CEILS Welcomes Rachel Kennison as Associate Director for Professional Development and Student Engagement 

Rachel received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College, MS in Clinical Social Work from Columbia University and her PhD in Biology from UCLA in 2008. Her graduate research focused on studying the structure and function of southern California estuaries, and the patterns of nutrient availability and macroalgal blooms. Her overriding goal was to further her passion for communicating science to a broad audience, teaching and mentoring and working with underrepresented students in science to improve the pipeline to higher education. After graduating she worked as Co-Director for the Centers for Ocean Science Education Excellence-West, a program connecting K-12 teachers with marine scientists and implementing cutting edge research into the K-12 classroom.

Rachel teaches the Career Development for Life Science Majors course (LS 110), exposing students to a variety of career opportunities in the sciences and featuring UCLA faculty and alumni speakers from various industries. Additionally, Rachel runs all of the programming for the CEILS CIRTL (Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning) program. CIRTL provides professional development opportunities for future faculty (graduate students and postdoctoral scholars) interested in academic careers at the intersection of research and teaching.

Rachel can be contacted at

Christopher Lee, Professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Computer Science presents:

"Courselets—A simple platform in CCLE for online, in-class active learning"

Save the Date! October 14, 2016
2-3pm, 1100 Terasaki

  Call to Action - AAC&U's Active Learning Day!

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has recently announced an Active Learning Day as part of its nationwide Call to Action to improve STEM education.

On Active Learning Day, US STEM faculty are encouraged to incorporate teaching strategies that promote active learning in their classrooms. In response to this effort, join Active Learning Day by pledging to implement advanced undergraduate STEM teaching techniques that equally promote active learning and integrate cultural responsiveness. #ActiveLearningDay will take place on Tuesday, October 25, 2016

How Do I Sign Up?
(1)    Click on the link above to complete the pledge form . Fill out the form with your name, institution’s name, and a brief sentence about what activity or action you plan to undertake on Active Learning Day. That’s it.

Is There A Pledge Deadline? The deadline to sign up for AAC&U’s Active Learning Day pledge is Tuesday, October 18, 2016. Thank you for joining us in responding to this Call to Action. 

DBER Fellow Position in the Department of Life Sciences Core Curriculum at the University of California, Los Angeles

The Department of Life Sciences Core Curriculum (LS Core) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) invites applicants for a full-time position of Postdoctoral Scholar in discipline-based education research (DBER), curriculum development, and instruction. This appointment is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) program.

The Postdoctoral Scholar, hereafter referred to as a DBER Fellow, will work with a team of biology education scholars, whose academic focus is on teaching, instructional development, and education research, as well as research faculty, whose primary teaching responsibility is in one of three introductory life science courses: Cell and Molecular Biology (LS7A), Genetics, Evolution and Ecology (LS7B), and Physiology and Human Biology (LS7C).

See details and apply by Oct. 30th:

Journal Club
CEILS Journal Club for STEM Education Research |
Learning Community Meetings 

Fridays from 2:00 – 3:00 PM   Location:  1100 TSLB 

Upcoming Journal Club Presentations:
  • October 7, 2016 | Mark Espinola, Gradehub CEO and Founder, will present an Instructional Technology Demonstration
  • October 14, 2016 | Christopher Lee, Professor in the Departments of Chemistry and
    Biochemistry and Computer Science, will give a talk titled “Courselets – A Simple Platform in CCLE for Online, In-Class Active Learning.”
  • October 21, 2016 | Courtney Clark, Graduate Student in the Department of Psychology will present a paper by Manu Kapur (2014) “Comparing Learning from Productive Failure and Vicarious Failure.” Journal of the Learning Sciences, 23:4, 651-677. DOI: 10.1080/10508406.2013.819000
  • October 28, 2016 | Amanda Freise, Postdoctoral Scholar in Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology
  • November 4, 2016 | Francie Mercer, Postdoctoral Scholar in the department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics.

About Journal Club: Participants explore relevant education literature in more depth and develop greater understanding of assessment techniques and data analysis methods. Presenters may select a paper and lead a discussion about how education researchers have documented the relationship between effective teaching practices and their impact on student learning, knowledge retention, and persistence in STEM majors. Alternatively, presenters describe classroom innovations and evidence-based instructional strategies they are trying in their own courses, soliciting feedback from participants while sharing their expertise in a variety of areas supporting instruction and assessment in STEM classrooms. Faculty, graduate students, and postdocs are welcome to participate!

View more information on the "events" section of our website.

Upcoming Events 

Women in Research invite you to:
Issues of Interest to Women in Science Networking Lunch Series

These events provided an opportunity to connect with women faculty who are actively engaged in research across different disciplines, but who face similar career issues – come share your experiences.

Discussion Topic: Bullies in the Workplace

Discussion Led by:
Nancy Wayne, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Physiology
Associate Vice Chancellor for Research

Please click here to find the link the article “The Bully Pulpit: Bullies in the Workplace and How to Protect Yourself” This article will provide us with a jumping-off  point for discussion. Even if you don’t come to the meeting you might find this article of interest.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Gonda Building, Room 1357 
1st Floor Conference Room

Light lunch will be provided, please RSVP to ensure food for all.

Webinar: STEM and Politics - Before and After Nov. 8th (election)
Date: October 13, 2016
Time: 1-2pm Eastern
Learn more.     Register here.

Transforming Undergraduate STEM Education: Implications for 21st-Century Society
Nov 3-5, 2016, Boston, MA
Ecosystem of Science Communication: Communicating the Science is the Solution
October 21, Washington, DC
Register by October 11
SABER West 2017 (Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research) 
Jan 14-15 , UC Irvine
Registration opens Oct 10
Emerging Engagement Scholars Workshop:
A pre-conference event of the Engagement Scholarship Consortium Annual Conference
October 9-10, 2016 , Omaha, Nebraska
International Symposium on Biomathematics and Ecology Education and Research (BEERS)  
October 14-16, 2016, College of Charleston, North Carolina
Teaching Computation in the Sciences Using MATLAB
October 23-25, 2016, Carleton College, Northfield, MN
Learn more and register online.
80th Annual Meeting of the  Southern California Branch of the American Society for Microbiology (SCASM)
October 28-29, 2016, Hyatt Regency, La Jolla, CA
2017 General Education and Assessment: Design Thinking for Student Learning
February 23 - 25, 2017 , The Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel , Phoenix , AZ 85004
Learn more and register online.


Four years after two senior academics at Stanford University challenged medical schools to stop lecturing and start flipping their classrooms, major reforms at underway at a handful of colleges to change the way they teach medicine.

Genuine Research Keeps Students in Science
new undergraduate program at UT-Austin  found that including opportunities for research in freshman level science classes increases students' chances of graduating with a science degree.

Zero Correlation Between Instructor Evaluations and Learning 
New study  suggests that student evaluations of instructors have almost no correlation with teaching effectiveness, despite decades of contradictory opinions.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities as Leaders in STEM
A new report outlines the  state of STEM education  for minority students and what HBCU's do to produce successful STEM professionals. 

Why 'Alternative' Careers in STEM Aren't 'Alternative'
The stigma associated with  pursuing alternative career paths  may be discouraging scientists from wanting to engage the public in matters of science.

Not Your Parents' College Experience
The charts and figures in this  interactive article  show the increasing diversity of today's students in higher education.

October Events

Peer-to-Peer Learning: Making It Work in Your Classes and in Your Education
Monday, October 10 at 11AM-12PM ET/10-11AM CT/9-10AM MT/8-9AM PT What is peer-to-peer learning, and how does it help learning and development? How and why might you implement more peer-to-peer instruction in your classroom? Join us discuss the shift to peer learning and what makes it effective for you as both an instructor and a student. Come ready with questions for discussion!

How Do We Approach  Evidence-Based Education?
Monday, October 10 at 2-3PM ET/1-2PM CT/12-1PM MT/11AM-12PM PT What do the last 15-plus years of research tell us about evidence-based education? We'll discuss a 1999 article laying out what evidence-based education is, and Adam J. Blanford and Preston Cumming will lead a discussion of how our understanding of evidence-based education has evolved since then.

The Spacing Effect: Re-organizing Your Course for Improved Outcomes
Thursday, October 13 at 5-6PM ET/4-5PM CT/3-4PM MT/2-3PM PT Can simple changes to how lessons are organized change student performance? The spacing effect suggests that more widely spaced learning episodes benefit later retention of information. However, research shows that when lessons are spaced too far apart, retention of facts learned through rote memorization suffers. Join us to hear about new research into the spacing effect, and how it can help you better organize your lesson plans.

Increasing Student Motivation through Instructional Practices
Thursday, October 20 at 5-6PM ET/4-5PM CT/3-4PM MT/2-3PM PT This session will address two types of instructional practices for increasing student motivation. The first type involves fostering students' "growth mindsets"; that is, helping them to think about intelligence and ability as something that can be improved over time with effort. The second type aims to enhance the perceived utility or relevance of course content. We'll review theory and discuss empirical research examining the efficacy of these practices in different learning contexts and for diverse groups of students.

Understanding, Measuring, and Motivating Transfer of Learning
Thursday, October 27 at 5-6PM ET/4-5PM CT/3-4PM MT/2-3PM PT Transfer is the ability to use prior knowledge and experience to solve novel problems. It has been a topic of much interest, research, and controversy for the past 100 years in both Psychology and Education. In this talk, we will discuss research on instructional strategies designed to promote transfer and new work on the role of goal motivation in transfer.

Professional Development
Postdoctoral Scholars & Graduate Students

Preparing Future Faculty

Based on continuing interest and requests from graduate students and postdocs for more information about careers in the full spectrum of American higher education, Dr. Arlene Russell will again be offering the Preparing Future Faculty program this year. Although listed as a Chemistry course, the information is general and meets the needs of all future STEM faculty. All are welcome.  Grad students may sign up for or audit the course; postdocs are welcome to audit.

All lectures are on Tuesdays in Fall Quarter 2016 from 11:30am-12:50pm in Young Hall 2033.
View the course syllabus here: PFF Fall-Syllabus-2016.

Two Great Resources for Learning About Opportunities in Science has recently created a new pair of web-based portals to help undergraduates and graduate students alike search for Federally-sponsored opportunities in STEM. If you are interested, please see the links below.
The O*NET program is the nation's primary source of occupational information, containing information on hundreds of standardized and occupation-specific descriptors. The database provides the basis for the Career Exploration Tools, a set of assessment instruments for workers and students looking to find or change careers.

Opportunities for Funding & Collaboration

HHMI Launches New Program for Early-Career Scientists

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) announced a new program to recruit and retain early-career scientists who are from gender, racial, ethnic, and other groups underrepresented in the life sciences, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Through an open competition, HHMI plans to select scientists early in their training to become Hanna H. Gray Fellows. Each fellow will receive funding for up to eight years, with mentoring and active involvement within the HHMI community. In this two-phase program, fellows will be supported from early postdoctoral training through several years of a tenure-track faculty position. In the first competition cycle, HHMI will select up to 15 fellows and invest a total of up to $25 million for their support over eight years.

Applicants may obtain more information at

Evaluate UR: Evaluating Undergraduate Research

If you, or someone of your campus is operating an intensive summer undergraduate research program, you may be able to participate in an NSF WIDER program (DUE 13-477227). Led by SUNY Buffalo State, the project seeks to refine and disseminate a successful model of undergraduate research assessment that has been in place at that institution since 2008.  This model closely links the teaching and learning process in a unique design that has improved student learning while producing rich empirical evidence of program outcomes and student knowledge gains. The project is now seeking additional institutions to pilot the dissemination of this model. Interested campuses must have a summer undergraduate research program lasting from six to ten weeks in which students work with faculty mentors, a campus undergraduate research director or coordinator who oversees the program, and ongoing institutional support for continuing program operation.  For more information, and apply to be a pilot institution, please see: 
Job Opportunities

UCLA LS Core Postdoctoral Scholar for LS7A/B/C
Life Sciences Core Curriculum

Postdoctoral Research Associate Position in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology 
Education Research at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Assistant Professor, Tenure-Track Chemistry
Saint Mary's College of California - Moraga, CA

Open Until Filled

Teaching Assistant Professor (2 Positions)
Department of Biology Teaching and Learning

University of Minnesota
Job ID#: 313293

Assistant Professor in Biological Sciences (2 Positions)
University of Delaware

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Biological Sciences Program (

University of Maryland

Director of Assessment
Purdue Libraries

Purdue University

Senior Education Research Consultant
Center for Educational Resources in the Sheridan Libraries
John Hopkins University

Physics Instructor Needed (2 Positions)
Los Angeles City College
►For more information please see this link.

Public Engagement Project Director, AAAS
Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology, AAAS

Policy Research Fellow at AAC&U
Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U)

Center for Education Innovation & Learning in the Sciences | UCLA

For more information about CEILS events and resources, including a list of STEM education events from previous mailers, please visit the CEILS website at  or stop by the CEILS office in Hershey Hall (Rooms 122 & 126 or 210).

  If you wish to be added to the CEILS mailing list, please send your request to .

Please note, this Bi-Monthly Newsletter is circulated through many departmental listservs. Most other CEILS correspondence, including special event announcements and reminders, are sent to CEILS mailing list recipients only. Thanks!