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Dr. Elisabeth Schussler and Dr. Benjamin England Give Power and Energy Seminar on Fri. Nov 16th

Dr. Elisabeth Schussler and Dr. Benjamin England, University of Tennessee Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, will give the  CURENT Power and Energy Seminar on Fri. Nov 16th.

Presenters: Dr. Elisabeth Schussler and Dr. Benjamin England, University of Tennessee Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Time: Friday, November 16th, 12:20 PM - 1:10 PM EST

Location: Min H. Kao Building, Room 404

This seminar will be available through ZOOM.  See info near bottom of this email.

See the CURENT calendar for more news and seminars.


Presenters: Dr. Elisabeth Schussler and Dr. Benjamin England, University of Tennessee Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Title: Investigating the Impacts of Student Anxiety in Introductory Biology at UT

Abstract: Given national increases in college student anxiety, an emerging area of research is how this anxiety impacts college student success. We have been investigating student anxiety in introductory biology classrooms to understand its sources, its impacts, and factors that may lessen any negative effects. To date, we have found that certain types of classroom active learning cause more student anxiety than others, and that anxieties vary by instructor. Students self-reported that 30-48% (varied by class) of their anxiety was caused by active learning; tests/quizzes, how to study, and bad grades were the most common other causes of anxiety. Student overall anxiety was predictive of an intention to leave the biology major in the future. These impacts were differentially experienced by students, with females and students who had taken fewer high school AP courses more negatively impacted than others. We also found that certain instructor practices were associated with lower student anxiety, and that higher levels of student self-compassion correlated with lower student anxiety. Future work will test interventions aimed to mediate anxiety and increase student success.

Bio: Dr. Elisabeth Schussler

Elisabeth Schussler is an Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UT, and the Director of Biology Teaching and Learning for the Division of Biology. She received her BS in General Biology from Vanderbilt University and a PhD in Plant Biology from Louisiana State University. Before re-entering academia again, she worked as the Education Director at a Swamp Nature Park in Augusta, GA, and Student Programs Coordinator at a Science Center in Aiken, SC. She was an Assistant Professor at Miami University of Ohio for four years before moving to Knoxville to start her position here. Dr. Schussler’s research centers on teacher practices and student perceptions of those practices in introductory biology classrooms; she is particularly interested in the impacts on student emotion, engagement, and motivation and how it impacts student success.

Bio: Dr. Benjamin England

Dr. Ben England is a post-doctoral researcher and lecturer for the division of Biology. Ben earned his bachelor’s degree in Biology from Taylor University. He then completed a Master’s degree in Cell Biology and Toxicology at Ball State University, where his research focused on compounds to inhibit acute Staphylococcus aureus infections in cells. He then remained at Ball State and transitioned into discipline-based education research, earning an Ed.D. in Biology Education. His dissertation research focused on assessing measurable changes in student attitude and engagement in non-majors Biology taught in various types of classrooms.

At UT, Ben researches instructor practices and student anxiety in the introductory Biology sequence for majors. His other projects include an examination of faculty approaches to assessment as well as the development of an instrument to measure non-majors’ attitudes towards scientific literacy. He teaches a section of BIOL 160, the introductory Cell Biology course for majors, as well as a summer section of BIOL 101 (non-majors Biology). When not at work, he enjoys watching and critiquing film and TV or playing needlessly complex board games.


Zoom Information:

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://tennessee.zoom.us/j/531399714 

Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll): +16468769923,531399714# or +16699006833,531399714#

Or Telephone: Dial: +1 646 876 9923 (US Toll) +1 669 900 6833 (US Toll) Meeting ID: 531 399 714

International numbers available: https://zoom.us/u/qQlrlww8

Or an H.323/SIP room system: H.323: 162.255.37.11 (US West) or 162.255.36.11 (US East) Meeting ID: 531 399 714

SIP: 531399714@zoomcrc.com


Upcoming Seminars

Friday, November 23rd - Thanksgiving Break - No Seminar

Friday, November 30th - Power and Energy Industry Seminar - Dr. Guangyi Liu, Gerina - TBA