Todd Lamb was selected to receive the 2021 Carlock Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Research in Biology Education from the Association of the College and University Biology Educators (ACUBE). Congrats Todd!! Oct 2021.

University news covers the Auburn DBER network across the College of Science and Mathematics: COSAM Discipline-Based Education Research cluster seeks to investigate and improve learningOct 2021.

Ballen and postdoc Abby Beatty featured in Auburn University news for NSF grant (Oct 2021): The impact of going beyond a ‘value-free’ biology curriculum with award from NSF. Oct 2021.

Welcome to the lab, Robin Costello!! Robin joins the Ballen lab as a postdoctoral associate after completing a disciplinary biology PhD with the Brodie lab from UVA. We're excited to have her join the group! Oct 2021.

Emily Driessen and Abby Beatty were selected as EDU-STEM Scholar Mentors over the Fall 2021 semester. In addition to receiving funding for research, they will participate in a professional development mentorship program. Congrats to both! Sept 2021.

Many congrats to postdoc Sharday Ewell for being selected to receive a 2021 Attendance Grant for the Cell Bio 2021 Meeting!

Congrats to Enya Granados, a Master's student working in the lab over Fall 2021-Spring 2022, for being awarded the National Association of Biology Teachers 2021 Outstanding New Biology Teacher Achievement Award. Excited to have Enya join the lab!

SABER 2021 is underway and we have some great presentations from the lab (and friends) happening over the next few weeks.

Friday, July 9: Emily Driessen (talk - check out recording!), Todd Lamb (poster)

Friday, July 16: Claire Tracy & Jenna Pruett (poster), Abby Esco (poster)

Friday, July 23: Sara Odom (talk), Shima Salehi (talk), Taylor Gusler (poster), Madison Nelson (poster), Sharday Ewell & Chloe Josefson (poster)

Friday, July 30: Lina Arcila Hernandez (talk)

Received official award notice from the NSF about our Improving Undergraduate STEM Education grant! This kicks off 3 yrs of research exploring ideological awareness in bio classrooms with soon-to-be postdoc Abby Beatty, Jeremiah Henning, & alongside students and bio instructors! July 2021.

Our annual Equity & Diversity in Undergraduate STEM (EDU-STEM) Research Coordination Network meeting took place June 29-30, 2021! Biology ed researchers and instructors from across the United States caught up and discussed projects, ideas, and future directions. It was great to see everyone and strike up some new collaborations! 

We were awarded a "Supported Preliminary Awards for Research Collaboration" (SPARC) Grant through the NSF-funded iEMBER network, led by postdoc Abby Beatty. This funding will bring together folks from institutions across Alabama to conduct research. June 2021.

Ballen interviewed for article on representation in chemistry textbooks for the news site c&en. Check it out! Chemistry textbooks still lack gender and racial representation. April 2021.

Our "Fostering Ideological Awareness In Postsecondary Biology” collaborative earned an iEMBER Inclusive Teaching and Research Project Idea Award. This project is led by Abby Beatty and in collaboration with Jeremiah Henning (South Alabama), Sheritta Fagbodun (Tuskegee University), Randy Klabacka (AU), and Kimberly Mulligan (AU). Way to go team! March 2021.

Undergraduate awards! Undergraduate researcher Taylor Gusler is AU's 2021 nominee for the Be The Creed Award, an award that "was created to recognize Auburn students who exemplify the values of the Auburn Creed: hard work, honesty, sympathy, respect, helpfulness, obedience and good sportsmanship.” Additionally, undergraduate researcher Abby Esco was selected as a War Eagle Girl for 2021-2022 to represent Auburn University as a student ambassador. Congrats Taylor and Abby!

Big showing at the inaugural X-DBER conference hosted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). Nice going Claire Tracy & Jenna Pruett, Abby Beatty, Emily Driessen, Tashitso Anamza, & Todd Lamb! March 1-3, 2021.

Abby Beatty talks about upper-level CUREs at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology conference. Nice job! Feb 2021.


Congrats to collaborator/honorary labber Abby Beatty for receiving COSAM's Inclusive Excellence in STEM Award! Oct 2020.

Lab members Todd Lamb and Cissy Ballen featured in Science DailyResearch network aims to improve learning outcomes for students underrepresented in STEM. Oct 19, 2020.


How students relate to scientists impacts student retention: A $1 million NSF funds a study to examine data literacy instruction with direct connection to STEM. Lab members Emily Driessen and Cissy Ballen in COSAM News! See the full story here. Oct 13, 2020.

Emily Driessen on panel discussing her paper on overcoming challenges for students in the COVID era. Oct 7, 2020.


The first virtual Introduction to Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER) special topics graduate course kicked off on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020! 

The Ballen lab and the Weber lab at Michigan State were awarded a 5-year collaborative grant from the National Science Foundation (IUSE) to develop biology materials with humanized and diverse scientist role models - and research those impacts! Excited to welcome postdoc Ash Zemenick, founder of Project Biodiversify, to the lab!

We're excited to welcome new graduate student Todd Lamb to the lab! Aug 2020.

Awesome opportunity alert!  Postdoc position at University of South Alabama to work with Jeremiah Henning, in collaboration with Ballen and psychologist Shane Bierma from Louisiana State University. Posted Aug 7, 2020.

Many labbers are presenting research at this year's virtual July SABER conference! Check us out (all central time)!

>Jul 10, 3pm, Sara Berk, Context matters: variation in psychosocial factors across three institution types

>Jul 17, 12pm, Cissy & Ash Zemenick, A scientist like me: demographic analysis of biology textbooks reveals both progress and long-term lags

>Jul 24, 12pm, Emily Driessen, Demystifying the Meaning of Active Learning in Undergraduate Biology Education

>Jul 31, 12:20pm, Jeremiah HenningHidden identities shape student perceptions of active learning environments


Jeremiah Henning and Ballen invited to co-present a plenary talk at the annual EDU-STEM meeting on July 22nd2020, entitled Addressing intersectionality in Biology Education Research: the power of collaborative networks. 

Press coverage of new research on representation in undergraduate biology textbooks featured in BBC news, Science Magazine news in brief, Washington Post, IFLScience, Newsweek, Royal Society Blog, COSAM todayScienceNews

Jul 8, 2020 Sara Odom delivered an excellent thesis defense presentation, and passed her final oral exam. Congrats Sara!

Ballen lab featured in EDU-STEM's monthly spotlight: Breaking down barriers in biology.

Our latest paper in CBE-Life Sciences Education, led by Stepfanie Aguillon and Gregor Siegmund, was featured in the Cornell Chronicle!

Driessen created a website - check it out --> https://emilydriessen.weebly.com

May 12, 2020 Emily Driessen delivered a webinar at University of South Alabama's Conference on Teaching and Learning on her research about demystifying active learning in biology education research. Check out the recording here. Nice job Emily!


EDU-STEM launches in Las Vegas! The network coordinates and researches evidence-based classroom experiences across biology curricula. For more information, check out the website for our network here

Ballen receives NSF-funded Equity & Diversity in Undergraduate STEM (EDU-STEM) Research Coordination Network grant to coordinate and conduct research on STEM equity!

November was an exciting month for visitors! Dr. Katelyn Cooper from University of Central Florida and Dr. Shima Salehi from Stanford University came and discussed qualitative and quantitative approaches to studying equity in biology.

Ballen's research featured in an article published in Cornell's Ezra Magazine shows that students benefit from elements of active learning, and this in turn positively affects learning and student performance.

Emily Driessen selected to receive the Carlock Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Research in Biology Education from the Association of the College and University Biology Educators (ACUBE). Congrats Emily!


Ballen selected to receive the Totten Geoscience Education Research Award at the 2019 Geological Society of America annual conference.


Ballen lead author on paper quantifying equitable student

participation in STEM:  The Times Higher Education, Cornell

Chronicle, UMN NewsScience daily, Inside higher ed



Ballen featured in Auburn University’s COSAM Faculty Focus.


Ballen lead author on paper showing the impact of class size on performance gaps in STEM: Inside Higher ED, The Chronicle of Higher Ed, University of Minnesota - TC news.


CUREs for nonmajors paper featured as Science Editor's Choice

Active learning enhances diversity in undergraduate science: 

Cornell chronicle, University of Minnesota- TC news, Featured in 

Cornell's College of Arts & Sciences Innovative Approaches to



Ballen receives NSF-funded Equity and Diversity in STEM Research Coordination Network incubator grant. Launches in October: MN Daily, University of Minnesota CBS news.

Paper published with Shima Salehi and Sehoya Cotner on the effects of test anxiety on performance: Stanford news, Quartz, Inside Higher Ed, Naturejobs


Gender in Norway: STUDVESTBergens Tidende.


Ballen & Sehoya Cotner featured in University of Minnesota’s

 Spring 2017 BIO magazine.

Ballen publishes with Harry Greene about ‘Walking and Talking the

Tree of Life’: Phys.org, Science Newsline, EurekAlert! Science News


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