Many Palmer lab members are involved in mentoring and teaching the future generation of scientists. The Palmer lab has hosted multiple undergraduate research students through the Summer Multicultural Access to Research Training (SMART) program. Students in this program work on an independent research project in the lab of their choice for 10 weeks during the summer. SMART students in the Palmer lab spend their summers as full members of the lab,often becoming experts on their projects, microscopy, and data analysis. Many of the SMART students in the lab have gone on to graduate school.
CU Science Discovery
In addition to working closely with SMART students, Palmer lab members have worked with high school students through the CU Science Discovery program. Most recently, in 2016 and 2017, Kelsie taught middle school summer camps on how science is used to solve crimes. In 2015, Esther, Ali, Lynn, and Yu hosted 4 high school students in the lab for summer research projects. These students completed four-week research projects involving cell culture, bacterial infections, and fluorescence microscopy. Liz and Eugenia also taught Teen Café workshops through CU Science Discovery. Eugenia taught about using microscopes to visualize the host/pathogen interface and Liz taught about the potential of bioengineering to develop new technologies. Additionally, in 2015, Sarah and Liz co-taught two CU Science Discovery Biotechnology summer courses. These courses included a heavy lab component, independent projects that encouraged students to think critically about current relevant STEM topics, a visit to a local biotech company, and a career panel.
Teaching Experience at the University and Beyond
In 2018 and 2019, Kelsie developed a case study with two other graduate students on metabolic engineering for Dr. Jeffrey Cameron’s Metabolic Pathways and Human Disease course. This case study uses research from Dr. Shelley Copley’s lab (MCDB, CIRES) to try to create better bacteria to help break down toxic waste in the environment and to acquaint students with data analysis, collaboration, and experimental design. Sarah and Liz also both co-taught classes for CU undergraduate students in the spring of 2016. Sarah co-taught Science in the Public Sphere with Dr. Lonni Pearce through the Program for Writing and Rhetoric and Liz guest lectured for a brand new course taught by Dr. Dan Feldheim called Chemistry of Global Health.
Kelsie is currently the departmental lead for the Graduate Teacher Program within the Center for Teaching and Learning. She helps train incoming TAs, leads workshops on tough topics in the classroom, and builds connections between students and faculty to facilitate meaningful graduate teaching experiences.