Education Committee Focuses on Mentoring

The Education Committee (EdComm) is striving to engage with the ASCB membership year-round and to build on its programs at the Annual Meeting. To that end it continues to manage the popular online CV review and is currently informally matching mentors and mentees (18 pairs to date) who are interested in active teaching and learning techniques.


Attendees at the Foundational Cell Biology Workshop “Making BIG Data Accessible for Teaching and Learning”

In 2015 ASCB funded a pilot mentor-matching program that paired six mentors and mentees. For 2016, EdComm, with colleagues at the Genetics Society of America (GSA) and the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB), was awarded a one-year incubator grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to set up mentorships for faculty and postdocs. The Promoting Active Learning & Mentoring (PALM) Network will provide faculty and postdocs with resources for hands-on experience and long-term mentorship in bringing evidence-based, effective active learning strategies into their classrooms. Interested? Or know someone else who might be? The next application deadline is June 15, 2016 (visit

Encouraged by the success of the mentoring initiatives, ASCB, GSA, and ASPB reached out to additional society partners—the American Physiological Society, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science. Together, in early January 2016, they submitted a grant proposal to the NSF for five years of funding for such mentorships.


The grant writing seminar focused on grants to the NIH was near capacity.

EdComm members are also looking for ways ASCB can serve professors/instructors at two-year colleges and high school teachers. Data suggest that community colleges play a vital role for students, especially those from under-represented populations, who are entering the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics pipeline. As part of its commitment to support and promote the educational aspects of science, ASCB wants to keep educators updated on effective teaching methods and current content knowledge.

About the Author:

Thea Clarke is the Director of Communications and Education at the American Society for Cell Biology.

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