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Executive Summary

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Broadening the Access to Science:

We are positioned to continue several programming components of past HHMI-funded proposals in addition to initiating novel and modified programs to enrich student experiences with our Faculty. These endeavors target all ranges of academic talent and background, notably underrepresented groups, to excite and retain students in the biological/biomedical sciences and to serve as preparatory exercises for post-baccalaureate education.

From our HHMI-04 proposal we will increase our summer research program from 14 to 20 students ; 10 on-campus and 10 off-campus with alumni and collaborators in established laboratories. Student selection will be competitive, based on written applications reviewed by the summer research faculty.

We propose a modified Bridge to Student Excellence Program, deemed CATALYST, targeting underrepresented first-year students in a May program. This faculty instructed four-week program would serve to retain and invigorate students into the Sciences. Faculty instructors from entry level Biology and Chemistry courses will select 8-12 students from these courses for this annual research experience.

We propose a new endeavor for upper-level students in the growing field of Public Health. The PHILTER program includes a local and international health option for students. The joint programming will expose all students to the fundamentals of public health including biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, health services administration and behavioral sciences/health education. The 8-12 students will provide public health service and outreach in the context of a research project. The Local initiative will serve the Wayne County/Richmond, Indiana community in analyzing health issues of regional concern. The international arm, in Tanzania, research will center on education, prevention, and health care practices revolved around HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis.

The credit-earning PHILTER and CATALYST efforts are designed for curricular integration beyond the funding period as regular May Term courses.

New, Current, and Future Faculty Development:

We request support for travel and workshop attendance for faculty to increase knowledge and application potential of modern instrumentation. NSD faculty will be trained in mass spectrometry, microarray, and microsatellite/AFLP techniques. The external workshop attendees will return to Earlham and formally share this training with other Earlham and regional college faculty. On-site training at Davidson College is also requested to normalize scanning standards to become an official GCAT microarray scanning facility.

Curriculum, Equipment, and Laboratory Development:

The future of our science curricula will be molded from the recommendations of BIO2010 and the use of technologies in the course laboratories. We seek the acquisition of large-scale instrumentation that will shape our curriculum and keep us at the forefront of current trends in genomic and computational-rich education. In particular, we are committed to become leaders in contemporary approaches to studying each step of the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology. Earlham’s institutional commitment to this aim is indicated by a significant matching contribution for the purchase of the equipment.

First, we are seeking a mass spectrometer as an educational tool and resource to engage students in laboratory courses. The innovative interface of this instrument allows for rapid data acquisition ideal for laboratory modules and student independent projects. The integration of this instrument in our courses promises Biochemistry majors a minimum of six exposures prior to graduation.

The second piece of instrumentation requested is a microarray scanner for student-centered gene expression/metagenomic studies. As with the mass spectrometer, Biology/Biochemistry majors, and non-majors (seeking general education requirements) will use the scanner during their first year.

The directives of BIO2010 will serve as a checklist for an official review of our Biochemistry interdisciplinary major. Beyond fundamental principles, our evaluation will focus on the quantitative and analytical prowess of our students. The internal review will be followed-up by an invited comprehensive external review.

Laboratory development will include the incorporation of the requested equipment and the generation of new modules integrating faculty and content from the physical sciences, specifically from mathematics and computer science.

Precollege and Other Outreach:

We propose to become the fourth national microarray scanning center for the established GCAT. GCAT provides an inexpensive mode for member schools to use microarrays in their curriculum. We include within our budget annual support for the GCAT program to ensure its future.

We also seek continued support for the current Coordinator of Educational Outreach of the Joseph Moore Museum of Natural History. This Earlham distinction serves to educate near 3000 students annually.

Program Administration, Assessment, and Dissemination:

Dr. Peter Blair, Biology Department, will serve as Program Director under the guidance of an Advisory Committee (AC). The AC will regularly consult and report to the Dean of Faculty and Dean of Program Development. An HHMI-experienced administrative assistant and stockroom manager will oversee student needs, ordering and offer clerical support.

Full assessment will be…(Amy add assessment and dissemination)

Program results and research findings will be published and presented in national meetings as is traditional with previous HHMI funding.