2018 SENCER Summer Institute

SSI 2012

The 2018 SENCER Summer Institute (SSI) was hosted by Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California on August 2-5, 2018.

The theme for SSI 2018 was Civic Engagement and the STEM Learning Ecosystem. In addition to our core focus on effective pedagogy and course design, the Institute program explored and focusd on other themes in the STEM learning ecosystem, including:

  • Cross disciplinary conversations on sustainability
  • Engineering education
  • Indigenous studies
  • Diversity and inclusion in 2018
  • Equity and science education for all
  • The Next Generation Science Standards and informal science
  • Strengthening the liberal arts: humanities, social sciences and STEM in partnership, and
  • Service learning

SSI 2018 Selected Presentations
You can view materials from selected SSI 2018 presentations here as part of our digital library.

SSI 2018 Plenary Speakers:

Amy Shachter of Santa Clara University
Topic: Regionalization and New Growth Areas for SENCER

Amy Shachter is the senior associate provost for research and faculty affairs and an associate professor of chemistry at Santa Clara University. She received her bachelor’s degree at Knox College and earned her Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Her research interests center on porphyrin synthesis. Her work to improve undergraduate science education has been supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Science Foundation, W.M. Keck Foundation, and the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation. 



Omar Quintero of the University of Richmond
Topic: Diversity and Inclusion in STEM

Omar A. Quintero, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at The University of Richmond where he was a member of the team responsible for revising the Biology Curriculum to align with the recommendations of the “Vision & Change in Undergraduate Biology Education:  A Call to Action” report from the NSF and AAAS.  He began preparing for his career as a research-active, student-centered, teaching-focused faculty member during his IRACDA-funded postdoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill where he trained in teaching and pedagogy as well as in the cell biology of molecular motors and the cytoskeleton.  He has maintained an active research program where undergraduates are co-authors on many of his publications.  His model for running his research group is based on his experiences under the guidance of Dr. Jo Rae Wright during his PhD work at Duke University.  The success of his group is based upon each individual’s ability to contribute to the team, and each team member’s ability to contribute depends upon the mentor’s ability to individually guidance and motivate each member on that team.  His approach to his work in the classroom is similar—he views each class as an unique project where all members of the team (students and faculty) play an active role in the learning and success of the class.  In addition to leadership roles in pedagogy development in his home department, Dr. Quintero has taken a leadership role in the education-focused activities of his professional society, serving of the Education Committee of the American Society for Cell Biology.

Tim Ritchie of the Tech Museum of Innovation
Topic: Community Involvement and Participation in Advancing Learning and Civic Engagement

Tim Ritchie is president and CEO of The Tech Museum of Innovation. Tim joined The Tech in 2011, with a mandate to breathe life into its mission – inspiring the innovator in everyone. Since then, the institution has transformed its exhibits and programs to make them more relevant to schools, families and the community. Tim came to The Tech from McWane Science Center, in Birmingham, Ala, where he was president and CEO. A varied career led him to the science center world. After earning his B.A. from Davidson College and his J.D. from Duke Law School, he worked as a clerk for the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, represented defendants on North Carolina’s death row, practiced law in Birmingham and was president of Louisville Diversified Services, a Kentucky non-profit supporting adults with developmental disabilities. He also has an M.P.A. from Harvard.

Matt Fisher of St. Vincent College
Topic: SENCER Community Plenary

Longtime SENCER Community member Matt Fisher will deliver the plenary address at the 2018 SENCER Summer Institute which focuses on the ways in which involvement with SENCER can shape a career. Matt’s talk will explore the relationship between SENCER and the scholarship of teaching and learning, drawing on his 15 years of engagement with the SENCER community and methods. His talk will also explore the challenge of encouraging all of our students to “hear the cries of the world” and use their knowledge, particularly knowledge in STEM fields, to respond appropriately to those cries. Matt Fisher is an associate professor of chemistry at Saint Vincent College and a senior fellow with the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement, where he coordinates NCSCE’s efforts in the scholarship of teaching and learning. He received a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Temple University in 1982 and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1990. In addition to his responsibilities as a faculty member, Matt was department chair for seven years and the director of Saint Vincent College’s Teaching Enhancement and Mentoring Program for a similar length of time. He has developed two SENCER model courses: Chemistry of Daily Life: Diabetes and Malnutrition (2005) and Undergraduate Biochemistry Through Public Health Issues (2009). Chemistry of Daily Life is a course for non-science majors that fulfills general education requirements while Undergraduate Biochemistry Through Public Health consists of two courses for undergraduate STEM majors. Matt has been active in the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) Division of Chemical Education, serving on the Division Program Committee and as meeting program co-chair for the Division’s program at the August 2008 ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia. He was a member of the ACS Committee on Environmental Improvement (CEI) for over a decade, helped lead CEI’s efforts in education during that time, and chaired the committee in 2013. He now serves as a member of the ACS Committee on Science where he chairs the Public Policy Subcommittee. Matt is a 2005 Carnegie Scholar and spent the 2005-2006 academic year working on a project to connect topics in undergraduate biochemistry to public policy, public health, and institutional/personal values in support of integrative learning. He has given presentations at conferences and facilitated workshops on integrative learning in the context of undergraduate science courses, published several book chapters on his work in SENCER, and is co-author (with Jacqueline Dewar and Curtis Bennett) of the forthcoming volume The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: A Guide for Scientists, Engineers, and Mathematicians. Matt has been recognized as an ACS Fellow and received the ACS-CEI Award for Incorporating Sustainability into Chemistry Education in 2015.

SSI 2018 Progam Book

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