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Associate Professor Kate Marley Named Leadership Fellow

Kate Marley, Ph.D., associate professor of biology and science division chair at Doane College, has been selected as a Vision and Change Leadership Fellow by the Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education (PULSE) program.  Marley was one of 40 post-secondary life sciences faculty members who were competitively selected by an expert panel for their experience in catalyzing reform in undergraduate biology education. The fellows will identify and consider how to eliminate barriers to the systemic changes that are needed to improve undergraduate life sciences education.

Marley, originally from Texas, began her teaching career at Doane in 2001 after earning her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Florida State University.

President Jacque Carter said of the honor: "I was very proud of her selection, but not surprised. Dr. Marley and her science colleagues at Doane have been on the leading edge of reform and innovation in undergraduate science education for some time. Major scientific discovery in the 20th century laid a rich foundation for the innovation and application of science we are seeing in the 21st century. We not only need more scientists in today's world, we need more scientific literacy throughout society at large. Doane College recognizes that as science moves forward and adapts, so must our methods for teaching students and supporting faculty. With professors such as Dr. Marley, I'm confident Doane will not only be part of this reform, it will be a leader."

The PULSE program is a joint initiative of the National Science Foundation (NSF), Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The effort is supporting a yearlong program in which Vision and Change Leadership Fellows consider and then recommend models for improving undergraduate life sciences education.

In 2006, NSF initiated a multi-year conversation with the scientific community, with assistance from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. That dialogue, which was co-funded by NIH and HHMI, generated the 2011 report, Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action.

The scientific community actively informed the recommendations in the Vision and Change report. Among these were a recognition that a 21st century education requires changes to how biology is taught, how academic departments support faculty, and how curricular decisions are made.

"To foster this widespread systemic change, NSF, HHMI, and NIH launched the PULSE program," said Judith Verbeke of the National Science Foundation. Supporting the effort are Knowinnovation, Inc. and the American Institute of Biological Sciences.

PULSE will stimulate systemic change in undergraduate life science education by focusing on strategies that drive institutional change. Because a change in institutional culture is needed, PULSE activities are focused on academic departments and not individual faculty members.

Additional information about the Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education (PULSE) program is available at: http://www.pulsecommunity.org/.