Distinguished Scholar Seminar 2011
The annual SPIRE Distinguished Scholar Seminar (DSS) was held at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Friday October 28, 2011. The goals of the DSS are to provide undergraduate students from SPIRE’s partner minority serving institutions a forum to communicate with a high-profile academic researcher and educator, to view research labs at UNC, and to explore possible careers as academic scientists. The day included a talk by Dr. Diane Ebert-May from Michigan State University (more information below), lunch with Dr. Ebert-May and SPIRE fellows, a panel discussion about applying to and the experience of graduate school, an optional seminar on finding summer research opportunities, and tours of UNC research labs.
Dr. Diane Ebert-May is a professor at Michigan State University in the Plant Biology Department and the former director of the MSU Lyman Briggs School of Sciences.She has been a biology professor since 1976 and is devoted to teaching and her long-term ecological research of alpine tundra plant communities. During her career she has observed fundamental problems with the way we teach biology to undergraduate students. This lead her to start the Faculty Institutes for Reforming Science Teaching (FIRST) program, an NSF-sponsored program that has been funded since 1998 to work with graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and professors to reform undergraduate biology education. The goal of the FIRST program is to get students enthusiastic about science and the process of scientific-inquiry.