Nicholls biology professor awarded for active learning techniques

Photo of Aimee Hollander
Aimee Hollander

THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University Biology Assistant Professor Aimee Hollander was recently selected to receive the 2016 American Society for Microbiology Conference for Undergraduate Educators Travel Award.

The award is given annually to biology instructors with “leadership potential and a commitment to education” who display success in the classroom by developing active learning techniques. Recipients of the award receive funding to attend the conference held in North Bethesda, Maryland.

Last spring, Hollander staged a faux crime scene that students evaluated over the course of multiple classes in an effort to show her biology students the different career opportunities that a biology degree could lead to. She also uses online blogs and social media to interact in different ways with her students.

“The ASMCU award granted me an opportunity to meet with professors and educators from all over the country that also teach microbiology and share innovative ideas that I can take back to improve the curriculum here at Nicholls,” Hollander said. “It was really rewarding to not only be able to share and be recognized for my success but to also learn from other institutions, including Harvard, University of Colorado and various community colleges.”

Hollander participated in a competition hosted by McGraw-Hill where she submitted an active learning technique. Her presentation, titled “Guess that Microbe,” was selected as best of the conference by more than 50 of her peers. ‘Guess that Microbe’ is a mock game show that Hollander uses in the classroom. As a result, she was awarded an Apple iWatch.

“Nicholls is committed to implementing progressive instruction and active learning strategies that truly influence student engagement. Aimee Hollander is a perfect example of that,” said Nicholls Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Lynn Gillette. “This recognition confirms that her methods are working and making an impact on students.”

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