Bard College Citizen Science


Citizen Science is a science literacy course required for all Bard College students. Rebecca serves as a faculty member for the program in the Community Action strand and teaches during the January term. In January 2019, Rebecca served as instructor of record for a class of 18 students.
While the learning objectives and some content for the course is outlined by the Bard Citizen Science curriculum committee, Rebecca was responsible for finalizing the course design and independently leading her class both in the classroom and the laboratory. This has been an excellent opportunity to utilize many active learning techniques including small group projects, think-pair-share, and jig-saw groups.

University of Michigan Micro430


This course is entitled Host-Microbial Symbiosis and is an introduction to the microbiome for junior and senior level undergraduate students. Since 2017, Rebecca has served as a guest lecturer for two class sessions focusing on how the microbiota interacts with drugs and other exogenous compounds that enter the human intestine. This course focuses on using primary literature and Rebecca also makes an effort to highlight the scientists that authored the literature being used. Rebecca’s first session focuses on xenobiotic metabolism by the microbiota and uses the β-glucuronidase enzymes that Rebecca characterized during her PhD as a key example. The second lecture reinforces the importance of metabolism by the microbiota but focuses on the impact of choline metabolism on increased cardiovascular disease risk. Rebecca also writes exam questions and assists with exam grading for this course.

University of Michigan OLLI Host-Microbial symbiosis

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at University of Michigan encourages adults to continue their education long after formal school is done. In the Spring of 2018, Rebecca lead a course on host-microbial symbiosis focusing on how the human gut microbiota is important in human health and disease. Rebecca designed this ten week course and met once per week with the class of approximately 20 adults. Participants included individuals familiar with science and medicine such as doctors and nurses as well as individuals who had not had a science course in over 30 years. This experience was excellent practice in appealing to a wide audience and leading discussions.

Wolverine Pathways

Wolverine Pathways is a free, year-round college readiness program for 7th through 12th grade students who live in Detroit, Southfield, and Ypsilanti. During the 2017-2018 school year, Rebecca worked with 7 high school seniors to give them an introduction to working in a research lab. Students worked in the lab for 7 Saturdays and gave a poster over their work at the end of the year. Rebecca worked closely with the students to teach them lab techniques, how to present a poster, basic biology background necessary to understand the project, and served as a mentor as they made decisions on where to attend college.

This research program has since been revised so that students complete this research experience during the summer before entering 12th grade. Rebecca consulted with the program as they made this revision and taught a skills workshop over lab math and how to keep a lab notebook before they began working in research labs during Summer 2019.

Teaching Training

Rebecca has sought out training opportunities to become familiar with the best practices in undergraduate teaching in addition to opportunities to put that knowledge in to practice. Below are some of these training programs:

  • University of Michigan Center for Research on Learning and Teaching Postdoctoral Short Course on College Science Teaching- 8-week course, Rebecca has been a participant as well as a peer mentor

  • University of Michigan Professional Development Diversity- Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Certificate- 10+ events or workshops, written reflections, diversity statement, and DEI-focused informational interview with a focus on how to create inclusive environments in the classroom and other undergraduate spaces

  • University of Michigan Center for Research on Learning and Teaching Implementing Inclusive Teaching Principles in Your Classroom

  • 2018 American Microbiology Society Conference for Undergraduate Educators Attendee

  • Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) An Introduction to Evidence-Based Undergraduate STEM Teaching MOOC- 6-week online course covering the role of mental models, designing learning objectives and assessments, and strategies for fostering active learning and inclusive classroom environments

  • University of North Carolina Training Initiatives in Biomedical Sciences (TIBBS) Certificate in Teaching- 8 week series of lectures and interactive workshops on effective teaching techniques including interactive team learning, learning assessments, designing a syllabus, and using process oriented guided inquiry learning (POGIL)

  • University of North Carolina BIO810 Seminar in College Science Teaching- semester long course reviewing various teaching styles and best practices, guided guest lecture for one class session