UNM-LA Presents 2018 Bobbye Straight Award

Dr. Thomas Beech presents biology professor Cindy Budge with the Bobbye Straight Faculty Initiative Award at the recent UNM-LA commencement ceremony. Photo by Nancy Coombs/UNM-LA

UNM-LA News:

At the UNM-Los Alamos (UNM-LA) Commencement, May 10, Cindy Budge was recognized as the recipient of the Bobbye Straight Faculty Initiative Award. Budge plans to redesign her Biology 123 course so that it incorporates adaptive learning and adaptive instructional strategies.

Adaptive learning uses new technologies to provide personalized learning. With Dynamic Study Modules, the instructor can access statistical analysis of student work and design appropriate instruction to address areas where student knowledge or understanding is lacking.

“I look forward to involving my General Biology students in more active learning,” Budge said. “I’m excited to see students actively engaging in class.”

Budge explained that Biology 123 is a general biology course designed for students who wish to study health-related majors.

“I have seen many of my students struggle in the class because of the wide range of learning objectives covered in the course,” she said. “Other students seem to find the class challenging, but they manage to master most of the course content. I plan to redesign my course so that it incorporates adaptive learning and adaptive instructional strategies. This will provide more individualized instruction for my students.”

The Bobbye Straight Faculty Initiative Award aims to encourage creativity and initiative within the faculty by funding an activity that benefits the applicant, UNM-LA, and/or its students. The award recipient may choose either a three-credit hour course load reduction or $3,500 to fund their project.

During the Commencement, UNM-LA CEO Dr. Cindy Rooney offered some comments about the founder of the award.

“Bobbye Straight moved to Los Alamos in 1985. At UNM-LA she taught English, served in important administrative roles, and also mentored numerous faculty and staff members during her career,” Dr. Rooney said. “After she retired in 2003, she established and funded a Faculty Initiative Award program that has sponsored 25 projects since 2005. She called it the Faculty Initiative Award, but moving forward, we have decided to rename it as the Bobbye Straight Faculty Initiative Award.”

During the fall semester, Budge will teach Biology 123 on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. View the schedule at losalamos.unm.edu/academics/class-schedule.html.

UNM-Los Alamos is an innovative, rigorous, and affordable comprehensive branch community college that provides foundations for transfer, leading-edge career programs, and lifelong learning opportunities.

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