2012–2013 OUSTA Winner Announced
The 2012–2013 winner of the Society for College Science Teachers (SCST) Outstanding Undergraduate Science Teacher Award (OUSTA) is Dr. Michael Klymkowsky.
Dr. Klymkowsky is a Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at the University of Colorado Boulder. Driven by a recognition of the deficiencies in student understanding due to defects in course and curricular design, since the early 2000’s he has been involved in developing assessment methods, including the NSF funded Biology Concept Inventory, and educational materials, including a re-designed introductory molecular biology course, Biofundamentals, and an on-line laboratory course (virtuallaboratory.net). These projects led to a on-going collaborations with Melanie Cooper (a previous OUSTA winner) to develop a radically new introductory chemistry curriculum (Chemistry, Life, the Universe and Everything or CLUE), with Sam Bryfcynski and Cooper on a novel, graphic-based formative assessment system, BeSocratic (used extensively in CLUE and Biofundamentals), and with Highlighter.com to make Biofundamentals a socially interactive text. Current projects involve developing more coherent and effective curricula by extending CLUE and Biofundamentals, developing more informative test designs, and developing strategies to improve learning outcomes, specifically in terms of students’ ability to synthesize facts and principles to induce a rigorous and useful framework within which to address scientific problems. He has devoted time to outreach, addressing student questions through the MadSci network. He is a Fellow of the AAAS, a recipient of a Best Should Teach Award, a Co-Director of the CU Teach Science Teacher Recruitment and Certification program, and on the management team for the new Center For Student STEM learning at UC Boulder.
SCST established the OUSTA to recognize the achievements of scholars who have enhanced the profession as outstanding teachers of science. This year’s award is co-sponsored by the Springer Science+Business Media (www.springer.com). This annual award is based upon a selection process that evaluates nominees according to the following categories: 1) teaching excellence, as demonstrated through teaching philosophy and effectiveness, teaching innovations, and course and curricula development; 2) scholarship, demonstrated through publications in science education, presentations, grants received, and other forms of scholarship including discipline-based research; and 3) service to science education, students, the profession, scientific and educational organizations, the nominee’s institution, local teachers and their school systems, and the general public with the overall goal of enhancing understanding of scientific issues.