Our active learning community

HTML5 Icon Professor Paul Koch is dean of physical and biological sciences and Co-PI of the HHMI-ALI at UCSC.



HTML5 Icon Professor Manny Ares is a professor of molecular, cell, and developmental biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has taught undergraduate lecture courses including General Microbiology, Biochemistry, the Human Genome and Yeast Molecular Genetics Laboratory. In 2004, he was a recipient of the UC Santa Cruz Excellence in Teaching Award. Manny is a Co-PI of the HHMI-ALI project at UCSC and serves as mentor to the HHMI postdocs and as project manager. He is also involved in the active learning curriculum development and teaching for Bio 20A.



HTML5 Icon Lisa Hunter is the Director of the Institute for Scientist & Engineer Educators (ISEE) at UC Santa Cruz. She is also a Co-PI of the HHMI award for the Active Learning Initiative at UCSC.



HTML5 Icon Nicole Mattacola is program and event coordinator, for the Institute for Scientist and Engineer Educators. She is also an indispensable part of the HHMI-ALI team at UCSC.




Biology team


HTML5 Icon Dr. Susanna Honig is a postdoctoral science education fellow in the Molecular, Cell & Developmental (MCD) Department working to transform undergraduate biology courses by developing, teaching, and evaluating active learning curricula as part of the HHMI Active Learning Initiative. Susanna is currently transforming two introductory biology courses at UCSC including Development & Physiology and Ecology & Evolution. Susanna is also an ecosystem ecologist interested in understanding the linkages between terrestrial and aquatic communities.



HTML5 Icon Dr. Robin Dunkin runs the Marine Mammal Stranding Program at Long Marine Lab. Since 2012, Robin has been a lecturer in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department where she has taught the introductory physiology and development of plants and animals course for majors. Robin is keenly committed to teaching and most recently has been working with the HHMI team at UCSC to redesign the introductory STEM courses for majors using evidence based teaching methods.


HTML5 Icon Professor Baldo Marinovic and his chiral-roo


Physics team


HTML5 Icon Dr. Colin West is an HHMI postdoctoral scholar working on the transformation of undergraduate physics curricula through active learning techniques and development of interdisciplinary course materials. He is passionate about increasing the persistence of underrepresented minority groups in STEM and in improving public science communication. His interests in physics are in theoretical condensed matter, with a particular focus on quantum information theory.


HTML5 Icon Professor Josh Deutsch


HTML5 Icon Professor Alexander (Sasha) Sher


Chemistry team


HTML5 Icon Dr. Gabe Mednick is passionate about empowering students through the educational process. He has co-taught chemistry and biology classes in the active learning (AL) format. In addition to helping students more effectively master content, an AL approach can provide students with better study skills, expose them to scientific practices, foster a positive science identity, and foster equity and inclusion in the classroom. Gabe's approach emphasizes learning strategies that involve group collaboration and student creativity. He will be teaching the active learning version of general chemistry 1B at UCSC in the fall ('17).



HTML5 Icon Dr. Randa Roland began her career as a researcher in private industry and an instructor of chemistry at the community college level. She started teaching general chemistry lecture and lab courses at UCSC in 2005. Among other teaching accomplishments, Randa was the recipient of the Ron Ruby Award for teaching excellence in the physical and biological sciences (2011). She is committed to providing a great learning experience to all of her students and is excited to be a part of the STEM active learning chemistry team.


HTML5 Icon Professor Eugene Switkes is a theoretical chemist working in two diverse research areas: applications of basic quantum mechanical theory to problems in organic chemistry and biochemistry, and information processing by the visual system. He received UCSC's Distinguished Teaching Award in 1986, the Excellence in Teaching Award from Phi Beta Kappa's Northern California Association in 1983, and the UCSC Committee on Teaching Excellence in Teaching Award in 2003. Switkes is currently teaching the chem 1B-Active learning module.