Undergraduate Education Program

Southwestern University

Maria Cuevas
Georgetown, TX
December 2014

Southwestern University proposes to integrate the complex, multidisciplinary field of molecular biology across its undergraduate curriculum from introductory courses to capstone and research projects.  Faculty from biology, ecology, chemistry, biochemistry, physics, and psychology will work together in two interlinked objectives: (1) Fostering inquiry-based laboratory courses across the science disciplines using molecular biological approaches and techniques, and (2) Enhancing student faculty collaborative research opportunities during the summer and academic year by developing student and faculty research projects in molecular biology across the spectrum of the life sciences.  The project will educate the next generation of life scientists and enhance knowledge in multiple fields.  Currently, molecular biology equipment at Southwestern is dispersed across individual faculty labs and disciplinary clusters.  As construction begins on a new science center, this project will enable formation of a molecular biology center within the new building that concentrates shared equipment for molecular investigations in one multi-purpose center.  This shared space will support the application of molecular techniques throughout the curriculum, avoiding the duplication of costly equipment and promoting cross-disciplinary thinking and exploration.

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