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BLC 2024 Keynote Speaker: 







Ahna Skop

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Ahna R. Skop is a geneticist, artist, author, and educator. A Professor in the Department of Genetics at University of Wisconsin, Madison, Dr. Skop also holds an affiliate faculty position in Life Sciences Communication and the Division of the Arts. Her lab works to understand the molecular mechanisms that underlie asymmetric cell division with a focus on the midbody. Midbody dysregulation leads to birth defects, cancer, and age-related neurodegenerative diseases. Recently her lab has discovered that the midbody includes translationally active RNA. In addition to her genetics research, Dr. Skop mentors scientists and art students in her lab and is regularly involved in many interesting art/science collaborations. In 2019, she was honored as one of 125 Women in STEM with an AAAS IF/THEN Ambassadorship. 


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Tricia Bertram Gallant is the Director of Academic Integrity and Triton Testing at the University of California San Diego (UCSD), Board Emeritus of the International Center for Academic Integrity, and former lecturer for both UCSD and the University of San Diego. Tricia has authored Crafting Your GenAI & AI Policy: A Guide for Instructors, a helpful tool for faculty struggling with the impact of artificial intelligence on teaching, learning and assessment. Her most recent publications include Cheating Academic Integrity: Lessons from 30 Years of Research (Jossey-Bass, 2022) and a special issue of the Journal of College and Character (February, 2022). Her earlier books such as Creating the Ethical Academy: A Systems Approach to Understanding Misconduct & Empowering Change in Higher Education (Routledge, 2011), Cheating in School: What We Know and What We Can Do (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), and Academic Integrity in the Twenty-First Century: A Teaching and Learning Imperative (Jossey-Bass, 2008) were seminal additions to the field. Tricia has a forthcoming book (University of Oklahoma Press, 2024), co-authored with David Rettinger, which will provide practical guidance to higher education instructors for designing teaching and learning environments that have integrity despite external forces like artificial intelligence.

Mays Imad is Associate Professor of Biology at Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. She received her Ph.D. in neurobiology from Wayne State University School of Medicine. Inspired by the work of the South African Scholar Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, Mays Imad is interested in studying the notion of "reparative humanism," and what it means to become a flourishing human being, and to contribute to intergenerational wellbeing. Mays uses that question in her work with students and colleagues to understand how trauma, including intergenerational trauma, shows up in postsecondary education. 

Within that overarching theme, Mays investigates the following questions: 1) How to use what we know about the neurobiology of learning to optimize conditions for learning for all students? 2) How to create structural immunity that helps cultivate equitable and healthy ecosystems? 3) How to use our positionality to advocate for readily accessible and culturally-grounded mental health support for all students? 

Melinda Owens is an Assistant Professor at University of California, San Diego in the department of neurobiology. She is passionate about effectively helping all students learn biology. After receiving her Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCSF, she taught at a range of institutions, including Stanford University and California State University, East Bay. She then was a SEPAL Postdoctoral Fellow in Biology Education with Dr. Kimberly Tanner at San Francisco State University. She joined UCSD in 2018.

Annie Zeidman-Karpinski is the Kenneth M. and Kenda H. Singer Science Librarian at University of Oregon. She works with bioengineering, chemistry, an online psychology program and human physiology faculty as a librarian subject specialist, providing access to articles, software, and other resources. She is devoted to bringing innovation, evidence-based practices, and her enthusiasm to support instruction and training in the sciences.

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