Chemical Education Research: Peer Mentoring and Learning in the Classroom

Friday, October 18, 2019


Dr. Deb Mlsna

Department of Chemistry

Mississippi State University

Abstract:
Chemical Education Research focuses upon student learning pathways and programs that support retention within STEM majors.  One of the modern challenges for students learning chemistry is that information is readily available- students can always watch an internet video or access websites to find information.  But without confirmation of knowledge, students don’t reinforce and become confident in the knowledge and analytical skills they are bringing to a problem.  Our research group focuses upon peer mentoring interactions within the General Chemistry program with applications designed to support student thinking and reinforce knowledge.  Results of our research programs will be discussed, in addition to the STEM support programs we run to retain students in the chemical sciences.

Bio:
Deb Mlsna earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from University of Texas- Austin and worked both in private industry and as a lab coordinator and instructor at Clemson University, University of Maine at Orono, Miramar College in San Diego and Mississippi State University.  Currently an Assistant Professor of Chemical Education at Mississippi State University, her research group focuses on the development of student learning with particular emphasis on learning pathways that support under-served student populations. She is currently the director of two NSF programs aimed at supporting undergraduate students in STEM fields: SSTEM… and REU… Each summer she also codirects a study abroad program for STEM students interested in environmental issues and alternative sources of energy.


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