awards science grants
9/18/2002 1:16 PM
CHEVY CHASE, Md., Sept. 18 (UPI) -- The Howard Hughes Medical
Institute said Wednesday that it has awarded $1 million grants to 20
university professors over the next four years to make science
courses more engaging for undergraduate students across the
The recipients will be the first 20 HHMI professors. They were
chosen because each is a leading researcher and the institute hopes
they will bring the creativity they have shown in the lab to the
"Research is advancing at breathtaking pace, but many university
students are still learning science the same old way, by listening
to lectures, memorizing facts and doing cookbook lab experiments
that thousands have done before," said institute President Thomas R.
Cech, a Nobel Prize-winning biochemist who taught at the University
"We want to empower scientists at research universities to become
more involved in breaking the mold and bringing the excitement of
research to science education," Cech said.
Peter J. Bruns, vice president for grants and special programs at
the Hughes institute, said the teaching of undergraduates tends to
be undervalued at research universities.
"By rewarding great teaching and supporting a synergistic
interaction between research and undergraduate education, we hope to
sow seeds of a fundamental change in the culture of research
universities," Bruns said.
"We want the HHMI professors to demonstrate that active,
productive scientists can be effective teachers, too," he said.
The professors who were chosen say they will create courses in
the way scientists think, establish pre-graduate science course
modeled after pre-med courses, concentrate on the interdisciplinary
nature of modern-day engineering and promote minority
Receiving the awards are Manuel Ares Jr. of the University of
California-Santa Cruz, Utpal Banerjee of the University of
California-Los Angeles, Sarah C.R. Elgin of Washington University in
St. Louis, Ellen Fanning of Vanderbilt University, Hilary Godwin of
Northwestern University, Bob Goldberg of the University of
California-Los Angeles, Jo Handelsman of the University of
Wisconsin, Graham Hatfull of the University of Pittsburgh, Ronald
Hoy of Cornell University, Elizabeth Jones of Carnegie Mellon
University, Darcy Kelley of Columbia University, Mary Lidstrom of
the University of Washington, Richard Losick of Harvard University,
Yi Lu of the University of Illinois, David Lynn of Emory University,
Rebecca Richards-Kortum of the University of Texas, Alanna Schepartz
of Yale University, Tim Stearns of Stanford University, Graham
Walker of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Isiah Warner of
Louisiana State University.
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