director, Pre-Health Professions, and Instructor
  • Mr. John Romanowski, MS, Lab Supervisor, Biological Sciences

Interim Provost Dr. Andrew Storer recently congratulated them for their outstanding accomplishments in teaching.  

We are very proud of these achievements, and we thank them and you all for fulfilling the educational mission of our university!

The departmental student rating average for Fall 2022 was 4.47 out of 5. Since 2013, our faculty, staff, and students have been in this top 10% of teachers list 152 times.

Three Biological Sciences professors are Nominated for the 2023 Michigan Tech Distinguished Teaching Award

Amy Marcarelli
Amy Marcarelli
Claire Danielson
Claire Danielson

We are pleased to announce three finalists for the 2023 Michigan Tech Distinguished Teaching Award. Congratulations go out to:

Robert Larson
Robert Larson

Professor Amy Marcarelli is nominated for the Associate Professor/Professor category. This is Amy’s fourth nomination. 

Teaching Assistant Professor Claire Danielson is nominated for the Assistant Professor/Teaching Professor/Professor of Practice category. This is Claire’s second nomination. 

Assistant Professor Robert Larson, is nominated for the Assistant Professor/Teaching Professor/Professor of Practice category. This is Rob’s first nomination. 

These three join prior Biological Sciences department Distinguished Teaching Award winners in the recent past: Dr. Thomas Werner (2013 and 2019), Ms. Karyn Fay (2016), and Ms. Brigitte Morin (2018). Dr. Thomas Werner also won the Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year award in 2021

The Distinguished Teaching Award recognizes outstanding contributions to Michigan Tech’s instructional mission.

To whittle the finalists to a single winner, The William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is seeking input on the finalists for its annual Distinguished Teaching Awards. Based on more than 40,000 student ratings of instruction responses, ten finalists have been identified for the 2023 awards. The selection committee solicits comments from students, staff, faculty, and alumni to be referenced during their deliberations.

Comments for the finalists are due by March 31 and can be submitted online.

The process for determining the Distinguished Teaching Award recipients from this list of finalists also involves the additional surveying of their spring 2023 classes. The selection committee makes the final determination of the award recipients. The 2023 Distinguished Teaching Awards will be formally announced in May.

For more information, contact the CTL at ctl@mtu.edu or 906-487-3000.

MLS Program Passes NAACLS Accreditation Site Visit

MLS Faculty & Staff: Kelsey Johnson (MLS Clinical Practicum Coordinator), Karyn Fay (MLS Program Director), Brigitte Morin (Lecturer)
Pictured Left to Right: Kelsey Johnson (MLS Clinical Practicum Coordinator), Karyn Fay (MLS Program Director), and Brigitte Morin (Lecturer)

The Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) program recently had a Site Visit by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS). On April 9-10, three reviewers from NAACLS were on campus intensely evaluating curricula, laboratories and outcome measures and talking to University administrators, current students, recent graduates, clinical affiliates and the MLS advisory board. They were especially interested in evaluating the support the administration has shown to accredit the MLS program at Michigan Tech.

The accreditation procedure has been a four-year process, starting in 2014. It began with a preliminary study, a self-study and finally a successful site visit. The MLS program passed without deficiencies, which is unheard of for a first-time program accreditation.

The final step is the NAACLS Executive Board meeting in September, upon which the accreditation will be conferred. This accreditation will allow the MLS program to grow, send more students to clinical sites, and help alleviate the critical need for medical laboratory scientists not only locally, but across the country.

NAACLS logo

Top 10% Biological Sciences Instructors in Fall 2017

Heartiest congratulations to the following seven faculty members and one graduate student from the Biological Sciences Department who have been identified as one of only 96 campus-wide instructors who received an exceptional “Average of 7 dimensions” student evaluation scores during Fall 2017 semester. Their scores were in the top 10% of similarly sized sections university-wide that had at least a 50% response rate.

Provost Jacqueline Huntoon recently congratulated them for their outstanding accomplishments in teaching.

The following faculty received the recognition based on average of 7 elements of university-wide class size group with response rate of >50% on student evaluations of their lecture classes:

  • Dr. Stephen Techtmann, Assistant Professor (Nominated for teaching award, 2018)
  • Ms. Brigitte Morin, Lecturer (Nominated for teaching award, 2017 and 2018)
  • Ms. Karyn Fay, Professor of Practice (Winner of teaching award 2016)
  • Dr. Ebenezer Tumban, Assistant Professor (Nominated for teaching award, 2018)
  • Dr. Thomas Werner, Assistant Professor (Winner of teaching award in 2013)
  • Dr. John Durocher, Assistant Professor
  • Dr. Amy Marcarelli, Associate Professor (Nominated for teaching award, 2018)

The following instructor received recognition based on “average of 7 elements” of university-wide class size group with response rate of >50% on student evaluations of their classes:

  • Lukai Zhai, Graduate Student Instructor

4 Biological Sciences Faculty Announced as Distinguished Teaching Award Finalists

The Michigan Tech Distinguished Teaching Award is presented annually. Since 1982, an award has been given in each category: 1. Associate Professor or Professor and 2. Lecturer, Professor of Practice, or Assistant Professor.  Based on more than 50,000 student rating of instruction responses, 12 finalists have been identified for the 2018 awards. Out of the 12 finalists, 4 of them are from the Department of Biological Sciences!

This year’s finalists are:

Assistant Professor / Lecturer / Professor of Practice Category

  • Andrew Barnard (MEEM), Assistant Professor
  • Lisa Johnson de Gordillo (VPA), Assistant Professor
  • Heather Knewtson (SBE), Assistant Professor
  • Brigitte Morin (Bio Sci), Senior Lecturer
  • Stephen Techtmann (Bio Sci), Assistant Professor
  • Ebenezer Tumban (Bio Sci), Assistant Professor
  • Jeffrey Wall (SBE), Assistant Professor

Associate Professor / Professor Category

  • Andrew Burton (SFRES), Professor
  • Ann Maclean (SFRES), Professor
  • Amy Marcarelli (Bio Sci), Associate Professor
  • Christopher Webster (SFRES), Professor
  • Richelle Winkler (Soc Sci), Associate Professor

This is the second year in a row that Brigitte Morin has been nominated for the award. She instructs foundation courses in our Medical Laboratory Science program and has also created a popular new course on the practice and science of yoga. Stephen Techtmann teaches environmental and advanced microbiology courses. Ebenezer Tumban teaches our general microbiology and virology courses. Amy Marcarelli teaches a variety of ecology courses and created a new professional development course for graduate students in science.

The William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning seeks input for the finalists. Comments on the nominees are due by Monday, March 26, and can be completed online. The process for determining the Distinguished Teaching Award recipients from this list of finalists also involves the additional surveying of their spring classes.

The selection committee makes the final determination of the award recipients. The 2018 Distinguished Teaching Awards will be formally announced in May.

Top 10% Biological Science Instructors 2016-17

Karyn Fay teaching a student.Heartiest congratulations to the following faculty, staff and graduate students from Biological Sciences Department who have been identified as one of instructors who received an exceptional “Average of 7 Dimensions” student evaluation scores during the 2016-17 academic year. Their scores were in the top 10% of similarly sized sections university-wide that had at least a 50% response rate.

Provost Jacqueline Huntoon recently congratulated them for their outstanding accomplishments in teaching.

The following faculty received scores above 4.67 out of 5 on average of 7 elements of university-wide class size group during the Fall 2016 semester:

  • Dr. John Durocher, Assistant Professor
  • Ms. Brigitte Morin, Lecturer
  • Dr. Ebenezer Tumban, Assistant Professor
  • Dr. Thomas Werner, Assistant Professor (Distinguished Teaching Award Recipient in 2013)

The following instructors received scores above 4.7 out of 5 on average of 7 elements of university-wide class size group during the Fall 2016 semester:

  • Cameron Goble, Graduate Student Instructor
  • Lexi Herrewig, Graduate Student Instructor
  • Travis Wakeham, Graduate Student Instructor
  • Lukai Zhai, Graduate Student Instructor

The following faculty received scores above 4.59 out of 5 on average of 7 elements of university-wide class size group during the Spring 2017 semester:

  • Dr. Casey Huckins, Professor
  • Ms. Brigitte Morin, Lecturer (Nominated for Distinguished Teaching Award in 2017)
  • Ms. Karyn Fay, Professor of Practice (Distinguished Teaching Award Recipient in 2016)
  • Dr. Ebenezer Tumban, Assistant Professor
  • Dr. Thomas Werner, Assistant Professor (Distinguished Teaching Award Recipient in 2013)

The following instructors received scores above 4.61 out of 5 on “average of 7 elements” of university-wide class size group during the Spring 2017 semester:

  • Yiping Mao, Graduate Student Instructor
  • Travis Wakeham, Instructor and Lab Supervisor

New Faculty joins Biology this semester

Today, we take a look at and welcome faculty who have started with the Fall Semester.

Xiaohu Tang joins Michigan Tech’s Department of Biological Sciences as an assistant professor. Tang earned his PhD from the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. Prior to coming to Tech, Tang worked as a research scholar in the Center for Genomic and Computational Biology at Duke University’s School of Medicine.