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Brian Gibbens

Teaching Associate Professor

Research statement

My primary research interest is the development and application of evidence-based teaching practices that increase engagement and performance of all students. To that end, I strive to improve student motivation and self-efficacy through gamification, metacognition, critical and creative thinking, and scientific writing. Every semester presents a new opportunity to learn something about my students, so I strive to collect survey and/or performance data whenever I can. My current research projects focus on diversity, inclusivity and equity. I believe that increasing student equity is paramount toward increasing student performance while providing a safe and stimulating classroom environment. 

Courses taught

  • BIOL1009  – General Biology (Online)
  • Biol 1805 – Nature of Life, “Critical and Creative Thinking in Biology” (student success program required for all first and second year CBS students)
  • Biol 1905 – Freshman seminars (How to Win a Nobel Prize, 2013)
  • Biol 1905 – Freshman seminars (Biology at the Movies)
  • Biol 1951 – Foundations of Biology 1: Evolution and Genetics
  • Biol 2003 – Foundations of Biology 2: Ecology and Biochemistry

Recent presentations, invited seminars and workshops

The Biology Role Model Project: Anyone Can Be a Scientist!, HHMI Faculty Fellows Mini-Symposium Poster Session, 2020, University of Minnesota Twin-Cities, MN

Exploring Metagenomics in the Laboratory of an Introductory Biology Course, Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research (SABER) National Meeting, 2015, University of Minnesota Twin-Cities, MN

Play-on-Words: The Biology Writing Game, Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research (SABER) National Meeting, 2015, University of Minnesota Twin-Cities, MN

A Simple, Engaging, and Effective Activity for Teaching Students About Cell Parts, American Society of Microbiology Conference for Undergraduate Educators (ASMCUE), 2014,  Danvers, MA

 

Poster presentations

Increasing Inclusivity in an Undergraduate Biology Classroom, HHMI Faculty Fellows Mini-Symposium Poster Session, 2018, University of Minnesota Twin-Cities, MN

Biology Student Performance in Quarter and Semester Systems, Biology Teaching and Learning Open House, 2015, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, MN

Biology Student Performance in Quarter and Semester Systems, Biology Leadership Conference, 2014, Amelia Island Plantation Resort, FL

Biology Student Performance in Quarter and Semester Systems, SABER, 2013, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, MN

 

Professional experience

University of Minnesota, College of Biological Sciences

  • Associate Professor, Department of Biology Teaching and Learning (2019 - present)
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Biology Teaching and Learning (2012 - 2019)
  • HHMI Teaching Fellow/Post-doc, Biology Program, (Michael Sadowsky, Advisor; 2011-2012)
  • Graduate Research Assistant, MCDB&G Program, (Laura Ranum, Advisor; 2006-2011)

Inver Hills Community College, Inver Grove Heights

  • Adjunct Faculty, Department of Biology (2011)

St. Olaf College, Northfield

  • Adjunct Faculty, Natural Sciences and Mathematics Department (2011)

North Hennepin Community College, Brooklyn Park

  • Adjunct Faculty, Department of Biology (2009)
 

Service and public outreach

Service to the Biology Teaching and Learning Department

  • Center for Online Biology Education (COBE) Meeting Panelist
  • Foundations of Biology Course Director (2016-Present)
  • Teaching and Curriculum Committee (2020-Present)
  • Center for Online Biology Education (COBE) Committee (2020-Present)  
  • Peer Observation to Enhance Teaching (POET) Committee (2016-Present)     
  • Analyzing CBS Engagement Survey Action Items (2018)
  • Crash Course in Scientific Teaching Workshop Facilitator (2014)
  • BTL Professional Development Funds Committee (2013-2014)

Service to the College of Biological Sciences

  • CBS Sneak Preview Events and American Indian Visits (2013-Present)
  • CBS Honors Thesis Reviewer (2017-Present)
  • CBS Freshman Seminars
    • Biology at the Movies (2017-Present)
    • How to Win a Nobel Prize (2013)
  • CBS Student Services Presentation: “The Nuts and Bolts of the Foundations of Biology Course” (2017)
  • Coffee and Conversations with CBS Students Program (2016)
  • CBS Learning Technology Governance Committee (2014-2015)
  • Nature of Life-“Critical and Creative Thinking in Biology” Learning Module (2014)
  • CBS TA Award Committee (2010-2014)
  • CBS BIOL1009 Laboratory Manual Contributing Author (2013)

Service to the University of Minnesota and Outreach

  • Excel (for high school students taking advanced classes in rural/suburban committees) (2/2021)
  • CIS Writ 1201 Field Day “Writing in the Sciences” for High School students (2016-Present)
  • STEMWrite Institute Facilitator (2018)
  • March for Science Participant and Organizer (2017-2018)
  • Metagenomics Teaching Workshop (2013-2014)

Journal Reviewer Experience

  • American Biology Teacher Reviewer (2019-Present)
  • PLOS ONE Reviewer (2016-Present)
  • CourseSource Reviewer (2013-Present)

Jurors for artistic/creative works

  • Minnesota Academy of Science Regional Science Bowl (2017)
  • Science Fair Judge at Friends School of Minnesota (2014)

Current grants

  • CBS Digital Biology Initiative; $25,000 (focuses on using web-based technologies in courses and labs to promote increased learning for biology majors and non-majors), College of Biological Sciences, University of Minnesota; 2013-2014
E:

gibbens@umn.edu

5-220 Moos
515 Delaware Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455