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Sara Brownell

Associate Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4501
Lincoln Center Affiliated Faculty
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4501
Assoc Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4501
Assoc Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4501
Biography

Sara Brownell is a neuroscientist turned full-time education researcher, who teaches undergraduate biology while studying biology education. As a science faculty member with education specialty, she uses both qualitative and quantitative data to better understand how undergraduate biology students learn and how instructors can develop more effective ways to teach.

Professor Brownell's interests in undergraduate biology education are broad, but her current work focuses on three main avenues. She investigates the impact of undergraduate research experiences on students, specifically students enrolled in course-based research experiences. She develops a programmatic assessment for biology majors that focuses on the core concepts of biology. She also explores issues related to access and equity in undergraduate biology, specifically the experiences of women, religious students, and LGBTQIA students.

Education
  • Ph.D. Biology, Stanford University 2011
  • M.A. Education, Stanford University Graduate School of Education
  • M.S. Biology, The Scripps Research Institute
  • B.S. Biological Sciences, Cornell University
Research Interests

Undergraduate biology education

Research Group
Publications
  • Shortlidge, E. E., Bangera, G., & Brownell, S. E. (2016). Faculty Perspectives on Developing and Teaching Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences. BioScience66(1), 54-62.
  • Brownell, S. E., & Kloser, M. J. (2015). Toward a conceptual framework for measuring the effectiveness of course-based undergraduate research experiences in undergraduate biology. Studies in Higher Education40(3), 525-544.
  • Brownell, S. E., Hekmat-Scafe, D. S., Singla, V., Seawell, P. C., Imam, J. F. C., Eddy, S. L., ... & Cyert, M. S. (2015). A high-enrollment course-based undergraduate research experience improves student conceptions of scientific thinking and ability to interpret data. CBE-Life Sciences Education,14(2), ar21.
  • Brownell, S. E., Freeman, S., Wenderoth, M. P., & Crowe, A. J. (2014). BioCore Guide: A Tool for Interpreting the Core Concepts of Vision and Change for Biology Majors. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 13(2), 200-211.
  • Eddy, S. L., Brownell, S. E., & Wenderoth, M. P. (2014). Gender gaps in achievement and participation in multiple introductory biology classrooms.CBE-Life Sciences Education13(3), 478-492.
  • Bangera G. and Brownell S.E. (2014).  Course-based undergraduate research experiences can make scientific research more inclusive. CBE Life Sciences Education.
  • Brownell, S. E., & Tanner, K. D. (2012). Barriers to faculty pedagogical change: lack of training, time, incentives, and… tensions with professional identity?.CBE-Life Sciences Education, 11(4), 339-346.

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Research Activity
  • Chi,Michelene T.H.*, Brownell,Sara, Stump,Glenda Simonton. Learning from Dialog versus Monolog Videos. NSF-EHR-DUE(4/1/2016 - 3/31/2018).
  • Brownell,Sara*. Navigating from Vision to Change with Bio-MAPS. UNIV OF WASHINGTON(1/1/2014 - 8/31/2016).
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 194Special Topics
BIO 492Honors Directed Study
BIO 493Honors Thesis
PHY 494Special Topics
SES 494Special Topics
BCH 494Special Topics
BIO 494Special Topics
CHM 494Special Topics
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
BIO 499Individualized Instruction
BIO 591Seminar
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 493Honors Thesis
PHY 494Special Topics
BIO 494Special Topics
BCH 494Special Topics
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
BIO 499Individualized Instruction
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 194Special Topics
BIO 360Animal Physiology
BIO 492Honors Directed Study
BIO 493Honors Thesis
PHY 494Special Topics
SES 494Special Topics
CHM 494Special Topics
BIO 494Special Topics
BCH 494Special Topics
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
BIO 499Individualized Instruction
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 493Honors Thesis
BIO 494Special Topics
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
BIO 591Seminar
BIO 598Special Topics
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 189Life Sciences Career Paths
BIO 194Special Topics
BIO 360Animal Physiology
BIO 492Honors Directed Study
BIO 494Special Topics
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
BIO 499Individualized Instruction
BIO 591Seminar
BIO 598Special Topics
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 493Honors Thesis
BIO 494Special Topics
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
BIO 591Seminar
BIO 598Special Topics
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 189Life Sciences Career Paths
BIO 194Special Topics
BIO 360Animal Physiology
BIO 492Honors Directed Study
BIO 494Special Topics
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
BIO 591Seminar
BIO 598Special Topics
Spring 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
BIO 499Individualized Instruction
BIO 591Seminar
BIO 598Special Topics
Fall 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 189Life Sciences Career Paths
BIO 360Animal Physiology
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
BIO 591Seminar
Spring 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 598Special Topics
Honors / Awards
  • Arizona State University Centennial Teaching Award, University-wide Teaching Award, 2015
  • Fellow for Arizona State University’s Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics, 2015
  • Awarded “Most Influential Faculty” by a Student-Athlete, Sai Tummala, 2015
  • Finalist for Maryellen Weimer Scholarly Work on Teaching and Learning Award, 2014
  • Stanford Biology Student Services Award, Departmental Service Award, 2012
  • Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation Outstanding Young Investigator Award, 2011
  • Walter J. Gores Teaching Award, Stanford University’s Highest Teaching Award, 2010
  • Stanford School of Medicine Award for Outstanding Teaching Assistant, 2009
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Stanford Department of Biology, 2008
  • Stanford Graduate Fellowship (SGF) in Science and Engineering, 2008-2011
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship, 2005-2008