January 26, 2018

Two Hampden-Sydney professors were recognized for exceptional classroom programs.

Two Hampden-Sydney professors recently received the Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition's "Programs That Work" Award, which recognizes exemplary programs for which there is evidence of a positive impact on student or teacher learning.

Dr. Kristian M. Hargadon '01, Mr. Pollard '88, and Dr. Mike Wolyniak with their Programs that Work AwardsElliott Associate Professor of Biology Mike Wolyniak was chosen for work done in conjunction with Assistant Professors of Biology Ed Lowry and Erin Clabough, utilizing hops as a central organism for a redesigned Principles of Biology (BIOL 151) lab based on authentic research experiences and experiential learning.  During the course, students learn basic technological techniques from molecular biology, microbiology, ecology, and other biological fields and use them to formulate and conduct their own experiments on the microbes that grow on and potentially influence hops growth.    

Elliott Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Kristian M. Hargadon '01 was selected for a laboratory module he developed at the College for use in his Genetics and Cell Biology (BIOL 201) course. The module integrates work from Dr. Hargadon's melanoma research into the classroom, introducing students to various cutting-edge molecular biology techniques for investigating gene expression at the single-cell and population levels. Students learn these techniques while studying the expression of a single gene as a class, then develop their own projects to investigate how a novel gene of interest might influence melanoma progression. The hands-on and dynamic lab helps students better understand the process of gene expression, a difficult but central concept to many sub-disciplines of biology.  

Dr. Hargadon and I have worked with the department of biology to make the educational experience as authentic and engaging as possible.

Dr. Mike Wolyniak

Both programs enhance comprehension of scientific principles while making the classroom more interesting. Wolyniak notes, "Dr. Hargadon and I have worked with the department of biology to make the educational experience as authentic and engaging as possible." In addition to being more prepared for advanced coursework and research opportunities, the students in these courses, both science and non-science majors, take more of a vested interest in their projects.  

Hargadon feels the award is testament to the College's commitment to excellence. "To be recognized by the VMSC in this way is as much a reflection on the mission of our College as it is on me as a professor," says Dr. Hargadon. Hampden-Sydney College is proud of Wolyniak and Hargadon's contributions to the forming of good men and good citizens. 

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