Office Address

1445 Gortner Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108
United States



Professor Emerita
Plant and Microbial Biology

My research focuses on how team-based learning affects student success, as well as effective use of active learning spaces.

Research interests

Pedagogical methods to increase student learning in large science courses; team-based learning as a means to increase effectiveness of learning and retention of knowledge; effective use of active learning classrooms and implementation of team projects

Selected publications

Wick, S., M. Decker, D. Matthes and R. Wright. 2013. Biology Students Propose Genetic Solutions to Societal Problems. Science 341: 1467-1468.

Brooker, R., D. Matthes, R. Wright, D. Wassenberg, S. Wick, and B. Couch. 2012. SCALE-UP in a Large Introductory Biology Course. In, Connected Science: Strategies for Integrative Learning in College, T. Ferrett, J. Stewart and W. Schlegel, editors, Indiana University Press (part of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning series).

Cotner, S.H., B.A. Fall, S.M. Wick, J.D. Walker, and P.M. Baepler. 2008. Rapid feedback assessment methods: can we improve engagement and preparation for exams in large-enrollment courses? J. Sci. Educ. Technol. 17: 437-443.

Ruhe, V., J. Robinson, and S. Wick. 2006. Designing Research: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Large Lecture Courses. London Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 6th International Conference Proceedings, Vol. 3, pp. 245-249. London, UK.

Schwarzbauer, J, E. Marincola, S. Masur, and S. Wick. 2002. Life Sciences Research and Teaching: Strategies for the Successful Job Hunt, The American Society for Cell Biology, Bethesda, 54 pages.

Education and background

Degrees earned

  • PhD Biological Sciences, Stanford University, 1979: Localization and Possible Role of Calcium Ions during Mitosis; Peter Hepler, adviser
  • BS Botany (magna cum laude), Oregon State University, 1972

Curriculum Vitae

Awards and honors

  • University of Minnesota H.T. Morse-Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award, 2013
  • College of Biological Sciences John S. Anderson Academic Leadership Award, 2012
  • National Academies of Science Education Mentor in the Life Sciences, 2011 - 2014
  • NSF Career Advancement Award, 1994
  • College of Biological Sciences Stanley Dagley Memorial Teaching Award, 1993
  • Gamma Sigma Delta; Oregon State University Honors Program, 1968-1972
  • University Honors and Awards 1971, 1972
  • Phi Kappa Phi, 1972
  • Magna cum Laude, 1972

Courses taught

  • Biol 1001 – Introductory Biology: Evolutionary and Ecological Perspectives
  • Biol 1009 – General Biology
  • Biol 1805 – Nature of Life (student success program)
  • Biol 1905 – Freshman seminar: From Ebola to H1N1, Emergent Human Viruses
  • Biol 2002/H – Foundations of Biology 1: Evolution and Genetics
  • Biol 3007 – Plant Biology: Diversity and Adaptation
  • Biol 3012 – Plant Biology
  • Biol 3960H – Communicating in the biological sciences (for junior honors students)
  • PBio 5141 – Plant Cell Biology
  • PBio 5960 – Special Topics: Investigative Plant Biology for Elementary Teachers
  • PBio 5960 – Special Topics: Plant Morphology & Development
  • PBio 8081 – Current Topics in Plant Biology
  • PBio 8910 – Journal Club

Professional experience

  • Director of Undergraduate Studies, Biology Major, 2006-present
  • Director, Biology Program, 2006-2009 (also, 1991-1994)
  • Associate Department Head, Department of Plant Biology, 2003-2006
  • Director, Plant Molecular Genetics Institute, 2001-2003
  • Director of Graduate Studies, Plant Biological Sciences, 1995-1997; Assoc. Director 1993-1994
  • Professor, Department of Plant Biology, University of Minnesota, 1994
  • Associate Professor, Department of Plant Biology, University of Minnesota, 1989 1994
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Botany, University of Minnesota, 1985 1989

Professional service

  • Editor for Plant Biology, CourseSource, a journal for undergraduate biology education curriculum and classroom resources
  • National Academies/HHMI Summer Institute for Biology Education, Education Mentor; Chair of Education Committee for the American Society for Cell Biology
  • Leader of working group on alumni communications, National Academies Scientific Teaching Alliance (NASTA)
  • Planning committee for 2015 NASTA meeting, Beyond the Summer Institutes

Current grants

  • Federal Improving Teacher Quality Program, No Child Left Behind Act, administered by Minnesota Office of Higher Education, 2014-2015, $51,983: Investigative Plant Biology for Elementary Teachers
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Undergraduate Biology Education; 2010 – 2015; $1,500,000 (focus on delivering authentic research experiences to non-science majors and transfer students); one of several co-PIs