Smith Receives PALM Fellowship

Chris Baker, a postdoc from the Jackson Laboratory, and Michelle Smith, and assistant professor in the School of Biology and Ecology and member of the Maine Center for Research in STEM Education, were awarded a PALM fellowship from the Genetics Society of America. This is the first year the PALM fellowship has been awarded, and Smith and Baker were selected as one of the three total mentor/mentee pairs.

The significance of this fellowship lies in the collaboration between the Jackson Laboratory and the University of Maine. Under the fellowship, which is meant to help postdocs gain teaching experience about active learning, Baker and Smith will be working on a genetic recombination classroom unit together, and Baker will be filling in to teach the corresponding unit for Smith’s genetics course, BIO 350, in March. As part of the fellowship, Smith will be mentoring Baker during the process, offering feedback, and providing guidance during the development of the unit while he is teaching.

Smith’s students are already accustomed to utilizing clickers and peer discussion in the classroom, but she will be able to update her classroom teaching through Baker’s fresh perspective and research experience. By combining their knowledge, experience and technique in the world of genetics and active learning, Smith and Baker will be contributing to the improvement of STEM education.