Greetings! At the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities I serve as an Associate Professor in History & Higher Education and Co-Director of the Thomas P. Jandris Center for Innovative Higher Education. My home academic department is Postsecondary Teaching and Learning in the College of Education and Human Development. I teach an undergraduate world history course and a graduate education course for teachers to embed best practices of student engagement, enrichment and academic support within their college courses. My work with the Jandris Center is to identify, validate, and disseminate promising and best practices in higher education related to teaching and learning, leadership, and civic engagement.
I investigate the history of postsecondary college access, developmental education, and academic interventions supporting improved student achievement and persistence. I also work with other institutions to share practices that improve academic achievement for their students. At the University of Missouri-Kansas City, I served as Senior Research Fellow for the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, National Project Director of Supplemental Instruction, and Interim Director for the Center for Academic Development. In the mid 1990s I led the National Association for Development Education as president. In 2000, the American Council of Developmental Education Associations selected me for induction as a Founding Fellow of the profession.
I enjoy making a difference by improving the academic achievement and success of students. My personal mission statement is "equipping others for service." A primary task for me is preparing students for a lifetime of service to community and country. Another dimension of my mission is sharing best practices with others. We do not need to "reinvent the wheel" regarding best educational practices. Instead, we must effectively communicate what already exists to others. Use of the Internet, publications, presentations, and workshops communicates them to others.
Bill Nye is a man with a mission: to foster a scientifically literate society by helping people everywhere understand and appreciate the science that makes our world work. Nye has spent the past 20 years educating students young and old about science and understands the importance of keeping minds active after the last school bell rings. “Learning can happen anywhere and at anytime – the important thing is that it should never stop,” Nye said. “We’ve put together fun, free and easy activities that will make this the summer of learning versus the summer filled with the dreaded words ‘I’m bored.’ ” AN EARLY KNACK FOR HOW THINGS WORK Making science entertaining and accessible is something Bill has done most of his life. Growing up in Washington, D.C., he spent afternoons and summers de-mystifying math for his classmates. While working for Boeing in Seattle, Bill combined his love of science with his flair for comedy. After winning a Steve Martin look-alike contest, he became an engineer by day and a stand-up comic by night. Eventually, Bill made the transition to comedy writer and performer on Seattle’s home-grown ensemble comedy show “Almost Live.” This is where “Bill Nye the Science Guy®” was born. The 18-time Emmy Award-winning show appeared before Saturday Night Live and later on Comedy Central. During this time, he also wrote five kids’ books about science, including his latest title, “Bill Nye’s Great Big Book of Tiny Germs.” BROADENING HIS MISSION Bill’s passion for math and science translated into a love of space. His role as CEO of The Planetary Society, the world’s large space interest organization, has taken him across the globe. And one thing Bill is very proud of is the MarsDials, two sundials on residing on Mars he created with Cornell scientists. America’s favorite stand-up scientist hasn’t changed much from that kid growing up in Washington, DC. He still rides his bike to work. He’ll pull out his Periodic Table of the Elements from his wallet. And his drive for helping others understand science is as strong as ever.