MSUToday
Published: Jan. 6, 2020

Lyman Briggs College professor receives national teaching award

Contact(s): Blythe White Lyman Briggs whitebly@msu.edu, Layne Cameron Media Communications office: (517) 353-8819 cell: (765) 748-4827 camer102@msu.edu

Peter White, an assistant professor of biology in Lyman Briggs College and the Department of Entomology, recently received an award from the National Association of Biology Teachers.

The prestigious national Four-Year College and University Biology Teaching Award is given to one faculty member in the United States each year. The award recognizes faculty creativity and innovation in undergraduate biology teaching through curriculum design and effective teaching strategies.

White has designed an award-winning flipped cellular and molecular biology course for Lyman Briggs College. This course, LB145, is one of the college’s foundational biology courses.

Now in its third iteration, White’s flipped version of the course creates an inclusive learning environment by providing class time for questions, peer interactions and problem solving.

Course content is provided before each class session through a set of video lectures that White designed, recorded and produced in a recording studio set up in his office. Student content knowledge is assessed via a quiz at the start of each class, and class time is largely dedicated to deeper foundational and conceptual learning.

When asked about what the NABT award means to him, White reflected on the people who have helped him develop as an educator.

“I’m very honored by the award, but I recognize that I’ve been very fortunate over my career to have excellent teaching mentors, and to work in a college where innovation and curricular experimentation are encouraged,” said White.

White received the award at the annual NABT professional development conference in Chicago.

Michele Jackson, dean of Lyman Briggs College, said, “The Briggs faculty pride themselves on using sound, empirically based pedagogy. We recognize how innovative approaches to teaching and learning can help students achieve even greater success. It's encouraging to see Dr. White's efforts in flipped classes recognized at university, regional, and national scales."

Peter White received an award from the National Association of Biology Teachers.