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This conference is managed by the American Society for Microbiology
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I am currently an assistant professor of microbiology in the Department of Biological Sciences at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada.  My career goal has always been to make a difference in the world of science through being an effective teacher and inspiring researcher to my students.  It seems that no matter where I am in my life, I always find myself back in the educational role which I am passionate for.  I taught at Chiang Mai University (CMU), Thailand, for 2 years both at undergraduate and graduate levels, and briefly at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver before moving here.  When I was at those institutions, I found that I enjoyed motivating students to be more critical in their thinking and more active in their learning.   

When I was hired by TRU in 2002, I was the only microbiologist (we have two now) in the department.  Together with a couple of colleagues, I oversaw curriculum development for Department’s new major in Cellular, Molecular, and Microbial Biology (CMMB).  I was (am still am) enthusiastic about the new program which is now the most popular program in the Department.  We have seen the number of enrolled students growing every year.  My contributions to this program include creating and teaching courses on Introductory Microbiology I and II, Molecular Evolution, Industrial Microbiology, and Bioremediation.  I also co-authored a course on advanced microbiology techniques in 2003.  I have revised and reorganized the lab component of the Introductory Microbiology courses with the help of two lab faculty members so that we have a more updated series of exercises that aims to make microbiology fun, and more meaningful to students as well as complement the lectures.  I like the idea that students often learn by doing, seeing, and experimenting with hand-on lab activities as opposed to the conventional learning by rote.  It was a lot of work but it was truly rewarding. 

Now in my 7th year of teaching here, I still find myself learning how to improve my teaching and to assess student learning so that the courses can be made more effective and interactive.  Feedback from student evaluations indicated that the revised laboratory components have shown positive impacts on their learning.  Additionally, to enhance student learning, I have posted on WebCT on-line power point lectures for most of my courses, links to educational animations and websites, reading assignments, and have created a web-board for discussions. 

All in all, I am really keen to learn be a more skillful teacher:-)

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