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Undergraduate Science Education

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Active Engagement in Lectures: Clickers

Afterintroducing clickers into our introductory biology courses, members of the NMSU Biology Department carried out a study of the impact of clickers on student learning and attitude. We studied six courses, ranging from non-majors intro to upper division cell biology. In all cases, the use of clickers was viewed favorably by students, and the more clicker questions we asked per lecture, the better students did on exam questions covering the corresponding material. In summary, we demonstrated that a higher frequency of clicker questions resulted in better performance on exams. As you cam imagine, I now consistently ask more clicker questions per lecture, rather than fewer. This study has been published in

CBE/Life Sciences Education

Pre-Nursing Microbiology and Genetics & Genomics

With the development of new essential nursing competencies for genetics and genomics, I have become interested in using a pre-nursing micrbiology course (Biol 219; Public Health Microbiology) to develop a genetics and genomics knowledge base. Specifically, I have been assessing the ability of a microbiology course to develop an understanding of genetic and genomic technology, to develop an understanding between the relationship of genetics/genomics and diagnostics and genetic information literacy. This study has been accepted for publication in CBE-Life Sciences Education. 


Undergraduate Cancer Education 

Cancer continues to be a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. It is also marked by health disparities between different ethnic groups within the country, and an underrepresentation of African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans in the cancer research and medical professions.  Thus, a need exists to recruit and train minority students for careers in cancer research and treatment. Through the MI/CC Partnership between NMSU and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, an on-going cancer course (Biol 385: An Introduction to Cancer) has been developed, assessed and published in CBE Life Sciences Education (



We have also developed a Cancer Teaching Fellows Program, so that postdoctoral fellows from the FHCRC can have mentored teaching experiences at NMSU, preparing them for their first academic appointments.



These programs are funded by the NCI (;; Grant # 5 U54 CA132383) 

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