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Biologists, educators recognize excellence in evolution education
Date:11/5/2009

The National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) will recognize Leonard C. Yannielli, professor of biological sciences at Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC) in Waterbury, Connecticut, with the 2009 Evolution Education Award during the NABT annual professional development conference to be held 11-14 November 2009 in Denver, Colorado.

The Evolution Education Award is cosponsored by the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) and Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS). The award is presented in recognition of innovative classroom teaching and community education efforts to promote the accurate understanding of biological evolution. Professor Yannielli will receive a plaque, a $1,000 cash prize, and a set of resources provided by AIBS and BSCS to support the teaching of evolution.

"AIBS, BSCS and NABT are doing important work with this award as it says loud and clear that evolution education is important," said Yannielli. "I'm humbled to be recognized by peers and feel I'm sharing the honor with many educators who have toiled courageously under very difficult situations."

For over 41 years, Yannielli has been teaching biology courses that have placed emphasis on evolution and evolutionary origins. His microbiology courses, for example, highlight the evolutionary interplay between microbes, humans, and disease, thereby encouraging students to shed egocentric approaches to thinking about evolution. "Evolution is the central organizing principle of the biological sciences. Teaching with it is like having a built-in GPS system for navigating life patterns and processes, from what happened to the dinosaurs to the immune response to a microbial invasion," stated Yannielli.

"Students have had quite an impact on both my colleagues and me, having taught us that we need to be sensitive to those students holding religious viewslistening to students is important for effective evolution education," said Yannielli u
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Contact: Susan Musante
smusante@aibs.org
202-628-1500 x249
American Institute of Biological Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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