ORLANDO, May 14, 2010 — Dr. Ken Teter, assistant professor of Molecular Biology and Microbiology at the College of Medicine’s Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, has been selected as the College of Medicine’s honoree for the 2010 UCF Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award (SoTL).
His selection was based on his research on the effectiveness of programs he initiated to improve student engagement in the life sciences. He based these programs on a thorough study of the best practices in student engagement research and has developed and is using assessment tools to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the programs.
Dr. Teter speaks often about the fact that engagement is the key in education and that engagement includes dialogue, questioning, hands-on learning and research. “Instead of simply reciting information, I ask questions,” he says. “Why is the CDC in Atlanta? Students are surprised to learn that the original goal of the CDC was to eliminate malaria from the southern United States. Historical and contemporary references thus provide my students with real-world links to the lecture material.”
To increase student engagement, Dr. Teter established the Program for Undergraduate Research (PURE) within the Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology. PURE provides a select group of students with a holistic experience that includes independent research and oral and written presentations of their research findings. He also directs a “Career Opportunities in the Biomedical Sciences” seminar series. The seminars are designed to provide students with career advice and to raise their awareness of the variety of career paths available in science.
A specialist in infectious disease, Dr. Teter’s research is focused on cellular microbiology, including how the cholera infection affects human cells.