In 2012, forty life sciences educators throughout the United States accepted a daunting but important task -- to serve as catalysts to stimulate department-wide reform in undergraduate Life Sciences programs across the country. This is the work of the Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education (PULSE), which was established through a collaborative effort among leaders from the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute for Health/National Institute for General Medical Science, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Additional PULSE Fellows have joined in this work, and the PULSE Fellows in the New England region include:
Sharon Gusky, MALS
I am a Professor of Biology at Northwestern Connecticut Community College (NCCC), and the recipient of the 2015 US Professor of the Year award for the state of Connecticut. I teach Microbiology, General Biology and Principles of the Human Body, a non-majors courses. I earned my B.S. in Biology from Fairfield University and a master’s degree from Dartmouth College. I serve as the Teaching and Learning Consultant at NCCC. I am the current president of the Connecticut Association of Biology Teachers and chair of the Connecticut Community College Biology Faculty Association. In 2012 I was selected as a PULSE Leadership Fellow and previously served on the Fellows Council. I am actively involved with the National Association of Biology Teachers and serve on the Introductory Biology Task Force.
I am a professor of biology at Bay Path University where I was most fortunate to be given the opportunity to develop the first STEM majors at our women’s University. I served as Chair of our biological and forensic programs for over a decade and am now serving as the founding director of a Center of Excellence for Women in STEM that focuses on developing and supporting both female STEM students and professional women in STEM fields along the “Knowledge Corridor”. The Center of Excellence was conceived of as a result of my amazing experience as a PULSE Leadership Fellow and the resulting motivation that ensued to bring active learning and high-impact learning experiences to our STEM students. I am a vertebrate paleontologist and my research focuses on investigating global trends in climate and vegetation as well as extinction patterns by reconstructing paleodiet and paleohabitat shifts through vast tracks of time. I am most happy when I am in the classroom and I teach an array of evolution, anatomy, mammalogy, and honors and capstone courses. I am also very proud of the high-level undergraduate research projects and research scholars program that I am fortunate to share with my students and I am very passionate about making undergraduate research opportunities accessible to many students. This passion has led me to institute and direct numerous course-based undergraduate research experiences in all levels of our curriculum. I am proud of the dedication and spirit of the PULSE leadership fellows and honored to be part of this most important and transforming experience.