Faculty Spotlight: Melissa Haswell

Melissa HaswellMelissa Haswell, who teaches at the Great Lakes Bay Campus in Midland, is an asset to the science and nursing department at Davenport University. Haswell has a bachelor’s degree in biology, master’s degrees in both health education and biology, and a doctorate in educational leadership with an emphasis in biology education.

“Melissa is an unsung hero,” said Sharon Sutliff, department chair and assistant professor of science. “She is quite active in scholarly activities as well as community service. She has presented at six regional and national conferences and universities this year!”

Haswell teaches anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology and environmental science courses at DU.

“I try to use several different techniques as opposed to a straight lecture,” Haswell said. “I tend to use a peer-to-peer approach. I also use group activities and case studies because I like to apply what they are learning with real-life scenarios.”

Among her research interests, Haswell examines science education and the use of case studies in student assessments. She also focuses on increasing student understanding of genetics.

“Genetics is becoming a big part of medicine and science in general,” Haswell said. “I have been working to incorporate lessons about genetics in my classes so that my bsn nursing students are prepared once they start their careers.”

Haswell is a Science Case Network Scholar, which is a research coordination network for undergraduate biology education funded by the National Science Foundation, as well as a higher education ambassador for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) BioInteractive , the science education arm of HHMI.

Among her activities this year, Haswell has:

  • Presented (poster) preliminary research entitled, “Reflexive Learning – Engaging Students Using Reflection and Meaningful Dialogue,” at the 10th Annual Great Lakes Conference on Teaching & Learning at Central Michigan University in May, as well at the BioQuest Summer Workshop in July
  • Presented “Creating a Reflexive Practice – Applying Your Scientific Skills to Increase Student Engagement” at the Association of College and University Biology Educators Conference (ACUBE) at Columbia College in South Carolina in October
  • Presented “Converting Written Cases into Interactive Assessments: What I have Learned While Creating Case-Based Classes” at the 2017 Case Study Teaching in Science Conference at the University of Buffalo in September
  • Presented “Got Lactase? Blood Glucose Data Analysis” physiology workshop at the HHMI booth at the National Association of Biology Teachers Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, in November

Outside of DU, Haswell serves on the Board of Directors at the Chippewa Nature Center in Midland and as a volunteer field scientist with Little Forks Nature Conservancy and the annual Kirtland’s Warbler Census for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


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