Biology and Marine Biology

(Axel Boer) #1

and teaching mission, and they are associated with the positions of Department Chair, Graduate
Coordinator, and Director of the Microscopy Facility, respectively. These lecturers have a reduced
teaching load due to their research duties, but they fill a valuable teaching role for the department and gain
important teaching experience that will help them in their career. The department employs a number of
part-time instructors (13 in Fall, 2014) to fill specific instructional needs, particularly introductory course
laboratories. Dr. Watanabe, Director of the UNCW Aquaculture Center, teaches a course, BIO 486:
Advanced Topics in Mariculture once per year and Dr. Mallin, Research Faculty at the Center for Marine
Science, teaches a graduate course, BIO 568: River Ecology or BIO 560: Estuarine Ecology, once per year.
The Department also has five Research Associates (three at post-doctoral level), who also occasionally
teach undergraduate courses. In general, the department has followed a philosophy of limited utilization of
part-time faculty except as required to fill specific course needs, but has expanded its reliance on lecturers
in recent years.

Description of Teaching Roles of Graduate Students
Graduate students are integral to both the teaching and research missions of our department.
Graduate student Teaching Assistants (TAs) teach almost all of our lower division lab courses (BIO 105:
Concepts of Modern Biology; BIO 201, 202: Principles of Biology; BIO 240-241: Human Anatomy and
Physiology; and BIO 246: Microbiology of Human Diseases) as well as upper division labs for selected
courses (BIO 335: Genetics, BIO 345: Animal Physiology, BIO 362: Marine Biology, BIO 366: Ecology,
and BIO 425: Microbiology). Thus, our TAs teach undergraduate students from across our campus,
including non-majors, nursing majors, and biology and marine biology majors. During the past seven
semesters, graduate TAs have taught or prepared an average of 96 (range 81 - 109 ) lab sections. The work-
loads of our TAs are standard and can generally be accomplished within the 20 hours per week that their
stipend covers. They typically teach 2 lab sections each semester, and many also assist with preparing the
labs or prepare the labs in lieu of teaching a section, depending on the amount of work required. Our
graduate TAs do a fantastic job with this responsibility. Their IDEA online student evaluation scores and
faculty peer review ratings are high, and undergraduates often take the effort to express appreciation for
their TA’s interest and enthusiasm.
Our graduate students are equally integral to our departmental research mission. It is fair to say
that most faculty view graduate student mentoring as a central core of their individual research program.
Many faculty include undergraduate Honors and Directed Independent Study students in their research
programs as well. Thus, a central mission of the department is to mentor and train research students. This
ethic is reflected in the high number of graduate students who are primary or co-authors on peer-reviewed
papers. Since fall 2008, 122 M.S. and Ph.D. students have graduated from our program. During this time
period, 199 peer-reviewed papers have been published with graduate student authors.

The Biology and Marine Biology Departmental office is staffed by five superlative individuals: (1)
Ms. Carol Russell, Administrative Assistant and Office Manager, (2) Ms. Lori Leitch, Program Assistant,
(3) Ms. Debbie Cronin, Office Assistant and travel coordinator, (4) Ms. Kelly Northey, part-time
Receptionist and purchasing support, and (5) Ms. Tracie Chadwick, Office Assistant and Graduate
Secretary. These individuals provide invaluable service to our department and to our graduate program.
All budgets, hiring, purchasing, travel, reimbursements, in-departmental mechanics (e.g. issuing keys,
processing room requests, supporting computer equipment, mail delivery, etc.), and other graduate student-
specific actions (payroll, facilitating graduate hiring requests; maintenance of graduate forms and records,
communicating TA assignment requests, maintenance of graduate student mailboxes; seminar
notifications) are carried out by these individuals. These tasks are legion for a department of 54 faculty
and research associates, 65 graduate students and >1,000 undergraduate majors and pre-majors. Because

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