Cheryl Scott headshot
Office Address

515 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States



Teaching Assistant Professor
Biology Teaching and Learning

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Research interests

I am an Assistant Education Specialist in the department of Biology Teaching and Learning. I received a B.S. in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1982) and in Medical Technology from the University of Minnesota (1985). After working as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist for 10 years, I returned to school and obtained two advanced degrees in Plant Biology from the University of Minnesota, my Master’s (2001) and my Ph. D. (2006). In the Biology Program I am currently the course coordinator for Biology 1009 (General Biology), as well as, an instructor for the course. In the spring of 2014 I will be adding Biology 1009H (Honors) to my teaching responsibilities. In addition to teaching, I also have the pleasure of supervising the Undergraduate and Graduate Teaching Assistants who teach the Biology 1009 labs, as well as, direct the weekly training of new teaching assistants for each laboratory performed in Biology 1009. I co-authored the Biology 1009 laboratory manual (with Brian Gibbens and Mark Decker), and manage the laboratory curriculum.

While in Graduate School I examined the molecular events that occur during germination of Neurospora crassa ascospores and the effects of heat shock for my Master’s degree, and characterized the modifications of the O-N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) transferase (OGT) of Arabidopsis thaliana for my Ph. D. My current research interests focus on the science of teaching and learning. As we incorporate new labs into the curriculum, I want to know what the students are learning from it. I am also interested in retention of information. Many of the students that take Biology 1009 have majors that are non-science related, however, one of the goals of our course is to educate the masses about science so that they can make good, scientifically-based decisions in their future lives. I would like to know if the information we are teaching them is something they retain long-term and perhaps use later in their academic and professional lives.

Selected publications

Scott, Cheryl, Gibbens, Brian. Decker, Mark. 2013. General Biology: Laboratory Manual. University of Minnesota. Bluedoor Publishing.

Scott, Cheryl L., Hartweck, Lynn M., Pérez, José de Jesús, Chen, Dinghu, García, Juan Antonio and Olszewski, Neil E. 2006. SECRET AGENT, an Arabidopsis thaliana O-GlcNAc transferase, modifies the Plum pox virus capsid protein. FEBS Lett. 580: 5829-5835


Job responsibilities

  • Course Coordinator for General Biology 1009
  • Teach General Biology 1009 and 1009H (Honors).
  • Train and mentor Undergraduate and Graduate TAs who teach General Biology 1009 lab.
  • Edit the General Biology lab manual (Co-Authored with Brian Gibbens and Mark Decker).
  • Manage the curriculum of the General Biology lab.
  • Chair the Outstanding Performance Award for Teaching Assistants in the College of Biological Sciences committee.

Professional interests

  • Introduce and evaluate active learning approaches for large-enrollment biology classes.
  • Evaluate retention of the General Biology 1009 curriculum material.
  • Develop novel and innovative biology lab exercises.
  • Investigate and demonstrate effective teaching strategies for the lab instructors.