The corona virus couldn’t stop CU Denver from recognizing the 2020 Faculty Awards recipients! On April 20, provost and executive vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, Roderick Nairn, PhD emailed the CU Denver Community announcing this year’s awardees! Congratulations go out to the Integrative Biology awardees for the following categories:
Teaching Excellence Award: Tenure Track Faculty
Annika C. Mosier (Integrative Biology)
Annika Mosier is an Assistant Professor in the Integrative Biology Department at the University of Colorado Denver. Her lab conducts research aimed at understanding microbial community structure and function in the environment. Her research focuses on two primary areas: (1) freshwater microbial nitrogen cycling, and (2) microbial responses to environmental change such as antibiotic pollution and forest fires. This research is accomplished through independent and collaborative projects that involve undergraduate and graduate student researchers. Dr. Mosier brings her enthusiasm for microbiology and research into the classroom setting to engage students by drawing them into the intersection between microscopic life and macroscopic issues. She is particularly passionate about supporting students from diverse backgrounds. She uses the classroom and research lab as an opportunity to educate, train, and mentor underrepresented science students to promote their resiliency and persistence in their degree programs and science careers.
Excellence in Research and Creative Activities Awards: Tenure and Tenure Track Faculty
Gregory Ragland (Integrative Biology)
Dr. Ragland is an evolutionary biologist studying how organisms use dormancy to synchronize their life cycles with variable environments. He is also interested in the development and physiology of dormancy, a fascinating state of suspended animation. Dr. Ragland says, “I have been fortunate to be supported by the CU Denver community and collaborators in this research, allowing our research team to make major new discoveries about how dormancy is regulated, and how it can rapidly evolve in the face of changing climates.” His newest projects investigate the molecular ‘brakes’ that modulate cell proliferation and differentiation during dormancy, and the molecular basis for transcriptional control at very low temperatures. This research has been supported by funding from the National Science Foundation, the Austrian Science Fund, The US Department of Agriculture, and CU Denver, and has resulted in 16 peer-reviewed publications including postdoctoral and student authors since 2016. He participates broadly in service to the general scientific community, regularly serving on NSF review panels, organizing symposia, and editing special journal issues. Most recently, he has become a lead editor for Physiological Entomology, a British Royal Society journal.
Faculty Leadership and Service Award
Amanda Charlesworth (Integrative Biology)
Dr. Charlesworth has served as Faculty Advisor for CU Denver Biology Club since 2013 and is proud that in 2019 they won the Milo award for Outstand Student Organization. She is also recognized for service to her department as Co-Chair of the Awards, Scholarship and Outreach Committee for assembling an alumni newsletter every semester; as a co-leader for implementing Inclusive Excellence in introductory biology as part of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute initiative; and as Associate Chair for leading an effort to codify laboratory coordinator and teaching assistant responsibilities, expectations and grievance processes.Says Dr. Charlesworth, “I grew up in the rural north of England with coal miners, steelworkers and farmers. Although I was aiming for drug design in a pharmaceutical company I ended up researching gene expression mechanisms in eggs and embryos.” She is currently trying to figure out how RNA granules are assembled in frog eggs and how the frog embryo takes control of its own destiny.
University of Colorado President’s Teaching Scholar Campus Award Winner
Laurel Hartley (Integrative Biology)
Associate Professor of Integrative Biology Laurel Hartley was recently given the honor of being designated a University of Colorado President’s Teaching Scholar. She joins a prestigious group of more than 50 active Scholars from all four campuses.
Dr. Hartley has a deep interest in improving instruction and inclusion in undergraduate STEM courses. She co-founded the STEM Learning Assistant Program at CU Denver and is a leader in the International Learning Assistant Alliance. She conducts research related to how Learning Assistants (LAs) impact STEM courses. She also conducts research to assess and improve how students understand biological concepts and apply scientific principles, especially concepts and principles related to ecology. She does work at both the undergraduate and grades K-12 levels. She is also has active research in urban ecology, related to monitoring urban wildlife and exploring how factors of urbanization influence wildlife biodiversity and zoonotic disease. As part of this work, she studies how undergraduate students can contribute to authentic ecological research through Course Based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs).
Finally, Dr. Hartley has studied the impact of introduced bubonic plague on both urban and rural black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) communities. Dr. Hartley completed a postdoctoral position at Michigan State University, a PhD in Ecology and MS in Biology at Colorado State University, and a BS at Southwestern University. She also briefly worked at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History as the content researcher for an exhibition entitled Dig It! Secrets of Soil. Dr. Hartley plans to continue studying learning, instruction and inclusion in undergraduate STEM.