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American Society for Microbiology honors Jo Handelsman

Washington, DCDecember 17, 2008The 2009 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Carski Foundation Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award will be presented to Jo Handelsman, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin, Madison. This award recognizes an educator for outstanding teaching of microbiology to undergraduate students.

Dr. Handelsman has taught over 1,100 undergraduates and even more educators. In 2002, she was named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Professor for her scientific teaching project which brought together the teaching rigor, experimentation spirit, and creativity of scientific research. Her project was focused on changing the educational experiences of undergraduates in the classroom. With the support of HHMI, she founded the Wisconsin Program for Scientific Teaching (WPST) to enhance undergraduate biology education by training a new generation of scientific teachers. She also created the "Summer Symbiosis Program," a ten-week research experience for undergraduates who are paired with WPST Mentoring Program graduate and postdoctoral students.

Under her leadership, the HHMI-National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Summer Institute, which is a collaboration between the WPST, HHMI, and NAS, was developed to provide a place to learn about biology instruction in the context of the research university and applications for the undergraduate classroom. Since its inception in 2003, 205 faculty have participated; collectively, they teach ~90,000 undergraduates.

Handelsman earned her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she joined the faculty in 1985. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.

Contact: Garth Hogan
American Society for Microbiology

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