Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: STEM Research
Shubha Ireland - Xavier University of Louisiana
Co-Author(s): Joanna Haye, Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orleans, LA; Mary Carmichael, Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orleans, LA; Hector Biliran, Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orleans, LA; Andrea Edwards, Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orleans, LA; Monica Mitchell, MERAssociates, Vienna, VA
The Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) through Targeted Infusion Projects (TIPs) provides support to achieve short-term, well-defined goals to improve undergraduate STEM education. In the current TIP at Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA), two freshman-level lab courses are being redesigned as Course Based Research Experiences (CUREs). Merits of early research experiences are well-documented yet fewer than 10% of XULA Biology freshmen have research opportunities in their first year. The XULA TIP aims at bridging this gap by infusing two authentic research projects in Biology?s foundational labs. The first, entitled the ‘Yeast ORFan’ project, in collaboration with Juanita College, PA, aims at characterizing unknown genes to determine their functions in yeast . The second, in collaboration with the USDA, SRRC, LA, is centered on discovering novel regulatory genes in Aspergillus (filamentous fungus) species known to damage crops of human consumption. Although CUREs are gaining attention for their ability to offer research opportunities to all students in a classroom setting, few undergraduate minority-serving institutions currently have established CUREs as part of their curricula. There is therefore a great need to study CUREs and their impacts on underrepresented minority (URMs) students? learning and retention. The XULA CURE-infusion project is the first of its kind at an HBCU (XULA) and is poised to make important contributions in the area of science education. Currently in its pilot year, this poster will share the exciting experiences of the project?s first semester, completed recently in December 2019. These will include designing the syllabus (for over 200 students in 11-12 sections), selecting and optimizing molecular assays, scientific activities and bioinformatic modules, developing instruction and assessment tools and designing student-learning resources. Preliminary data from internal and external evaluations and how they will shape the second semester (Spring 2020) will also be discussed.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): National Science Foundation HBCU-UP, Targeted Infusion Project # 1912437
Faculty Advisor: None Listed,
NSF Affiliation: HBCU-UP