2009 Speakers

Conference Leader


clyde herried
Clyde (Kipp) Herreid, Distinguished Teaching Professor, Department of Biological Sciences; Academic Director, UB's Honors College; and Director, National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, herreid@buffalo.edu

Trained as a biologist and physiological ecologist with postdoctoral experience in marine biology, Kipp Herreid has been using case teaching methods for over 20 years. To date, he has received over $2 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Education, Pew Charitable Trusts, and the National Science Foundation to further the development and dissemination of case-based teaching in science in the U.S. and abroad.

Herreid has conducted numerous workshops on case-based and problem-based learning. He is the author of a regularly featured column on case studies in the Journal of College Science Teaching and the author of the book, Start with a Story: The Case Study Method of Teaching College Science (NSTA Press, 2006).

Herreid received his Ph.D. in zoology and entomology from the Pennsylvania State University.


Plenary Speakers


Diane Ebert-May
Diane Ebert-May, Professor of Plant Biology, Michigan State University, ebertmay@msu.edu

Diane Ebert-May is involved on a national level in promoting the professional development, evaluation, and improvement of faculty, postdoctoral teaching fellows, and graduate students who actively participate not only in their own discipline-based research, but also in creative research about teaching and learning.

Ebert-May’s work in assessment of undergraduate learning in science guides many individual faculty as well as science departments around the country. She actively contributes to the educational initiatives of the Ecological Society of America, has served on the National Research Council (NRC) Committee on Evaluating Undergraduate Teaching and the Committee on Integrating Education with Biocomplexity, is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and is an advisory board member of the National Academy of Engineering’s Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education. In addition, she is the PI of project FIRST II (Faculty Institutes for Reforming Science Teaching), an NSF-funded national dissemination network for science faculty professional development in teaching through biological field stations and marine labs.

Ebert-May’s recent publications, including the book Pathways to Scientific Teaching (Sinauer, 2008), describe active, inquiry-based instructional strategies, research designs, and assessment.

Ebert-May received her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder.


Workshop Leaders


Deborah Allen
Deborah Allen, Program Director, Division of Undergraduate Education, National Science Foundation, deallen@nsf.gov

Deborah Allen is on leave from the University of Delaware to serve in the National Science Foundation’s Division of Undergraduate Education, where she is a Program Director for the Course, Curriculum &Laboratory Improvement (CCLI), Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship, Scholarships in Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM), Research Coordination Networks in Biological Sciences-Undergraduate Biology Education (RCN-UBE), Interdisciplinary Training for Undergraduates in Biological &Mathematical Sciences (UBM), and Advanced Technological Education (ATE) programs.

In the mid 1990s, Allen joined a multidisciplinary team of scientists/science educators to design, implement, and assess problem-based learning curricula for introductory science courses, including multidisciplinary science courses for non-science majors. She is the author of Thinking Towards Solutions: Problem-Based Learning Activities for General Biology (Saunders, 1998) and co-editor of The Power of Problem-Based Learning (Stylus, 2000), a collection of strategies for implementation of PBL in undergraduate courses. Allen has presented numerous invited workshops and talks on active, group-based strategies around the country and outside the U.S., and is a co-founder of the University of Delaware’s Hesburgh award-winning institute for faculty development. She serves on the editorial board of CBE-Life Sciences Education and has co-authored a regularly-featured column on teaching strategies for that journal.

Allen’s Ph.D. in Biological Sciences is from the University of Delaware.


Peggy Brickman
Peggy Brickman, Associate Professor of Plant Biology, Division of Biological Sciences, University of Georgia, brickman@uga.edu

Peggy Brickman is the Associate Chair and Director of Undergraduate Degree Programs for the Biology Division at the University of Georgia. In her position as a biology educator, Brickman has been inspired to develop and assess active learning strategies to improve large group instruction. She teaches non-majors introductory biology in sections of 350 students each semester. To reach this audience, she has developed case studies, inquiry-based lab exercises, and cooperative learning strategies, and has conducted research into how these techniques impact student motivation. She trains graduate students to develop and implement these activities and is a workshop coordinator for the FIRST IV program to train post-doctoral scholars to teach using these scientific teaching strategies in biology.

Brickman is a distinguished instructor whose contributions to teaching have been recognized at the local and national level. She won the Richard B. Russell Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2006 from the University of Georgia and was recognized with the 2008 Georgia State Regents Award for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

She received her Ph.D. in Genetics from U.C. Berkeley.


Frank Dinan
Frank Dinan, Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Canisius College, dinan@canisius.edu

Frank Dinan has been using cooperative learning methods to teach chemistry courses for over a decade. He has developed an innovative way of integrating case method teaching with team learning to teach information-intensive subjects in introductory-level science courses. Called Problem-based Team Learning (PBTL), the method makes frequent use of case studies to allow important issues to be raised that otherwise would be difficult to consider in a science course at the introductory level.

Dinan has developed a variety of cases for general chemistry, organic chemistry, and instrumental chemistry, as well as for an honors course dealing with science and technology and their applications to society. For his course called Chemistry by the Case, a one-semester chemistry course for non-science majors, he integrates case teaching with team learning and uses cases to engage, instruct, and challenge his students.

Dinan received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University at Buffalo.


Richard Donham
Richard Donham, Senior Policy Associate, Mathematics &Science Education Resource Center, University of Delaware, donham@udel.edu

Richard Donham is Senior Science Education Associate for the Mathematics &Science Education Resource Center at the University of Delaware. The Center provides professional development for in-service teachers and serves as a coordinating unit for university efforts to assist science and math education in the state. For more than a decade, Richard has been involved in middle and high school science curricular development and implementation at the state level. He also collaborates with other faculty to provide graduate level courses that fortify middle school and high school teachers’ understanding of science so they can be more effective in the classroom.

With a secondary position in the Department of Biological Sciences, Donham also teaches biology to undergraduate elementary education majors and is a leader in the use of inquiry pedagogies, particularly Problem-Based Learning. He consults and provides workshops nationally and internationally on the use of PBL in the undergraduate curriculum. In addition to his involvement with the National Science Foundation GK-12 project, he is a Co-PI on an NSF Teacher Professional Continuum Grant and collaborates with the College of Engineering on an NSF grant to provide immersion research experiences for high school science and math teachers.

Donham holds a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Washington.


James Hewlett
James Hewlett, Associate Professor of Biology, Finger Lakes Community College, hewletja@flcc.edu

James Hewlett is an Associate Professor of Biology at Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC), where he teaches courses in general biology, human anatomy and physiology, cell biology, and genetics research techniques. A leader in the integration of authentic learning experiences into undergraduate biology curriculum on a national scale, he was recently awarded a $500,000 NSF grant to fund the second phase of a project that will lead a national effort to reform undergraduate biology curricula at community colleges. The project involves the utilization of the Case Study Method as a tool for integrating project-based learning into introductory science courses. Since 2003, the island of Montserrat has been a primary site for FLCC student research under Hewlett’s direction, with Hewlett and his students studying ecosystem development after volcanic eruptions on the island.

Hewlett has created online courses in both biology and anatomy and physiology, and uses media extensively in his classroom and lab. He is on the Editorial Board of the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science and has several cases in the Center’s collection. As a member of the speaker’s bureau for Prentice Hall’s BioForum, he has presented several workshops on the use of Peer-Led Team Learning and the Case Study Method for teaching college biology.

Hewlett received his M.S. in Marine Science from the University of Connecticut. He also received a doctoral training fellowship in pharmacology and physiology at the University of Rochester.


Eric Ribbens
Eric Ribbens, Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Western Illinois University, E-Ribbens@wiu.edu

Eric Ribbens has been teaching with cases since 1999. He has written seven of the cases in our case collection, including several botanical case studies, and is a member of our editorial board and frequent reviewer of cases for the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science. An advocate of the extensive use of case studies, he has used up to 13 cases a semester in his introductory biology courses. More recently, he has incorporated the use of clickers into his large lecture courses and is part of an NSF-funded study on the effectiveness of the use of clickers to teach cases at the introductory level. In the spring of 2009, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Western Illinois University chose Eric to receive an award for "Teaching With Technology."

Ribbens is interested in the development of good teaching cases, and is particularly interested in the writing of teaching notes. He firmly believes that cases are most effective when they are deeply integrated into a course. This fall he will be teaching both a large (120 students) and a small (15 students) section of an introductory botany course, and plans to use clickers and cases in both sections.

His Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology is from the University of Connecticut.


James Serach
James Serach, Aldo Leopold Chair for Distinguished Teaching in Environmental Science and Ethics, The Lawrenceville School

James Serach is a science teacher at The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, where he holds the endowed Aldo Leopold Chair for Distinguished Teaching in Environmental Science and Ethics. Before that, Serach was a science teacher at Lawrence Academy in Groton, Massachusetts, for 20 years. He has taught biology, chemistry, and a number of electives including courses in microbiology, geology, tropical biology, marine science, and limnology. Most of his courses include significant laboratory and field components. He was involved in redesigning the Lawrence Academy science curriculum with emphases on skills development and genuine inquiry, and a content goal of achieving scientific literacy in all students. He held a New York State teaching certification in biology, chemistry, and general science from State University College in Buffalo, New York.

Presently, Serach is involved with the A.P. Environmental Science curriculum as a workshop consultant, and he is currently serving on the A.P. Environmental Science Test Development Committee. He has served at the annual reading as a reader, table leader, and question leader. He has designed several tropical field study courses at Lawrence Academy and The Lawrenceville School. Over his long career, he has conducted numerous workshops and presentations on bats, teaching in the field, inquiry-based learning and teaching, interpreting and collecting data, and using case studies. He is especially interested in the importance of being in the field and playing and exploring out of doors as formative, and transformative, experiences in children.

Serach reecived his M.S. in Biology from the University of New Mexico, with an emphasis on the physiological ecology of bats. He partially completed a Ph.D. program in biology at Boston University.


Conference Convener


Nancy Schiller
Nancy A. Schiller, Co-Director, National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, and Engineering Librarian, Science & Engineering Library, University at Buffalo, schiller@buffalo.edu

Nancy Schiller is the Engineering Librarian at the University at Buffalo and Co-Director of the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science. She oversees the development and maintenance of the Center’s website and is Head of the Editorial Board for the Center’s case collection. She has published cases in evolutionary biology and, with colleague Clyde (Kipp) Herreid, guest-edited an annual special case studies issue of the Journal of College Science Teaching for over seven years.

Schiller has served as Co-PI on a number of science education grants funded by the National Science Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts as well as PI on an Educational Technology Initiative grant awarded by the State University of New York’s Office of Educational Technology. In 1997, she received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Librarianship.

Her Master’s in Library Science is from Columbia University.


Conference Coordinator


Carolyn Wright
Carolyn Wright, Conference Coordinator / Project Director, National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, cwright2@buffalo.edu

Carolyn Wright coordinates the activities of the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, including the Center’s annual summer workshop and fall conference. In addition to being the central point of contact for the Center and managing its day-to-day and financial operations, Wright also serves as our grants administrator and manages the case submittal process, working with case authors and other Center staff to track case manuscripts as they move through the stages of review, revision, and publication on our website.

Wright received her MBA from the University at Buffalo.