We are delighted to announce the three new Learning Development Fellows who will help support excellence in teaching and learning within Western Science this year. Congratulations to Oluwakemi Ola, Geron Bindseil, and Jennifer McDonald!
Oluwakemi Ola is a computer science doctoral student from Nigeria. Her current research, under the supervision of Dr. Kamran Sedig, focuses on the design of interactive visualization tools to support cognitive activities performed by public health professionals in sub-Saharan Africa. After spending a year lecturing undergraduate students abroad, she has returned to the classroom with a deeper appreciation of the role teachers and technology play in the learning process. Her teaching interest entails instilling the next generation with a desire to pursue knowledge, by incorporating emerging technologies into the classroom setting.
Geron Bindseil is working toward a PhD in Physics at Western and he is passionate about both research and helping students excel in science. Using experiments and sophisticated computer simulations, Geron is investigating ways to improve the combination of two medical imaging technologies: positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Geron also enjoys mentoring and helping science students discover interesting ways to apply their passion for science. From working one-on-one with lab students to teaching in front of hundreds, Geron strives to help students advance their understanding, increase their curiosity and achieve their potential to produce excellent work.
Jen McDonald is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Biology in Dr. Greg Thorn's lab. She studies a group of fungi called the Resupinateae, which are small wood decay fungi distributed worldwide. Ina addition to employing traditional methods in microscopy to identify species, she also uses modern DNA sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. The main goal of her project is to determine if there is a method other than DNA sequencing which is reliable for defining species in this group, and also to determine if there are patterns in geographical distribution based on evolutionary history. Her hope is to one day be a University Instructor, since her main passion in grad school has been teaching students. The most rewarding experience she has had during her time at Western has been seeing that “light bulb moment” on the faces of students when they finally understand that difficult concept or idea.