Leaning Tower of Prerequisites

In last week’s post, I talked a bit about the problems with prerequisite series and remedial coursework when it comes to retaining students in science and engineering majors. I also talked about Dr. Klingbeil’s call to action for parsing out the chain of prerequisites in your academic department and how long it will take students […]

Who are Prerequisites For?

I’ve been thinking about course prerequisites for a while, since a class that I TA and will eventually teach at Virginia Tech is continually being revised to determine exactly how much “review” from the prerequisite statistics class is enough without spending half of a food science class teaching students statistics. For a number of frustrating […]

The Future of Higher Ed Needs to Take Teaching Seriously

One of the major things I hear, even from professors I know with partial teaching appointments who care about how their students do and would like to continually do better, is that they are simply not rewarded or paid for their teaching efforts. This is perhaps a mantra that I hear more often than most […]

Why Are We Holding Onto the GRE?

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardized test taken by many aspiring graduate students. In fact, until very recently, the GRE test was required nearly universally for admission to US graduate programs. Much like the forms of standardized testing used in undergraduate admissions, GRE scores are often used predominantly with a cutoff to separate […]

Should My Lab Have a Twitter?

Right now, just about everything has had to move online, and I’ve found myself thinking a lot about online teaching and alternative research and effective collaboration. But instead of that, I wanted to talk for a moment about something that I still don’t know what to think about: professional social media for academics. The first […]

The Lesson I Hope Higher Ed Learns from COVID-19

It’s late March of 2020, and that means that somewhere around 90% of the news I’ve read in the past week, something like 75% of the conversations I’ve had, and probably 50% of the academic work I’m currently doing are in some way about the COVID-19 pandemic. While day-to-day life is changing drastically and we […]

Open Access in Food Science: Self-Selecting for the Second Choice?

As someone with a background in programming (I finally caved recently and installed Linux on my new computer, one of the older and more established open source alternatives to Windows and macOS), I’ve been aware of open source software for a long time, and I owe a lot to that community. OpenOffice was the word […]

Offending Repetition by a Repeat Offender

Today, I’m going to talk about a research misconduct incident that unfolded at UNC Chapel Hill between 2016 and 2018. The researcher responsible for the misconduct was a postdoctoral researcher I’m going to be referring to in this post as Dr. B, for reasons I’ll get into later, although her name is readily available on […]

Mission Statements of North Carolina’s Higher Ed

I grew up in North Carolina, I got my bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University, and I think there’s a decent chance I’ll ultimately move back to pursue a career as a professor. With this in mind, I’m revisiting some of my thoughts and opinions about the different schools I grew up around that […]