2009 Award Recipients
The National Association of Biology Teachers, with the assistance of our generous sponsors, is proud to offer a variety of awards to recognize both teachers and students. We congratulate the 2009 NABT Award Winners, and are honored to recognize their achievements. NABT is now accepting nominations for the 2010 NABT Awards. We encourage you to nominate yourself or a colleague by filling out the nomination form at 2010 Nomination Form
Advanced Placement Biology Service Award- Kim Foglia, Division Avenue High School, Levittown, NY
The AP Section of NABT created the AP Service Award to specifically honor Kim Foglia. Her willingness to share materials, knowledge, advice and insight with not only the AP Community, but with biology teachers everywhere, stands as an inspiration to all, and makes her a most worthy recipient of this award. The AP Biology Service Award included a $1000 honorarium sponsored by Pearson.
BioClub Student Award- Alexandru Bacanu, East Chapel Hill High School, Chapel Hill, NC
Nominated by BioClub Advisor, Ms. Judy Jones, Alexandru Bacanu was awarded the first BioClub Student Award. “My colleague, Bob Purdy, and I could not imagine anyone more suited for this award than Alex Bacanu. He is very deserving,” said Ms. Jones. Mr. Bacanu is currently a freshman at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and was awarded a $500 textbook scholarship from Carolina Biological Supply Company.
Biology Educator Leadership Scholarship (BELS)- George Sirrakos, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia
The BELS program was established to encourage and support teachers who want to further their education in the life sciences or life science education. The 2009 award winner Mr. George Sirrakos will be using the $5000 scholarship to pursue an advanced degree at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. "I was unaware that I was the first recipient of the BELS award ... that makes it all the more special. I am very honored to have been selected," said Mr. Sirrakos. The BELS program is made possible by NABT member donations and PASCO scientific to provide a tuition assistance award.
Distinguished Service Award- Mario Capecchi, University of Utah, Salt Lake City
NABT members and friends nominate outstanding scientists and educators to receive the Distinguished Service Award, established in 1988 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Association. This year, NABT honored Mario Capecchi for his outstanding contributions to scientific research, his support for biology education at all levels, and his promotion of science literacy for the general public. Dr. Capecchi accepted his NABT Distinguished Service Award before giving the keynote address at the Stem Cell Education Summit featured at the 2009 NABT Professional Development Conference.
Ecology/Environmental Science Teaching Award- Jason Crean, Lyons Township High School, La Grange, IL
The Ecology/Environmental Teaching Award was awarded to Jason Crean in recognition of both his innovative teaching as well as his commitment to addressing environmental and conservation issues in the broader community. In addition to being a full-time high school biology teacher, and adjunct college instructor, Mr. Crean also serves the Chicago Zoological Society as an instructor in its Conservation, Education, and Training Department. The Ecology/Environmental Award is sponsored by Vernier Software and Technology and includes $1,000 toward travel to the NABT Professional Development Conference, and $500 of Vernier equipment.
Evolution Education Award- Leonard Yannielli, Naugatuck Valley Community College, Waterbury, CT
The Evolution Education Award recognizes innovative classroom teaching and community education efforts to promote the accurate understanding of biological evolution. Leonard Yannielli’s impressive teaching record has long emphasized evolution as a central organizing principle in biology. "While I am humbled to be recognized by my peers, the evolution education award by NABT goes far beyond the recipients. It says loud and clear that the facts and theories of evolution are the foundation of the Life Sciences. Biology educators are playing an important role in raising the science literacy of our students by creatively teaching this dynamic process," said Mr. Yannielli. Co-sponsored by the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) and the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS), the award includes a combined $1,000 cash prize.
Excellence in Encouraging Equity Award- Jason Crean, Lyons Township High School, La Grange, IL
NABT's Role and Status of Women in Biology Education Section is proud to present the Award for Excellence in Encouraging Equity to recognize efforts by biology educators to encourage, promote and strive for equity in the educational community. Jason Crean has worked to create opportunities for high school students through a program called Zoo Genetics. “I strive to provide a look at today’s scientists who are doing so much important work and show the students the diverse backgrounds from which they come. I have always been dedicated to the notion that science needs ideas from all cultures, ethnicities and genders,” said Mr. Crean. The Excellence in Encouraging equity award includes a $500 honorarium sponsored by Ward’s Natural Science.
Four-Year College & University Biology Research in Teaching Award- Anneke Metz, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Carbondale, IL
Anneke Metz’s work on science pedagogy and the 21st Century Undergraduate Classroom has garnered attention from her peers, specifically the Four-Year College & University Section. This section honored Dr. Metz with the Four-Year College & University Biology Research in Teaching Award for her contribution to research on teaching biology at the college level. The award includes a microscope provided by Leica Microsystems.
Four-Year College & University Biology Teaching Award- Erica Kipp, Pace University, New York, NY
NABT's Four-Year College & University Biology Teaching Award Section recognizes a faculty member who demonstrates creativity in curriculum design, teaching strategies, and laboratory utilization. The Section is honored to award Erica Kipp with the Four-Year College & University Biology Teaching Award for her inspiring approach to teaching and her effectiveness in the classroom laboratory. The Four-Year College & University Biology Teaching Award also included a $1,000 honorarium sponsored by Benjamin Cummings.
Graduate Student Service Award- TJ Bliss, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
In 2009, NABT created the Graduate Student Service Award to honor a NABT student member whose activities promote the goals of both NABT and the Four Year College & University Section. TJ Bliss is well known for his work on Four- Year Section initiatives, and as stated by Section Chairwoman Teddie Phillipson Mower, “TJ is in large part responsible for all of the graduate student events that we have at the Professional Development Conference and has served us and biology graduate students well. He is worthy of recognition for his outstanding service to our Four Year University and College Section and to NABT.” The Graduate Student Service Award includes a $300 travel award sponsored by ADInstruments.
Outstanding Biology Teacher Award(s)
Every year, the Outstanding Biology Teacher Award (OBTA) program attempts to recognize an outstanding biology educator (grades 7-12) in each of the 50 states; Washington, DC; Canada; Puerto Rico; and overseas territories. OBTA recipients are honored at a special event during the NABT Professional Development Conference sponsored by Pearson Prentice Hall and receive microscopes from Leica Microsystems. More information about the 2009 OBTA recipients and classroom materials presented during the OBTA Share-A-Thon can be found at 2009 OBTA Winners .
Outstanding New Biology Teacher Achievement Award- Rachel Marble Aazzerah, Monument School, Monument, OR
To support and encourage outstanding teaching in grades 7-12 by a new biology/life science instructor, NABT established the Outstanding New Biology Teacher Achievement Award. The winner must be within his/her first three years of teaching (when nominated) and developed an original program or technique while making a contribution to the profession at the start of his/her career. Rachel Marble Aazzerah works in a rural school district where she teaches biology to six different levels (7-12). Ms. Aazzerah serves as an inspiration to both aspiring and established educators. This award is sponsored by NABT and includes a microscope from Ken-A-Vision.
The Ron Mardigian Biotechnology Teaching Award- Sharon Gusky, Northwestern Connecticut Community College, Winsted CT
The Ron Mardigian Biotechnology Teaching Award honors a secondary school teacher or undergraduate college biology instructor who effectively integrates biotechnology into his or her curriculum. Sharon Gusky’s lessons included active laboratory work and encompassed major principles and processes of biotechnology. Ms. Gusky’s quality of laboratory practice and safety clearly benefits her students, demonstrating biotechnology’s broader impact outside the classroom. The Ron Mardigian Biotechnology Teaching Award includes $1500 of financial support and supplies from Bio-Rad Laboratories.