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About the Author

Marjorie Kelly Cowan

Kelly Cowan just celebrated her 20th anniversary at Miami University Middletown, an open admissions campus in Ohio. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Louisville, and later worked at the University of Maryland and the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. She specializes in teaching microbiology to nonmajors, and especially to pre-nursing and allied health students. She herself fell in love with microbiology while pursuing an undergraduate degree in dental hygiene. She has made it her personal mission to hear nurses and dental hygienists she encounters in everyday situations exclaim, “I loved my microbiology class!”

Heidi Smith

Front Range Community College
B.A. Biology/Pre-Medicine,
Taylor University, IN
M.S. Biology, Bowling Green
State University, OH

Heidi Smith is the lead faculty for microbiology at Front Range Community College in Fort Collins, CO, and teaches a variety of biology courses each semester including microbiology, anatomy/ physiology, and biotechnology. Heidi also serves as the principal investigator on a federal grant program designed to increase student success in transfer and completion of STEM degrees at the local university. In that role, Heidi works directly with students to train them for and support them through summer undergraduate research experiences.

Student success is a strategic priority at FRCC and a personal passion of Heidi’s. She continually works to develop professionally in ways that help her do a better job of reaching this important goal. During the past 7 years, Heidi has had the opportunity to collaborate with faculty throughout the United States in developing digital tools, such as SmartBook, LearnSmart Labs, and Connect, that measure and improve student learning outcomes. This collaborative experience with these tools has revolutionized her approach to teaching in both face-to-face and hybrid courses. The use of digital technology has given Heidi the ability to teach courses driven by real-time student data and with a focus on active learning and critical thinking activities.

Heidi is an active member of the American Society for Microbiology. She has presented instructional technology and best online and face-to-face teaching practices on numerous occasions at the annual conference for undergraduate educators. She also served as a member of the ASM Task Force on Curriculum Guidelines for Undergraduate Microbiology Education, assisting in the identification of core microbiology concepts as a guide to undergraduate

Off campus, Heidi spends as much time as she can enjoying the beautiful Colorado outdoors with her husband and three young children.