Dr. Cole is the Director of Undergraduate Laboratories in Biology.
I am interested in how exposure of introductory students to real research experiences affects their attitudes towards science and critical thinking skills. My own scientific career was shaped by several early college experiences in the excitement, uncertainty and challenges of doing real research. I believe students need to experience actually taking part in scientific studies early on in their college education, when they are still navigating key career decisions, in order to balance their perceptions of science they develop through knowledge acquisition alone. At Emory, I work to develop modules for the intro bio laboratory courses that will allow students to experience doing research in cutting-edge fields across biology.
I am also interested in integrating scientific learning across disciplines as current science often involves bridging disparate research areas or techniques. As such, I aim to bring in connecting components of other STEM fields into the intro bio research labs when possible. In order to prepare students for the interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of research and medicine now practiced I am also interested in using the intro bio labs as a venue to foster the practice and use of collaboration and communication skills.
I am also passionate about the learning and practice of pedagogical skills in young educators. Although these skills are often not formally taught along scientific career paths, I believe that teaching and communication skills are vital components of scientific training. I am thus excited to work with Emory graduate students, postdocs and undergrads on their pedagogical development while instructors or teaching assistants for the intro bio labs.