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Cal State L.A. Biology Faculty Member
Named Education Fellow
Los Angeles, CAÂCal State L.A.Âs associate professor of biological sciences Elizabeth Torres was recently named an Education Fellow in the Life Sciences by The National Academies after successfully completing a summer institute fostering innovative approaches to teaching undergraduate biology. The National Academies comprises of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council.
Only 39 fellows were selected around the country from 20 research universities to attend The National Academies Summer Institute based on ideas for enhancing undergraduate biology education and a commitment by their universities to support teaching innovations.
Elizabeth Torres, who joined the Cal State L.A. faculty in 1998, received her Ph.D. from UCLA. Her research efforts to date have focused on the evolutionary history of bioluminescence and population structure of invertebrates in the marine environment. She is interested in how the ability to produce light may have evolved, and what role these behaviors play in the formation of new species. She is an associate faculty member of the UniversityÂs Center for Environmental Analysis (CEA-CREST), the first of its kind on the West Coast funded by the National Science Foundation.
The summer institute grew out of a recommendation in a report issued last year by The National AcademiesÂ National Research Council, which called for changes in the way college students are taught biology. This yearÂs institute focused on how to improve large introductory biology courses taught by the fellows. Besides developing the teachable units, participants at the institute discussed how to encourage colleagues and graduate teaching assistants to adopt new teaching practices, how to engage nonbiology majors and increase student participation in large lectures, and how to properly assess student learning.
The National Academies Summer Institute on Undergraduate Education in Biology was held at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
WORKING FOR CALIFORNIA Â California State University, Los Angeles: A comprehensive university at the heart of a major metropolitan city. The 175-acre hilltop campus is located five miles east of Los AngelesÂ civic and cultural center. Since 1947, Cal State L.A. has been a leader in providing quality higher education. Today, the campus comprises a faculty of internationally recognized scholars and artists, and more than 20,000 students with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds that reflect the cityÂs dynamic mix of populations. Cal State L.A. is one of 23 campuses in the CSU system.