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NDSU biological sciences faculty named life sciences fellows

The National Academies of Science has announced two NDSU biological sciences faculty members have been named National Academies Education Fellows in the Life Sciences. Mary Jo Kenyon, senior lecturer, and Matthew T. Smith, assistant professor of practice, received the recognition after completing the organization's Northstar Summer Institute June 8-13 at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

The summer institute is aimed at fostering innovative approaches to teaching university students. Kenyon and Smith were among faculty from 17 research universities across the country to attend the institute in Minneapolis.

"Having our faculty trained in student-centered educational practices is paramount to providing high quality degrees in the biological sciences. Being named Education Fellows by the National Academies of Science is recognition of Matt's and Mary Jo’s commitment to our students," said Wendy Reed, professor and head of biological sciences.

The two are the latest in the department to be recognized as Education Fellows in the Life Sciences. There are now a total of 15 faculty members who have earned the designation, including Julia Bowsher, Mark Clark, Ned Dochtermann, Erin Gillam, Tim Greives, Britt Heidinger, Angela Hodgson, Jenni Momsen, Lisa Montplaisir, Erika Offerdahl, Reed, Katie Reindl and Steven Travers. Momsen is also an Education Mentor.

Kenyon earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Minnesota and a master's degree in zoology from NDSU. She has been a lecturer with the department since 2001. She teaches human anatomy and physiology, comparative chordate morphology and herpetology. Among her interests are ecology, animal behavior, evolution and conservation biology.

Smith joined the NDSU faculty in 2013. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees in zoology from NDSU and a doctorate in biology at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. His research interests include patterns of phenotypic variation in natural populations and understanding adaptations that permit organisms to survive within a changing environment.

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