University of Delaware

May 5-19: Projects, partners

Community engagement focus of lunchtime speaker series held Mondays in ISE Lab


10:07 a.m., May 1, 2014--The University of Delaware’s Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory will conclude this semester’s free lunchtime speaker series with three sessions in May that feature a variety of community engagement activities in which UD faculty, staff and students are involved.

The final sessions of the series, “People, Projects and Partners,” begins Monday, May 5, and will continue the next two Mondays from 12:30-2 p.m. in Room 110. Each session will focus on two projects, with each speaker presenting a TED-style talk, followed by a discussion period. 

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The theme of this semester’s series was selected to recognize the richness of community engagement activities involving faculty, staff and students, said John Jungck, professor of biological sciences and mathematics and director of the DuPont Interdisciplinary Science Learning Laboratories in ISE Lab.

To register, send an email to and provide your name, department and email address. Sandwiches and beverages will be available to the first 30 attendees who register. For more information on the series, contact Kimberly Doucette at 831-6400.

The speakers for the May sessions are:

May 5: Janine Sherrier, professor of plant and soil sciences and of biological sciences, will speak about the “Marvelous Microbes” summer camps taught by her lab to Delaware children ages 7-14. In collaboration with the 4-H program, the camps reach all three Delaware counties, with particular focus on at-risk children. The camp curriculum is designed to introduce basic microbiology through active learning exercises and to challenge common stereotypes about science and scientists. Sherrier says the participants gain self-confidence through their successes doing their own experiments, learn that science can be fun and are introduced to the idea that all kinds of people — people just like themselves — are scientists.

Katherine C. (Kasey) Grier, professor of history and director of the Museum Studies Program, will explain how that program has made outreach and service to small museums a core value of its curriculum. She will discuss service projects embedded into courses, the annual "Collections SWAT Team" service project in which students assist small museums, and the activities of the Sustaining Places project, funded by a 21st Century Museum Professionals Grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, an agency of the federal government.

May 12: Christopher Petrone, marine education specialist with Delaware Sea Grant and the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, will talk about Coast Day, a popular annual event and a southern Delaware tradition now in its 38th year. He will discuss the emphasis on visitor engagement, family-friendly activities, community partnerships and social-media engagement and describe how Coast Day provides a showcase for the work of UD scientists, staff and students as they seek to better understand coastal resources and the ocean environment.

Allan Carlsen, assistant professor of theatre, and Amy Cowperthwait, instructor in nursing, will speak about “The Many Faces of Healthcare Theatre,” a UD partnership founded by Carlsen and Cowperthwait in 2009. The program helps current and prospective health care professionals develop communication skills through interactive scenarios presented by theatre students. The program has enhanced UD’s Healthcare Communications course as well as delivering an educational experience to practicing healthcare providers. Healthcare Theatre has collaborated with state health agencies, hospitals and other colleges and universities.

May 19: April M. Kloxin, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, is involved in a number of education, outreach and diversity activities with elementary and middle schools. She will speak about her work with the Delaware Museum of Natural History, where she is building an interactive biomaterials and bioengineering kiosk. Kloxin also is collaborating with Melissa Jurist, UD’s K-12 engineering program manager, to create a mini-camp for students in grades five through seven, to encourage careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

James C. (Cole) Galloway, professor of physical therapy and co-director of the Pediatric Mobility Lab and Design Studio at UD, is an infant behavior expert whose lab has a very clear mission: to provide mobility to children with cognitive or physical disabilities. He will discuss his “Go Baby Go” project, in which he has collaborated with engineers and fashion designers, parents and grandparents, to provide mobility to kids who have trouble moving on their own. He started with custom robot-driven devices and later began modifying off-the-shelf toy racecars to empower children to be part of the action at home, in the daycare center and on the playground. 

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