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Sarah Leupen, Ph.D.

Senior Lecturer

Sarah Leupen

Office: BS 467
Phone: 410-455-2249
Email: leupen@umbc.edu
Professional Website

Education

Postdoctoral, Harvard University, 2002
Ph.D., Northwestern University, 1998
B.A., Oberlin College, 1993

I teach Anatomy and Physiology 1 and 2 (BIOL 251 and 252) and their labs every year. In the summer, I teach Comparative Animal Physiology (BIOL 305). Sometimes in the summer and/or fall, I teach Nutrition and Health (BIOL 233). Every spring, I teach a seminar in the Honors College. This year’s seminar is on Animal Reproduction (HONS 300.2).

In addition to teaching, I am a certified trainer/consultant in a teaching strategy called Team-Based Learning which is a type of flipped-classroom strategy (though popular long before the term “flipped classroom” was invented!) in which students prepare with basic content knowledge outside of class, and then after assuring that they are truly prepared, they work though increasingly complex application problems, in permanent teams, during class time. I am happy to provide information and advice on team-based learning, and if your university, college, department, etc. would like to have a workshop on the method, I can offer anything from the standard one-hour faculty development workshop to a full day event in which faculty receive an introduction to all the major aspects of team-based learning, along with lots of opportunities to consider and develop how they might apply the strategy to one or more of their own courses.

In the past few years, I have developed experience and expertise in other flipped-classroom methods and technologies as well as the literature supporting the use of these methods. As with TBL, I am happy to offer advice, consultation, workshops, etc. on flipped-classroom methods in general; or if you would like advice from someone in your own field on using flipped classrooms in that discipline, I might be able to recommend such a person.

Finally, I am interested in seeing an increase in the use of quantitative thinking generally, and mathematical modeling specifically, in undergraduate biology education, particularly in lower-division courses where such methods are rarely employed. I am lucky to be a part of a Howard Hughes Medical Institute-funded collaboration, the NEXUS project, in which multidisciplinary groups from four institutions are working on integrating quantitative concepts within more than one discipline in undergraduate programs. UMBC’s group, led by Jeff Leips, has developed eleven comprehensive, stand-alone modules in which students employ mathematical modeling techniques to topics in their introductory biology courses. If you are interested in seeing or using these modules, you can have them—just ask! In addition to this project, I am part of a team with members from the Biology department (Mauricio Bustos and Karen Whitworth) and Education (Chris Rakes) that is developing computer simulations of biological reactions and processes as teaching tools to improve conceptual understanding in undergraduate biology labs.  We thank the Hrabowski Pedagogical Innovation Fund and the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences Dean’s Office for funding our efforts so far; again, we are happy to share the results of our efforts—just ask!