The conference, held at Missouri Western State University from July 30 through August 2, was entitled “Transforming Undergraduate Education in Molecular Life Sciences.” This special symposium brought new and experienced educators together to share, synthesize, and generate effective classroom strategies in undergraduate molecular life science courses. Through a series of presentations, workshops, and open discussions led by successful educators in the field, the most recent strategies to improve student learning and success in undergraduate biochemistry and molecular biology courses were highlighted. Presentations and workshops demonstrated how these strategies have been implemented in first-year courses as well as upper division lecture and specialized laboratory sessions, providing a comprehensive view on how to invigorate the undergraduate curriculum. Discussions focused on evaluating these strategies for publication or grant submission. Throughout the symposium, there were extensive opportunities to discuss educational strategies with speakers and other attendees as well as opportunities to gain assistance with future course design. The conference attracted 93 faculty members from across the country.
Dr. Aguanno is the national chair of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Student Chapters Committee, which organized the symposium. During the conference, she ran three sessions to guide participants in developing educational action plans based on what they had learned. Through Dr. Aguanno’s efforts, Marymount Manhattan College has risen to the forefront of innovative undergraduate education in molecular life sciences.