Drs. Sean and Kelly Collins named the recipients of two Whalen Grants

May 15, 2017

Lees-McRae Assistant Professors of Biology, Dr. Sean Collins and Dr. Kelly Collins, were named as the most recent recipients of the coveted Whalen Research Scholar Grant and the Whalen Master Teacher Grant, respectively.

Assistant Professor as well as Assistant Dean of Natural and Behavioral Sciences, Sean Collins, received the $3,000 grant to support his studies with a focus on patch and continuum-based analyses.

The grant will also support the submission of his peer-reviewed publication to Ecology.

“I am honored to receive the Whalen Research Scholar Grant this year,” Sean Collins said. “I plan to use these monies to travel to Cincinnati, OH, and to work with collaborators at the University of Cincinnati and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This trip will allow me to continue to pursue my own academic interests and will help keep my research skills up to date. I am grateful that the College continues to make funding academic research a priority.”

Program Coordinator for Biology, Kelly Collins, received a $2,000 grant to support her teaching in the biological laboratories, increase research support for student projects and teach students how to quantify amounts of bacteria, DNA and protein in a pure sample.

Additionally, the grant will support the purchase of materials and supplies to engage in pedagogical work with the addition of an ultraviolet/visible light spectrometer–a fundamental piece of laboratory equipment.

“I am thrilled to receive the Whalen Teaching Scholar Grant this year!” Kelly Collins said. “The funds from this grant will go towards purchasing some much needed equipment for the biology department that will enable me to better teach my students about protein science. Proteins are essential to understanding biology as they have important roles in every cellular process. By updating our equipment, students will be able to conduct more advanced studies both within upper level biology courses and their [senior capstone] projects, thereby enhancing their understanding of human biology.”

Both the Whalen Research Scholar and Master Teacher grants are awarded to faculty members who are committed to engaging in research that leads to the development and implementation of an innovative pedagogical, applied technique or method recognized in his or her field. The technique or method must be proven to enhance teaching and learning in a particular area of study. 

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