We are thrilled to have the following experts join with the invited speakers and PULSE Leadership Fellows in facilitating workshops during the Institute.

Angelica Christie Picture Reduced
Angelica Christie, MEd. EdD candidate
My interests lie in the personal, academic, and professional development of youth. I have been employed with the South Carolina Area Health Education Consortium (AHEC) since 1998. In my current role as director of the AHEC Health Careers Program, my responsibilities include developing and providing statewide oversight of programs and activities designed to increase the number of students entering South Carolina’s health professions pipeline. Emphasis is placed on underrepresented minority and disadvantaged students in order to address disparities within the health professions workforce. The goal of programming is to develop academically proficient and self-confident future health care professionals. I hold an academic appointment in the Medical University of South Carolina College of Health Professions, and serve as an adjunct instructor in the Winthrop University Department of Biology. With over 20 year of experience in the field of education, I am also certified by the National Career Development Association as a Global Career Development Facilitator and Instructor.

As an advocate of lifelong learning, my academic vitae includes a BA in English Literature with a communications concentration from Francis Marion University, a MEd in Guidance and Counseling Services with an emphasis in Student Affairs from Clemson University, and a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Leadership Training deferred by Columbia College. I am currently pursuing an EdD in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment at the Richard Riley College of Education of Walden University. My research experience, publications, and presentations focus on youth development topics.

A native of Greenville, SC, Angelica and her husband, Andre´ reside in Charlotte, NC as the proud parents of Shelby, Errol, Taylor, and Ehren.

Byron R. McCane, PhD.
I am currently the Albert C. Outler Professor and Chair of the Department of Religion at Wofford College. In addition I serve as co-director of the Kinneret Regional Project, an ongoing archaeological excavation at Horvat Kur, an ancient Jewish village located in northern Israel. Over the past 25 years I’ve excavated villages (Jewish and Roman) and Roman forts in Italy, Israel and Jordan. My research explores the religions of the ancient Mediterranean world, including Roman religions and the Bible. My scholarly publications are located at the intersection of archaeology and ancient religious texts, and I’ve spoken on how globalization (then and now) impacts religion and other aspects of culture. I have also appeared in archaeological documentaries on National Geographic, History, and Discovery, although my daughters would claim the most exciting moment was when I gave a video clue on Jeopardy. As an archaeologist I dig to uncover empirical evidence that provides insight into the cultural practices of a prior era, and how we use that evidence to understand the roles of religions and other cultural practices in context. This work has recently led me to engage with the often dualistic controversies about science and religion. It has been my experience that most participants in debates about science and religion are not especially well-informed about the academic study of religion and how religion shapes culture -- especially their own.

Malcolm Hill, Ph.D.
I am currently Associate Dean and Professor of Biology in the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Richmond. In addition to my responsibilities at UR, I serve as a Redesign Scholar at the National Center for Academic Transformation. I work with a number of institutions to think about how to effectively redesign science curricula. Most recently, I have been working with Coastal Bend College (a 2-year school in south Texas) to redesign their Introductory Biology course. I am deeply committed to creating opportunities for students that have been under-represented in the sciences. I find one of the best ways to achieve that goal is to create courses that incorporate best teaching practices, and to encourage faculty to be mindful of the diversity of learning experiences represented by the students in their classes. My research focuses on the evolutionary ecology of sponges (and other invertebrates) in temperate and tropical marine systems. Using molecular and field-based techniques, I collaborates with students and colleagues (including April Hill, one of the PULSE Fellows and my spouse) to study factors that influence population characteristics and community structure and function (e.g., predator-prey dynamics, morphological plasticity and anti-predator defenses). Our recent work centers on understanding the symbiosis between a type of algae and corals that supports almost all of the life on coral reefs. I have done work throughout the Caribbean and on the Great Barrier Reef, but most of our work occurs in the beautiful and funky Florida Keys.

Michelle Withers, Ph.D.
I am an Associate Professor of Biology at West Virginia University. My research focuses on improving undergraduate science education, particularly evaluating the efficacy of different teaching methods in enhancing student learning. Another major focus of my program is training current and future faculty in Scientific Teaching. I am the Director for the National Academies Scientific Teaching Alliance (NASTA), serve on the executive board of the Biology Director’s Consortium (BDC) and am a founding member of the Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research (SABER). I graduated with a B.S. in Public Health from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and received my Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Arizona, Tucson.

Suzanne Barbour
Suzanne Barbour, Ph.D.
As a professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Virginia Commonwealth University, I enjoy watching the intellectual development of young people and appreciate the chance to be a part of that process. I try to teach “understanding,” not simply memorization. I think it’s important for students to understand the “process” and the theoretical underpinning of the “facts.” If you understand these things, then you are not simply memorizing. In addition, this provides you with the tools you need to ask your own questions and push the field further ahead. I want the students to appreciate the “science behind the facts.” If they appreciate the experimental methods that are used to derive the facts, I think they are likely to see the “beauty” in the science. My ultimate goal is to convince the students to love science in general and research in particular ... hopefully as much as I do. I want [life science students] to know that they cannot completely disregard the physical sciences. Too often, I am disheartened when I work with life sciences students who haven’t bothered to master basic math and chemistry. These subjects are fundamental to the life sciences as well! I encourage life science students to take as many chemistry and math courses are their schedules allow. (Excerpted from http://www.vcu.edu/lifesci/research/res_fac_int_barbour.html)

J. Ellis Bell, Ph.D.
Dr. Bell is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Richmond. Here is an excerpt from a recent article written by Dr. Bell and available at the link below.

Have we implemented “Vision and Change”? In some instances, yes, but community-wide there is a long way to go, and, as we move along the path, it is clear that “Vision and Change” will evolve, and must evolve, to engage more than just the biological science community and the four-year college student community if it is truly to transform life-science education. In particular, it is critical that the two-year college community is engaged in the discussion of how the first two years look and what concepts and skills are involved.

The discussion of what the first two years of the curriculum should look like puts the allied fields of chemistry, physics, math and computer science into the spotlight. Combined with the emphasis on skills and early exposure to research, this suggests a need for a concerted implementation of the approaches envisioned in “Vision and Change” among the various disciplines and departments involved in educating students in the molecular life sciences. (Excerpted from http://www.asbmb.org/asbmbtoday/asbmbtoday_article.aspx?id=17883)

Cheryl A. Sensibaugh
Cheryl A. Sensibaugh, Ph.D. Candidate.
Cheryl was admitted into the Biomedical Research Education Programs at the University of New Mexico as the first student whose doctoral research focuses on science education, specifically biochemistry education research, with Dr. Marcy Osgood in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Current research interests include characterizing the nature and diversity of biochemistry students' approaches to problem-solving, developing authentic assessments of discipline-specific processes, and identifying the preconceptions that students bring to biochemistry courses. Cheryl earned her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from UNM in 2007, and is also currently working towards completion of the Certificate Program in University Science Teaching.

Charles H. Sullivan, Ph.D.
Dr. Sullivan earned a B.A. degree in zoology from the University of Maine at Orono and graduate degrees from the University of Maryland, College Park. After a postdoctoral fellowship in developmental biology at the University of Virginia, Dr. Sullivan joined the Department of Biology at Grinnell College in Iowa. During his 25 year career, he taught courses in introductory biology, cell biology, and developmental biology and served two terms as Department Chair. Dr. Sullivan also supervised nearly 100 independent projects ranging from guided readings to lab-based research on lens formation in chicken embryos. He has studied at the Bermuda Biological Station and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA and taken sabbatical leaves at Montana State University and George Washington University Medical Center. Dr. Sullivan is currently serving as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation helping to manage several programs designed to improve undergraduate biology education.

For more information about PULSE and to join the PULSE Community, please go to http://www.pulsecommunity.org/.