Share Your Inclusive Science Education Work

July 31, 2019

ASM is searching for authors to discuss Inclusive Science in the spring 2020 edition of the ASM’s Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education (JMBE). This themed issue will discuss strategies and pedagogies that provide equal opportunities for STEM students.

“As a Puerto Rican female who comes from a low socioeconomic background and whose first language isn’t English, I am so very aware of the challenges students face who don’t fit the traditional mold of college education,” says Dr. Miriam Segura-Totten, professor of biology at the University of North Georgia. “It’s hard for me to express in words how excited I am about this issue.”

Dr. Segura-Totten is ASM’s JMBE themed issue editor and explains why submitting to the upcoming issue can help evolve STEM inclusion in a meaningful way.

How did you get started with JMBE and what made you decide to join the Editorial Board?

I first became involved with JMBE as a reviewer and then the previous JMBE editor-in-chief, Dr. Samantha Elliott, contacted me about becoming the themed issue editor. I was thrilled because I already recognized JMBE as a rigorous and respected journal. I felt very comfortable working with others at ASM and I loved the idea of showcasing specific topics of importance in education through themed issues.

What are some of the challenges and opportunities associated with being a journal editor and professor?

The main challenge is balancing my responsibilities as an editor and professor. The busiest time is right after the submission deadline for an issue, when I have to read, vet, and assign all manuscripts. I’ve had to develop an organizational scheme to keep track of all the manuscripts and where they are in the review process.
However, the experience has been very rewarding. I’ve met and worked with leaders in the content areas of the themed issues, while learning more about the subject matter. Being an editor has honed my organizational and people management skills, which has been an amazing byproduct of this process!

What makes being an education editor unique?

Although I haven’t been an editor for a content-based professional journal, I’ve been through the publishing experience from the author side. With JMBE, the editors are committed to working with you to improve and perfect your manuscripts so they can be published, even if it takes several rounds of review. It’s a very supportive process.

What are the challenges and opportunities associated with themed issues?

I think one of the challenges of themed issues is that they can be so different from the regular JMBE issues. So it took time for me, the editor-in-chief, guest editors, and production staff to find the “new normal.” In contrast, we have a lot more flexibility in defining the scope of the issue and organizing the final product. It’s immensely rewarding to work so hard with a group of experts to craft a one-of-a-kind product every year. It’s a little bit like birthing a child—massively tiring, but quite magical.

What are you excited about in regards to the Inclusive Science issue in particular?

I’m acutely aware of the many differences within the college population and employ evidence-based techniques to support all students. Being involved in the production of the Inclusive Science Issue feels like I’m taking my dedication to inclusive education to the next level by facilitating the dissemination of best practices nationally and internationally.
If you are interested in contributing research articles, perspective pieces, activities/tools, or reviews of resources related to inclusive science, learn more about the issue and submit a manuscript. The submission deadline for JMBE’s Themed Issue on Inclusive Science is Oct. 1, 2019.
Submit a Manuscript

Author: Bethany Adamec

Bethany Adamec
Bethany Adamec is a Science Education Specialist at ASM, where she communicates about ASM’s work in student and faculty professional development, supports the ASM Education Board, and works with colleagues to promote evidence-based education reform.

Author: Contributor

The Education Board's mission is to educate individuals at all levels in the microbiological sciences. It supports both student and faculty development through fellowships, online publications, conferences, workshops, and institutes, and networking opportunities.