Dr. Alix Dowling Fink, Dean of the Cormier Honors College and Associate Professor of biology at Longwood University, will deliver the closing plenary address of the 2016 SENCER Summer Institute. In the address, she will reflect on the insights and lessons learned during her many years of participation in the SENCER national “community of transformation” and how that participation has shaped her work on general education and the biology major at her institution, and catalyzed collaborations with informal education institutions. This year’s Institute will be held at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois July 28 – August 1, 2016.
Alix’s role has involved fostering collaborative interdisciplinary projects across the university, working with faculty in the arts and sciences and partners in student affairs. With a colleague in physics, she developed an interdisciplinary, topic-driven general education science course that was selected as a SENCER model in 2007, The Power of Water. Longwood’s engagement with SENCER also generated a new capstone for the academic core. The course, Exploring Public Issues through Writing, is a transdisciplinary collaboration focused on the civic challenge of the stewardship of our public lands, with particular emphasis on Yellowstone National Park. In the course, which has been taught for 11 years, students approach a stewardship issue, such as managing invasive species, from the perspective of their experiences in general education and their major. In 2016, nearly 50 Longwood students will travel to Yellowstone as part of the program, and an additional 12 students will be partners in developing a new sister program in Alaska.
In addition to her work on general education, Alix has joined a departmental initiative to reframe the biology major curriculum to align with core principles of key STEM reform initiatives, including SENCER, AAAS’s Vision and Change, andBIO2010. Alix currently serves as Co-PI for a new NSF-funded project that will use the SENCER approach to structure an interdisciplinary learning community for chemistry, biology, physics, and environmental science majors. Alix was elected to the SENCER Leadership Fellows Program in 2009, and serves as a PULSE (Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education) Fellow.
Registration for the Institute is open now. Regular registration ($750 per person) will end on June 17. Beginning June 18, 2016, the late registration fee will be $800 per person.
If you have any questions about the Institute, please contact Kyle Simmons, NCSCE’s Faculty Development Events Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.