The American Chemical Society (ACS), the SENCER Centers of Innovation Southwest and South, and Bellhaven University welcome you to Jackson, Mississippi and to our symposium with a theme of STEM Education in Mississippi: Issues and Innovations. Throughout a full-day of activities, we will focus on use of innovative and proven pedagogy to reduce barriers to learning, student success, and retention. Presenters include educators and administrators from throughout the country. 

We look forward to seeing you at Belhaven’s Kim Center -- Friday, September 29, 2017! Remember to REGISTER so we know how many meals to prepare!

Google’s directions to Belhaven University.  

Sign up or log in to bookmark your favorites and sync them to your phone or calendar.

Research [clear filter]
Friday, September 29


Turning SENCER Questions into Real Research Projects
The SENCER approach to teaching science courses leads to an examination of problems that our society needs to address. If the questions that arise have a local connection, there is a great opportunity to transform the questions into an undergraduate research experience. This talk will illustrate how a selection of issues that arose in an introductory chemistry class led to actions that constituted aspects of undergraduate research. Examples to be illustrated include: impacts to surface water from chemical street deicers, lead and chromium in yellow curb paint, construction of a grassy swale parking lot at a WalMart facility and a re-examination of local bus service routes. In all cases, undergraduate students contributed to the solution of environmental problems in the community. Students remarked on the empowerment they felt through participation in the activities.

avatar for Garon Smith

Garon Smith

Professor Emeritus, University of Montana
Garon Smith is a Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and Biochemistry at The University of Montana. He received his B.A. degree in Environmental Biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1973 and his Ph.D. in Applied Chemistry from the Colorado school of Mines in 1983. He... Read More →

Friday September 29, 2017 2:15pm - 2:45pm
Kim Center 103


Civic Engagement Research Projects Embedded in Environmental Courses
Civic Engagement project work can enhance student learning and undergraduate research projects are known as high impact practices. For Saint Marys' College students, the environmental chemistry course has a community based research (CBR) project incorporated into the lab curriculum to facilitate discovery and reinforce content learning. The civic engagement research can range from simple dissolved oxygen measurements to elemental soil screening (using field portable XRF). For effective research, students build proficiency with the instrumentation on a test site before addressing the community's site or issue. For all project work, students collect data, have a guided reflection, and communicate their results to the community partner. Embedding CBR in the curriculum expands the number of students who are introduced to research and yields a dynamic curriculum which benefits the students, the faculty and the community. Incorporating this civic engagement adds new access challenges yet the benefits for student learning outweigh the added work. Three illustrious examples are discussed highlighting both the benefits and challenges. Some student attitudinal responses were assessed as a portion of the evidence of student learning gains. The XRF soil screening work has also generated a new research area for the instructor and this added benefit will be highlighted.

avatar for Steven Bachofer

Steven Bachofer

Professor, Saint Mary’s College
Steven Bachofer is a professor of chemistry at Saint Mary's College of California. He received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of the Pacific and his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Brown University.  Steve worked as a research chemist in the consumer products... Read More →

Friday September 29, 2017 2:45pm - 3:15pm
Kim Center 103


Establishing Local Partnerships that Actively Engage STEM Students and Instructors in Meaningful and Relevant Educational Experience
Students and instructors of STEM both benefit when their courses and educational programs are connected to actual real-world problems, issues and opportunities that have local connections. Most textbooks of science and mathematics are written from disconnected and highly generalized global perspectives that are not always obviously applicable to students and faculty that use them as a resource. To overcome this disconnection, instructors can augment STEM courses for general science education and advanced science audiences with resources derived from partnerships that make use of more practical local and regional connections.æBy partnering with informal science educators and other entities connected to local and regional issues (e.g., zoos, parks, museums, businesses, government/non-government organizations) it is possible for instructors to breathe much needed life into their potentially stale course material. These same partnerships also potentially connect educational institutions with non-traditional funding opportunities, help in marketing of their program through news and media, as well as prepare students for job placement through research, internships, and professional networking.

In this presentation, attendees will learn how interdisciplinary general science and advanced discipline-specific STEM courses at Belhaven University have been enhanced through active partnerships with the Jackson Zoological Park, Wildlife Mississippi, the Army Corps of Engineers, and Tara Wildlife. These partnerships connect students and faculty alike with those organizations that have the strongest connections to important local and regional challenges.æ Even students who leave the region after graduation benefit from the experiences through their experiences which provide a template for how to work within local communities.æ Attendees will also learn how to craft agreements with local partners as well as navigate the complexities of engaging students of traditional lecture and laboratory based STEM courses in the "real-world." Specific perspectives and testimonials from local partner representatives will provide attendees with a clear perspective of how to nurture successful mutually beneficial agreements.

avatar for Reid Bishop

Reid Bishop

Associate Professor, Belhaven University
Reid Bishop is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and the Division Chair of Natural Sciences at Belhaven University. He earned his Bachelor of Science at Mississippi College and his Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Department of Biochemistry. After post-doctoral... Read More →

Friday September 29, 2017 3:15pm - 3:45pm
Kim Center 103