Icon for: Joanna Werner-Fraczek

JOANNA WERNER-FRACZEK

Moreno Valley College
Facilitators’
Choice
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Brian Drayton

    Brian Drayton

    Researcher
    May 14, 2019 | 11:50 a.m.

    Great project, and engaging video.  

        I was astonished that the swallows would be feeding on fire ants-- I presume when the ants are swarming. I assume that some of the student work is contirbuting to a longitudinal database of population structure & numbers? 

    I wonder if there are enterprising high school teachers in the area that (with their students) might participate, in future?

     

  • Icon for: Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 09:51 a.m.

    Thank you Brian for your kind comments.

    Our students are monitoring the swallow population for five years already using ArcGIS software. The collected data is shared with the USDA, Cornell Ornithology Lab and the University of Oklahoma, the home of Dr. Charles Brown who works with cliff swallows for the last 35 years.

    At this point we do not know if the fire ants consumed by swallows are native or invasive species.  We collaborate with the Department of Entomology, Dr. Jessica Purcell to answer this question using DNA barcoding.

    Since Moreno Valley College is not the only place where cliff swallows are found, we are in the process of developing collaboration with local high schools and middle schools to spread our "wings" for monitoring.  The Citizen Science project is in being prepared.

  • Icon for: Jay Labov

    Jay Labov

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 01:58 p.m.

    Thank you for submitting this video. I agree with Brian that it is both very engaging and informational. It also makes clear that undergraduate research experiences need not involve great costs, travel, or other expenses. Every location has a natural resource that probably can be utilized to a greater extent for such purposes. You are also to be commended for making this a cross-disciplinary effort between biology and chemistry at your institutions. Given the potential importance of these birds that your research has already uncovered (e.g., the reduction of fire ant impact on the environment because of predation by these swallows), it also might be useful in the future to engage other disciplines such as economics and social sciences. I recently coauthored a paper, "Integrating Undergraduate Research and Civic Engagement," that might be helpful in this regard.

    I think it could be helpful to other viewers, especially those who are thinking about developing similar kinds of undergraduate research experiences at both two- or four-year institutions if you could say more about the following questions:

    1. Please say more about the interactions between the chemical and biological aspects of this project. For example, if there is a lecture section to a course associated with this project, do both faculty members co-teach it so they can interact in class? Do students get to choose whether they will focus on the biological or chemical aspects, or is that selection based upon how they enroll (e.g., are there separate biology and chemistry courses devoted to this research)?

    2. You indicate in the video that you have proof that this approach is effective. Could you please provide additional information about the nature of that evidence? Were these assessments designed as an integrated component of the effort vs. being added after the program was underway?

    3. A major concern about undergraduate research experiences is their sustainability. For this program it appears that two faculty members from Moreno Valley College are involved. What kinds of efforts are needed to insure that the program continues if one or both of the current faculty members can no longer participate for some reason or if the project loses its external funding? To what extent is there tangible support for the effort (financial and other) from the two departments involved? From senior administration?

  • Icon for: Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 02:53 a.m.

    Thank you for your kind comments Jay, especially those including engagement of other disciplines. Thank you for sending me the link to your paper; I look forward to reading it. In fact, the Flying With Swallows (FWS) project is projected to expand the next academic year.  Besides the vertical growth, by inclusion of the local high schools and middle schools where swallows nest, we plan to grow horizontally and include disciplines such as geography, computer science, math (statistics), and anthropology.  Each discipline will have subprojects included in the course curricula. A fully expanded version of the project could easily involve economics and social sciences. Thank you for your suggestions!

    Ad.1. There are separate courses for biology majors and chemistry majors involved in the FWS project. Although it would be difficult to co-teach them due to the high level expertise required in each discipline and the fact that biology courses have pre-requisites such as chemistry, we host a guest lecture delivered by the proper instructor in each discipline. The FWS activities are built in as part of the curriculum in each of the required subject courses.

    There is a college Swallow Day where each discipline presents their posters and talks. The posters are then displayed in the science building so students from STEM can become familiar with the project. In addition, we travel to undergraduate research conferences together to ensure a constant flow of information.  The college host a Swallow website where all presentations and individual research projects are posted: http://www.mvc.edu/academicprograms/swallows/

    Ad.2. Multiple assessments by various groups indicate increased student retention, success rates, and engagement.  The first year the project was implemented (2013/2014), we used a survey developed by our STEM counselors.  The next year, when Moreno Valley College (MVC) become a partner of the Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative (CCURI), an assessment was conducted using CCURI Partner Reporting form developed by Social & Economic Sciences Research Center at Washington State University.  This assessment is ongoing.  Since 2015 when the project was awarded funding from the NSF, we have had an external evaluator from University of California, Irvine, who administrated pre-course and post-course surveys, and conducted group interviews.

    Ad. 3. Since the project has positive outcomes and is expected to grow, more faculty will be involved.  The plan is to have minimum two faculty members from biology and chemistry, and at least one faculty from the other disciplines indicated above.  It is worth mentioning that MVC is a relatively small college with the enrollment in the range of 8,000 students.

    To further bolster sustainability, the developed activities are in the process of being institutionalized so that research-based learning and place-based learning becomes a part of the teaching culture at MVC.  The project has gained recognition from the college administration, supports the efforts.

    Once again, thank you for your valuable comments and questions.

  • Icon for: Ivory Toldson

    Ivory Toldson

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2019 | 12:22 p.m.

    Hello All! My name is Ivory Toldson, professor at Howard University, president of Quality Education for Minorities, and one of the facilitators for the STEM for All Video Showcase. The conversation is off to a great start and I will be chiming in with my own input this afternoon and over the next few days. I'm excited about what we can achieve for the next generation of STEM learners!

  • May 15, 2019 | 12:33 p.m.

    This is a great model, thanks so much for sharing it. I have tip-toed into community-engaged, research-based learning (examining how people's perceptions of pollution and contamination influence their environmental practices), but my classes have always been one-offs. After seeing your example, I'm excited to try something long term like this.

  • Icon for: Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 02:53 a.m.

    Thank you very much Christian.  I would be very happy if our model can be implemented at your institution.  I recommend looking at the paper I submitted to SPUR (published by Council on Undergraduate Research, www.cur.org) in fall of 2018: Werner-Fraczek, J. Flying With Swallows – A Model of Undergraduate Research Programs.

  • Icon for: Judith Dilts

    Judith Dilts

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2019 | 01:29 a.m.

    Nice example of using the local environment for undergraduate research. Because it is local I would imagine the students have more interest. Your abstract mentions that Flying with Swallows was designed for "a number of STEM courses." Which courses have this component? Does the project span the courses so that the students can see as they are working the information or outcomes impacting their own piece of the project? Do the students present their own work at the Cliff Swallow Day? Thank you!

  • Icon for: Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 11:15 a.m.

    Thank you Judith.  The goal of Flying With Swallows is to represent both, research-based learning and place-based learning.  Therefore, swallows are the excellent subject of studies for us.

    The following courses have the FWS project incorporated into their curricula: General Biology, Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology, Introduction to Organismal and Population Biology; General Chemistry A, General Chemistry B; and three Honors courses: Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology Honors, General Chemistry A Honors and General Chemistry B Honors.  In 2017/2018 we also had Spanish Honors course where students investigated the symbolism of swallows in the Latin culture, and General Psychology Honors course with students developing the survey on the effects of nature studies on our wellbeing.

    All disciplines present their work during the Swallow Day; the posters are then displayed in the science building.  The college host a Swallow website where all presentations and individual research projects are posted:http://www.mvc.edu/academicprograms/swallows/  The website has a special place to post student testimony about the project and the effect it has on their professional and personal growth.  Students enrolled in courses where submission of the research proposal is required are strongly encouraged to visit the website to learn about past subprojects, before they select the topic of their studies.

    Thank you.

     

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    Lori Keeler

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 16, 2019 | 09:44 a.m.

    Informative video, Professor Werner-Fraczek, as a retired MVC faculty, I've watched your project evolve into a fascinating study of our beloved swallows.  What a stimulating project for your students as well as the MVC community, thank you for sharing!

  • Icon for: Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 11:15 a.m.

    Thank you very much Lori.  I appreciate your comment.

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    Sue Tarcon

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 16, 2019 | 12:16 p.m.

    You are amazing, Joanna, and a credit to Moreno Valley College.   Your students are fortunate to have you as their instructor and mentor.  This project will have positive ramifications beyond what can be imagined both for your students and the swallows.  So proud to know you and be supportive.

  • Icon for: Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 12:56 p.m.

    Thank you very much Sue.  Having people around like you is my inspiration.

     

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    Sue Tarcon

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 16, 2019 | 12:16 p.m.

    You are amazing, Joanna, and a credit to Moreno Valley College.   Your students are fortunate to have you as their instructor and mentor.  This project will have positive ramifications beyond what can be imagined both for your students and the swallows.  So proud to know you and be supportive.

  • Icon for: Ivory Toldson

    Ivory Toldson

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2019 | 12:41 p.m.

    Your project aimed to incite scientific curiosity and creativity and I believe you have done just that! This is a great opportunity for students to engage with the scientific process and enhance other research skills with conference participation and publication opportunities. In a comment above, you shared that you are in the process of developing collaboration with local high schools and middle schools. What ideas do you have for that collaboration? How will these programs differ from the current program at the undergraduate level?

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    Tiffanie Lee

    Graduate Student
    May 16, 2019 | 12:43 p.m.

    This is very intriguing. The students are so fortunate to have such an involved and knowledgeable instructor. Proud of all of the students who are making new paths for themselves and representing Moreno Valley College as "the beacon on the hill" that it is, providing new opportunities to all. May great things continue to come of this!

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    Tiffanie Lee

    Graduate Student
    May 16, 2019 | 12:43 p.m.

    This is very intriguing. The students are so fortunate to have such an involved and knowledgeable instructor. Proud of all of the students who are making new paths for themselves and representing Moreno Valley College as "the beacon on the hill" that it is, providing new opportunities to all. May great things continue to come of this!

  • Icon for: Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 12:57 p.m.

    Thank you very much Tiffanie.

  • Icon for: Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 12:56 p.m.

    Thank you Ivory for your kind comment.

    Our goal is to learn as much about the swallows as possible, the dynamic of their population in relation to industrial developments in our area.  Students from high schools and middle schools will collect information that will be put into our data base GIS maps of Moreno Valley.  The guest lectures will be organized for them as well as their visits to the campus to see the products of the project.  I would also like to organize the summer program where the selected students could be involved in the research in projects like insect DNA barcoding. We believe that early exposure to the FWS project would encourage students to enroll at MVC.

    The ongoing research with the MVC students depends on the level of course they take.  The major courses are doing independent research where students develop the research proposal, reach out to the scientific community and read scientific literature.  The best proposals are becoming the topic of studies in the next academic year so the FWS project is student driven.

    Once again, thank you for your questions.

     
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    Ivory Toldson
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    howaida alali

    Researcher
    May 16, 2019 | 01:51 p.m.

    very impressive work as Dr. Joanna said, "act locally, think globally"

    thank you

  • Icon for: Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 05:48 p.m.

    Thank you very much Howaida

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    Dr. Supernak

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 16, 2019 | 03:29 p.m.

    Dear Joanna, My special congratulations on the great video illustrating an exciting and prestigious NSF-funded project. It shows how much can be accomplished in the STEM-based undergraduate research without costly labs and equipment.  Involving undergraduate students in intriguing research is the key to their future success as scientists and researchers. I am very impressed with the students' accomplishments - and your strong meritorious and organizational leadership.

  • Icon for: Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 05:48 p.m.

    Thank you very much for your very nice comment Dr. Supernak.

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    Melody Graveen

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 16, 2019 | 06:01 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your video! The work you are doing with our students in STEM-based undergraduate research is exciting and I hope we may find ways to work together through the iMAKE Innovation Center once it's completed. 

  • Icon for: Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 07:24 p.m.

    Thank you Melody for your nice comment.  I definitely count on the iMAKE Innovation Center to provide space for our students to do more individual research.

    Thank you again.

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    Melody Graveen

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 16, 2019 | 06:01 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your video! The work you are doing with our students in STEM-based undergraduate research is exciting and I hope we may find ways to work together through the iMAKE Innovation Center once it's completed. 

  • Icon for: Kathe Kanim

    Kathe Kanim

    Program Manager
    May 16, 2019 | 07:07 p.m.

    What an inspirational video.  Having a multi-year project with a few key partners makes undergraduate research projects seem achievable.  Thank you for sharing your knowledge, skill and high expectations for your students.

     

  • Icon for: Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 07:25 p.m.

    Thank you very much Kathe

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    Casey Jacobi

    May 16, 2019 | 11:19 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing this with us Dr. Joanna. I love the work you are doing for your students and want you to know that you are appreciated. 

    I personally would enjoy seeing more media about this project. Maybe a followup video discussing some of the scientific details of the study and more info on the collaboration between biology and chemistry. Great work overall!

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    Casey Jacobi

    May 16, 2019 | 11:19 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing this with us Dr. Joanna. I love the work you are doing for your students and want you to know that you are appreciated. 

    I personally would enjoy seeing more media about this project. Maybe a followup video discussing some of the scientific details of the study and more info on the collaboration between biology and chemistry. Great work overall!

  • Icon for: Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 11:59 p.m.

    Thank you Casey for taking the time to share your comment. I agree with you, the project should be more visible on social media.  We do have the Swallow website: http://www.mvc.edu/academicprograms/swallows/, but having more means for sharing would be very helpful.  I will make sure the stronger dissemination takes place. Thank you.

  • Icon for: Sherri Turner

    Sherri Turner

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 17, 2019 | 12:04 a.m.

    This is lovely!! Wow.

  • Icon for: Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2019 | 01:21 p.m.

    Thank you very much Sherri.

  • Icon for: Victoria Prince

    Victoria Prince

    Researcher
    May 17, 2019 | 08:21 a.m.

    Excellent video and what a fantastic idea. I'd love to see this spread to other areas of the country.  I am based at the University of Chicago where we have several internationally renowned research groups studying birds.  I will share this video with them, as many of the graduate students volunteer at local schools in the Chicago Public School system and that may provide an opportunity to spread some aspects of your concept. Despite our city location we are near the lake and in a migratory corridor so birds abound!  Thanks for sharing your exciting work.

  • Icon for: Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2019 | 01:21 p.m.

    Thank you very much Victoria.  I am happy to hear that your school might propagate the idea of studying local species.

    Thank you for spreading the video.  Your support is very much appreciated.

  • Icon for: Seda Shirinian

    Seda Shirinian

    Undergraduate Student
    May 17, 2019 | 04:44 p.m.

    This program really shaped my interest in research as an undergraduate student! Thank you, Dr. Joanna, for showing us the importance of being global citizens through research. I am excited to see the research program grow.

  • Icon for: Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Joanna Werner-Fraczek

    Lead Presenter
    May 20, 2019 | 05:54 p.m.

    Thank you Seda,

    You are a dream student.  Good luck with everything.

     

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    Laura Dunphy

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 20, 2019 | 06:38 p.m.

    Thank you for all that you are doing for the students at Moreno Valley College! This is such an educational and inspirational project! I look forward to its continued success.

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    Laura Dunphy

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 20, 2019 | 06:38 p.m.

    Thank you for all that you are doing for the students at Moreno Valley College! This is such an educational and inspirational project! I look forward to its continued success.

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    Linda Myers

    May 21, 2019 | 09:56 a.m.

    We're lucky to have you here teaching our students.

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.