Fall 2014 Newsletter | Biology | Marquette University




The Biological Undergraduate Society hosted a "Get a Booster Presentation" in late September. At the presentation, there were various speakers about peer mentoring, hospital volunteering, summer research and phlebotomy opportunities. Students attending the session were given information about how to become involved in these activities to help give their resume a "boost."


Urban Ecology Center

On October 11th, BUS students along with faculty and graduate students came together to volunteer at the Urban Ecology Center – Washington Park. The group worked to cut, pull and treat buckthorn growing invasively around the park’s ephemeral ponds. Buckthorn was originally introduced by the horticultural industry as a privacy hedge shrub. Once naturalized, buckthorn spreads easily, resists herbicides, and out competes native plants for resources. We hope that our volunteer efforts at Washington Park helped to revitalize this important neighborhood park.




Plant Biology Plant Biology
Dr. Michael Schläppi’s BIOL 3406 Plant Biology class now has a mandatory service learning activity. Dr. Schläppi competed for a $500 Problem Solver Grant from the Center of Teaching and Learning, which allows the rental of 4 school bus trips to and from Alice’s Garden. The students were paired with urban gardeners for the 15 weeks of the semester.


New Format for Exams

In some classes in the Biological Sciences department, faculty have begun to experiment with using oral examinations as an alternative method to assess student learning. For example, mid-term examinations in the 70-student Biochemistry class involves assessing students in pairs during a 15 minute closed-door session with the instructor and teaching assistant. Relative to a more traditional written exam, this format allows students and instructors to delve more deeply into problems and allows the instructor to guide students through a problem as they consider new scenarios and applications. As such, the assessment itself affords a unique learning opportunity for the students. In many ways, this better mimics the environment outside of academia, where graduates will one day be expected to confidently explain and defend their ideas in stressful situations. This new approach to assessments is already being implemented in several lab courses (Kemp, Manogaran, and Anderson) and now an upper division lecture course (St. Maurice).






Biological Sciences Department

Marquette University, Wehr Life Sciences
(Directions/campus map)
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881
(414) 288-7355