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Teaching Responsibilities

I teach at City College of San Francisco (CCSF), which is a community college and serves a diverse group of students.   CCSF is one of the largest community colleges in the country and has a main campus as well as about 12 satellite campuses in and around the city.  I currently teach two types of classes and populations of students at CCSF as well as a summer program through San Francsico State University (SFSU). 

  • Human Biology

This course is a combined lecture/laboratory course that is geared toward non-science majors.  Generally these students are planning on transferring to a four-year institution, but do not plan to major in a science-related degree.  The Human Biology students are diverse in any way you could define diversity:  educational background, age, language, ethnicity, learning ability, motivation, economic situations, etc.  

  • General Biology

This course is a laboratory for biology majors focusing on evolution and what many people classify as “organismal biology”.  The students in this course are highly motivated and independent (but still also represent the diverse population at CCSF).  Many plan to earn a B.S. in Biology or are completing prerequisites for applications to medical school or other professional degrees. 

  • NIH Bridge to Baccalaureate Directed Research

This is a summer program that teaches under-represented minorities research skills.  I’ve used zebrafish as a model system to engage students in activities that teach them how to work in a research laboratory environment.   Students also complete and present a mini-research project.  These students are selected from a few local community colleges by instructors that have nominated the students because they showed both interest and potential in the sciences.


Teaching Challenges
The biggest challenge that I face teach the Human Biology course is trying to keep the diverse students engaged and interested in what we discuss, and getting students to care about the topics.  The second challenge I face is assessing what they do learn effectively, and creating asessments that match the objectives for the course.


Professional Development Goals

My professional goals are to focus on continuous improvement and updating of curriculum and sharing my findings and ideas with others (and hearing about others’ findings and ideas).  I selected to apply for the Assessment fellowship because of the clear connection between developing assessment techniques and designing curriculum - I feel that these items are complementary.  

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