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Emily Bell named the 2019 – 2020 recipient of the Paul M. Althouse Memorial Outstanding Instructor Award
31 August 2020
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Image of Emily Bell

The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department has selected Emily Bell as the recipient of the 2019 – 2020 Paul M. Althouse Memorial Outstanding Instructor Award.  Bell was selected by the Department’s Peer Teaching Evaluation Committee because of her excellence in teaching as well as her ability to meet the expectations and needs of her students in both BMB 480 and 430.

Bell, a native of Niagara-on-the-Lake, located in Ontario, Canada, earned her undergraduate degree from Western University, also in Ontario Canada.  She continued her education and earned her Ph.D. from McGill University, located in Quebec Canada, and later conducted her postdoctoral fellowship at Cornell University.  In the spring of 2018, Bell accepted her position at Penn State and travelled to Happy Valley.  

Each instructor has their own distinct teaching style, a specific way in which they interact and connect with their students.  Bell’s approach to teaching is to provide her students opportunities to apply the concepts they are learning within different contexts, encouraging her students to become active participants in both discovering, and testing, their own knowledge.  Over the years, Bell has worked to develop her own approach by following what has been of interest to her at each moment in her career, moving back and forth between research questions and science education training opportunities.  “I think you pick up a little from each experience you have until you shape something new and unique to you,” says Bell.  “We all approach research and teaching from our individual perspectives.”

Bell was very fortunate to have had great mentors throughout her undergraduate career and says that it would have been much more difficult to have gotten started in her career if not for these instructors and the opportunities they provided.  It is for this reason that Bell does all that she can to assist and support her students, especially those in the later portion of their undergraduate career.  “I love teaching students in their final years of undergrad,” says Bell.  “It is such an exciting time!  My students are searching out career paths and submitting applications, and I get to be a part of teaching them and helping them during this big transition.”

Since beginning her career at Penn State in 2018, Bell has taught BMB/MICRB 480, Cancer Development and Progression, during the Spring of 2018, the Fall of 2018, the Fall of 2019, and will be once again be teaching course this Fall.  She has also taught BMB/BIOL 430, Developmental Biology, during the Fall in both 2018, and 2019.  Additionally, Bell has developed a new course, BMB 497, Undergraduate Research in Cellular Dynamics, that she will begin teaching this Fall.

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BMB 497 students make observations of kidney cells before using them in an experiment
BMB 497 students make observations of kidney cells before using them in an experiment

Bell’s passion towards teaching, inspiring and preparing the next generation of scientist makes her a truly outstanding instructor, one the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department is proud to have as part of its Team.  

The Department congratulates Emily Bell on her outstanding achievements, and on being named the 2019-2020 Paul M. Althouse Memorial Outstanding Instructor!

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Communications Coordinator, BMB Department
814-863-1918