My primary goal in teaching and mentoring is to excite students about biology, and inspire them to embark on a career in science, by helping them to become self-directed learners. I believe that science education can be brought to life for students in two ways, 1) by providing a learning environment in which students are actively engaged in contemporary research problems and are encouraged to work to understand such problems and, 2) by facilitating interactions between students and researchers.
I have spent the last 5 years developing undergraduate biology courses for biology majors and non-majors at Stony Brook University and Pratt Institute. I have also taught (as both a TA and later as an instructor of record) and conducted research on undergraduate education. I am a member of American Association of University Women (AAUW) and was an AAUW American Fellow from 2013-2014. In 2013, I was selected (one in six students) for the Stony Brook University President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student. I was also awarded a Howard Hughes Medical Fellowship (HHMI) for teaching and course development at Stony Brook.
Education publications and presentations (presenter*):
O’Hara NB, LaRocca TJ, Spikes DA, Miyazaki JM, O’Neal MH. Fundamentals of Scientific Inquiry in the Biological Sciences IIB, First Edition. US: Hayden-McNeil Publishing, 2011. (lab manual used by ~200 undergraduate biology majors each year)
O’Hara NB*. Introduction of the president of Stony Brook University, President Stanley, at the National Academies Summer Institute on Undergraduate Education, August 2013. (Invited)
Cahill A1, Geraci-Yee S1*, O’Donnell K1, O’Hara NB1, Spikes D, Miyazaki J, Bynum DR, Gergen PJ, O’Neal MH. Fundamentals of inquiry in the biological sciences: a focus on the scientific process. Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education, August 2013. (Abstract)
1These authors contributed equally
O’Hara NB, LaRocca TJ, Bell K*, O’Neal MH. Designing 3D tactile protein models as an innovative introduction to scientific inquiry. Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research, July 2013. (Abstract)
Fall 2014 – Visiting Assistant Professor of Botany (2 courses), Pratt Institute, Brooklyn.
Spring 2013 – Visiting Assistant Professor of Botany, Pratt Institute.
Spring 2013 – Course Coordinator (super T.A.) for intro bio lab "BIO 207", Stony Brook University, NY.
Fall 2012 – Visiting Assistant Professor of Botany, Pratt Institute.
Fall 2012 – Course Coordinator for intro biology lab course "BIO 207", Stony Brook.
Spring 2012 – Course Coordinator for intro biology lab course "BIO 207", Stony Brook.
Fall 2011 – Co-instructor for research course for undergrads developing biol lab curriculum, Stony Brook.
Spring 2011 – Co-instructor, research course for undergrads developing bio lab curriculum, Stony Brook.
Fall 2010 – Course Coordinator for lab courses "BIO 204" (over 1000 students), Stony Brook.
Spring 2010 – Course Coordinator for lab "BIO 205" (over 1000 students), Stony Brook.
Fall 2009 – T.A. for intro undergraduate bio course, Stony Brook.
Spring 2009 – T.A. for intro undergraduate bio course,
Fall 2008 – T.A. for undergraduate bio course "How Science Works" for non-science majors, Stony Brook.
2013 – 2014 – Wyatt Amidi-Abraham –Stony Brook University, field researcher, Madagascar.
2013 – Hira, Tahir –B.S. Stony Brook University, applying for medical school.
2012 – Brook Frye – B.S. Smith College, applying for graduate school in bioinformatics.
2012 – Jina Lee – B.S. Stony Brook, applying for graduate school in biotech.
2012 – Farhan Chowdhury— Senior at Stony Brook University.
2011 – 2012 – Edwige Lauture – B.S. 2012 Stony Brook, graduate student at Queens College.
Mentorship Posters at Undergraduate Symposia:
Amidi, W, O’Hara NB. The effect of fungal inoculation on specific leaf area in Brassica rapa. National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), April 2014.
Tahir H, O’Hara NB. The fitness effects of drought and fungal infection on Brassica rapa. Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (URECA), Stony Brook University, April 2013.
Lee JJ, Chowdhury F, Lauture EP, O’Hara NB. The effects of drought stress and fungal disease on an annual plant, Brassica rapa. Sigma Xi, Queens College, April 2012.
Lauture EP, Chowdhury F, O’Hara NB. Mechanisms of response to multiple stresses for an annual plant, Brassica rapa. Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (URECA), Stony Brook University, April 2012.