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Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana

Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana is excited to be part of the Community College Research Initiative.  We are represented by our North Central Region Campus (South Bend). We have an ongoing undergraduate summer undergraduate research experiences in the biotechnology program in the form of the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Competition Team experience and a long standing course undergraduate research experience in a product design class in the Design Technology Program and in our Electrical Engineering Technology.

Our plan is to expand “SURE” offerings to selected students in pre-engineering, electronics technology, biological sciences, nanotechnology and the health sciences through formal summer undergraduate research fellowship program (see below).  On a curriculum basis we would like to start incorporating case URE studies in our microbiology, biology and biotechnology classes in order to recruit interested students beginning Fall 2012.  We will be looking to CCURI to help us assess the impact of our research programs on student success.  For professional development we are looking forward to CCURI offerings in research methodology, observation of research in a CURE model in the context of biotechnology, as well support for professional training in stem cell technology and molecular biology next year (2012) and support for similar opportunities in the physical, biological and technology areas in subsequent years (beginning 2013).

Specifically, we plan to begin developing a URE based upon undergraduate research fellows across a number of programs.  We plan to expand our fledgling “Ivy Tech Undergraduate Research Fellowship “ (ITURF) SURE/CURE endeavor based upon a SURE model from the University of Notre Dame.  The URE will consist of research proposal formulation (1rst week), research proposal presentation (beginning of the second week) followed by work with weekly progress presentations for the next 6 weeks.  The last week of the URE students will develop a poster to communicate their experience/results and present at the Midwest Alliance for Undergraduate Research Symposium and then at college specific symposia and CCURI/CUR venues when available.  We are also going to launch our own Science and Technology Undergraduate Research Journal on the Web.

Research projects will be determined by the interest of the faculty member in consultation with the students. Participating faculty mentors will be compensated by teach a “Special Topics” summer class (XXXX 282) where they will guide selected students through a URE for the 8-week summer session.

Our priority for this summer have largely been met: Registration for the iGEM and funding for S&E and travel for the team will be covered by our Perkins Grant.  Efforts will be made to supplement this funding by appeals to the Ivy Tech Foundation and effort will be made to “write it into the budget for the year.”  Four ITURFs were awarded to biotechnology students for summer research.  5 students are expected to participate on the iGEM team, two students will also be pursuing research on the effect of Bt toxin on monarch butterfly populations.  One non biotechnology student is pursuing an independent research project on the antibacterial effect of coconut oil as a carrier for therapeutic essential oils.

Our goal is to build a culture of research at Ivy Tech Community College that will serve the interests of our students in career development and the interests of local industry and the community. Toward the latter we plan to educate our local industry as to our research program and to invite them to participate by proposing research goals that would benefit them and our students.  We would also welcome the opportunity to partner with other CCURI members on common research concerns as we move forward.

Ivy Tech CCURI Team Members

Abdollah Aghdasi (Program Chair for Nanotechnology)
Jim Freygang (Program Chair for Design Technology)
Keith Madden (Instructor: Physical Sciences)
Rahim Negabahn (Program Chair for Electrical Engineering Technology)
James Powell (Dean School of Liberal Arts and Sciences)
George Twaddle   (Program Chair for Biotechnology) Point Person
Sheila Wise (Instructor: Biology / Microbiology / Environmental Science)

Vision and Change Implementation


Integrate Core Concepts and Competencies throughout the Curriculum

  • Introduce the scientific process to students early, and integrate it into all undergraduate biology courses

  • Relate abstract concepts in biology to real ­world examples on a regular basis, and make biology content relevant by presenting problems in a real ­life context 

  • Stimulate the curiosity students have for learning about the natural world

  • Demonstrate both the passion scientists have for their discipline and their delight in sharing their understanding of the world with students


Focus on Student ­Centered Learning

  • Engage students as active participants, not passive recipients, in all undergraduate biology courses

  • Use multiple modes of instruction in addition to the traditional lecture

  • Introduce research experiences as an integral component of biology education for all students, regardless of their major

  • Integrate multiple forms of assessment to track student learning


Promote a Campus wide Commitment to Change

  • Mobilize all stakeholders, from students to administrators, to commit to improving the quality of undergraduate biology education

  • Support the development of a true community of scholars dedicated to advancing the life sciences and the science of teaching

  • Advocate for increased status, recognition, and rewards for innovation in teaching, student success, and other educational outcome


Engage the Biology Community in the Implementation of Change

  • Promote more concept­ oriented undergraduate biology courses, and help all students learn how to integrate facts into larger conceptual contexts 

  • Provide all biology faculty with access to the teaching and learning research referenced throughout this report, and encourage its application when developing courses 

  • Create active ­learning environments for all students, even those in first ­year biology courses

High Impact Practices Implementation

First-Year Seminars and Experiences

Learning Communities

Collaborative Assignments and Projects

Undergraduate Research

Diversity/Global Learning

Service Learning, Community-Based Learning

Internships, Capstone Courses and Projects

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