Gap Junctions: Reconnecting Our Community for Diffusion of Ideas

The subtitle of 2023 ASMCUE is “Gap Junctions: Reconnecting Our Community for Diffusion of Ideas.” In a similar way that gap junctions are structures that permit direct cell-cell transfer of ions and small molecules, ASMCUE is the destination for educators to connect with one another and share ideas. Instead of serving as an overarching theme for content and proposals, this subtitle reflects the experience of an ASMCUE meeting and reasons that the ASMCUE Planning Committee desires to re-convene ASMCUE with an in-person modality. 

Here's a Sneak Peek at ASMCUE's Unique Content!

Amy Siegesmund, Ph.D.

The Joy in the Journey: Building Relationships and Sharing Experiences

Amy Siegesmund
Ralph Waldo Emerson is credited with the quote “Life is a journey, not a destination.”  In working toward a more learner-centered classroom, I began to think more about how the time I spend with students is a shared journey. It’s a journey where we not only learn and explore the content of a discipline, but also build relationships and share experiences. My goal for this talk is to share part of my teaching journey and some of the strategies and tools I use in the classroom, with a particular focus on how ASMCUE and the ASM educator community has helped me develop as a teacher. 

2023 Carski Award Webinar: The Joy in the Journey with Amy Siegesmund.

What Else Will You Experience at ASMCUE?  

  • A welcoming community of about 300 people that encourage your new ideas and projects for teaching and learning.  
  • Networking with creative educators who think deeply about teaching, teach the same classes you do and are genuinely passionate about helping students. 
  • A format that allows you to find the content and network suited to your professional interests. 
  • Opportunities to meet and offers from educational partners and companies who will support your teaching and learning endeavors.

Consider Sampling ABRCMS!

Join on Nov. 17

  • For over 20 years, the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minoritized Scientists (ABRCMS) has been the go-to conference for underrepresented trainees and faculty and program administrators who support them. 
  • This new co-location of ABRCMS and ASMCUE allows attendees of both conferences to sample content and network with audiences from a different type of conference than they normally attend. 
  • In 2022, over 5,500 individuals representing 12 scientific disciplines attended ABRCMS. 

2023 Plenary Speakers

Sara Brownell, Ph.D.
Sara Brownell, Ph.D.

Sara Brownell, Ph.D.

Arizona State University

Disclosure Decisions: Exploring the Concealable Stigmatized Identities of Science Instructors

Science instructors as role models and mentors can positively impact students, yet we know little about the identities of instructors. We collected data from over 2,000 faculty across the U.S. to document what percentage have concealable stigmatized identities, to what extent they reveal these identities to students in their classes, their reasons for concealing or revealing their identities and how revealing these identities may positively impact students.

Jackie Washington, Ph.D.
Jackie Washington, Ph.D.

Jackie Washington, Ph.D.

Alliance University

Closing the Gaps in Life Science Education: Challenges and Opportunities

It has long been recognized that STEM education in the U.S. needs a major overhaul. Student proficiency in STEM has been in a downward spiral since the 1980s, and despite many efforts, there had only been incremental changes until the 2011 AAAS Vision and Change Report catalyzed significant efforts to transform biology education. Now, over a decade later, while there has been some progress, there is still considerable work to be done to address the existing gaps to ensure that all students acquire the essential skills to become scientifically literate and meet the demands of the 21st century job market. In this session, I will highlight my journey as an educator to transform science education and, in doing so, bridge the gaps so that it is equitable and inclusive for all students.


Heather Seitz, Ph.D.
Heather Seitz, Ph.D.

Heather Seitz, Ph.D.

Johnson County Community College

Assessing Assessments: Utilizing Review and Data to Improve Assessments

As scientists and educators, we recognize that data can be instrumental in making new discoveries and innovations. This presentation will share how assessment data from 2 different independent projects, focused on assessing life science students, can drive innovation in the life sciences classroom. First, the Assessment Skills in Biology network (ASK BIO) is an NSF-funded project helping faculty write high cognitive level selected-response questions. Professional development workshops offered throughout the year have helped us collect questions and insight from faculty. Longitudinal data collected from participants focused on item writing, and review will be shared, as well as resources to support faculty as they create new assessment items. A new inclusivity guide to assessment item writing will also be shared and provide opportunities for reflection.

Second, the Microbiology for Health Sciences Concept Inventory (MHSCI) has been used to assess expert thinking in microbiology classrooms for over 6 years. Insights from this national data set and program assessment outcomes will be discussed and an invitation to engage in these networks and in assessment work will be shared.


Concurrent Pre-Conference Workshops

Friday, Nov. 17 | 12-4 p.m. MT

Workshop 1: Integrating Assessments Into Videos With HHMI’s Interactive Video Builder


  • Karen Wellner, Chandler-Gilbert Community College.
  • Candace Carroll Wicks, Dallas College.
  • Jacqueline Washington, Alliance University.

Videos can provide an engaging way of presenting content. However, to promote learning, videos need to be paired with opportunities for students to react to, reflect on and use the content. Participants of this hands-on workshop will learn how to turn HHMI BioInteractive videos into assessment-rich activities that engage students in active learning. Participants will explore best practices for writing selected response assessment items and learn to integrate these items into videos using Interactive Video Builder. The customized interactive videos created in this way are ready for sharing with students via a web link. 

Attendee Learning Outcomes

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: 
  1. Apply best practices to write more effective and equitable selected response assessment items. 
  2. Create assessment-rich interactive videos. 
  3. Increase their repertoire of video-based active learning exercises.

Additional Information

Cost: Free with conference registration.
Pre-requisites: None, educators at all career levels and institutions are welcome.

Workshop 2: TWiM Podcast Annotation Training To Provide Virtual Science Literacy Internship Opportunities for Students


  • Nancy Boury, Iowa State University.
  • Rebecca Seipelt-Thiemann, Middle Tennessee State University.
Participants will review the ASM fundamental Statements with an emphasis on Scientific Thinking and walk through how to use This Week in Microbiology (TWiM) episodes to illustrate basic principles of microbiology (Structure/Function, Information Flow, Evolution, Metabolism, Systems and Microbial Impact), lab techniques and scientific thinking. The workshop hosts will walk participants through the process of podcast annotation, where students listen to TWiM episodes and work collaboratively to create an annotation that connects the topics discussed in the podcast to ASM’s 27 fundamental statements, the 6 Vision and Change categories and the concepts they have learned in class. In addition, we will use papers presented in a podcast episode as the basis to create short, figure-reading and science literacy exercises that are aligned to ASM’s curricular guidelines. Workshop participants (and their students) will be invited to contribute to an Open Education Resource as chapter-authors. 

Attendee Learning Outcomes

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: 
  1. Connect core ASM content (Fundamental Statements & Scientific Thinking) to primary literature as presented by This Week in Microbiology (TWiM) hosts. 
  2. Guide students through the process of creating a draft annotation, presenting that annotation, providing constructive feedback for peers and revising their annotations based on peer review. 
  3. Create short, figure-reading and scientific literacy exercises based on primary literature presented by the TWiM hosts. 
  4. Contribute to a nascent Open Education Resource (OER) book that provides resources for teaching microbiology concepts based on the ASM curriculum guidelines and Vision & Change. 

Additional Information

Cost: Free with conference registration.
Pre-requisites: Prefer (not required) Faculty that teach general microbiology (majors or non-majors) with some knowledge of Vision & Change and ASM’s curricular guidelines.

Workshop 3: Charting a Vision and Making Changes in the Undergraduate Biology Classroom: Evidence-based Teaching From Vision & Change


  • Uma Swamy, Florida International University.
  • Carlos Goller, North Carolina State University.
Development as an educator often includes incorporation of active learning in classrooms and familiarity with evidence based teaching practices. Calls to actions such as Vision & Change, a report transforming undergraduate biology education sponsored by NSF, HHMI, NIH and AAAS, inspire educators to challenge students and design engaging learning experiences that better prepare students for exciting careers. In this workshop, you will reflect on your past or future teaching and explore how it aligns with the recommendations and principles of Vision & Change. You will learn about Vision & Change through examples and discussions that will foster new connections that will help in the design of active learning lessons. This 4-hour session will include presentations, individual activities and group discussions that will help you develop new insights into your own teaching as well as the future of biology education. 

Attendee Learning Outcomes

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: 
  1. Describe connections between their teaching practices and the core concepts and competencies of Vision & Change.
  2. Explain how their implementation of active learning aligns with the principles of Vision & Change  
  3. Identify gaps in their curricula.  
  4. Revise syllabi and/or curriculum materials to better align with the call to action for improving undergraduate biology education.

Cost: Free with conference registration.
Pre-requisites: None, educators at all career levels and institutions are welcome.

Workshop 4: Crawl, Walk, Run:  Exploring the Road to Cultural Competencies


  • Terry Lee Watson, Strategies for Justice, BWMP LLC. 
This workshop is designed to create awareness and build cultural competency strategies to maintain and sustain an inclusive environment and a sense of belonging within the spaces one occupies. The Crawl, Walk, Run workshops challenge participants to engage in honest, yet effective dialogue, reflect on information received and experiences shared, to create an equity plan moving forward. Come ready to engage and learn from one another.  

Attendee Learning Outcomes

By attending this presentation, participants will be able to: 
  1. Recognize the multiple forms of cultural disruptiveness and its impact on building and maintaining an inclusive environment and sense of belonging.
  2. Identify at least one specific barrier that may stop your organization from achieving its inclusive and belonging goals and how to overcome them. 
  3. Create a plan to continue an individual’s course of action to build and maintain an inclusive environment and build a sense of belonging. 

Cost: Free with conference registration.
Pre-requisites: None, educators at all career levels and institutions are welcome.


Program Schedule

All Times are Listed in Mountain Standard Time (UTC−07:00)

View the 2023 ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators schedule & directory.