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LAMP Fellows Program

Due to our continued fight against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, we have postponed the 2020 Summer Institute to 2021. The 2021 Institute will be held from May 24th to May 28th of 2021We will retain our theme, our venue and activities.

Applications will remain open until November 1st, 2020. We will notify you of your acceptance by December 18th, 2020. This modified calendar will then allow us to provide you with robust, optional pre-programing throughout the Spring of 2021. This will assist you in feeling very ready for the Summer Institute.

Thank you so much for your excitement about becoming a future LAMP Lighter!

Summer Institute on Active Learning

[SI]2 is an incentivized, immersive year-long faculty development opportunity sponsored by the Science Initiative's Learning Actively Mentoring Program (LAMP) designed to facilitate teachers with incorporating active learning techniques and methods into their STEM curricula. Upon completing the Science Initiative’s Summer Institute, educators will be able to:

  • Implement active learning techniques ranging from snowball to problem-based learning.

  • Write a teaching philosophy that reflects their values, goals, pedagogy, and assessment.

  • Present student learning outcomes and realize these outcomes with instruction and assessments that promote student engagement.

  • Develop innovative curriculum using backwards design.


The application for the 2020-2021 Summer Institute is open and can be found here: The deadline for applications is Saturday, March 7. For more information on [SI]2, please contact LAMP Director Rachel Watson (

All UW faculty, UW PhD students, and Wyoming Community College faculty in STEM fields are welcome to apply.

Why should you be a part of the LAMP Summer Institute?  See below (and click the image for a full-size PDF).

LAMP is transforming educators and educational communities across Wyoming



The Impact of LAMP Fellows

LAMP Fellows receive intensive, year-long training in active learning. They develop instructional strategies that are implemented in their classrooms, assess the impacts on student learning and develop a teaching philosophy statement. The Fellows program has had a large impact on instructors, courses and students at the University of Wyoming and at five of the Wyoming Community Colleges


Figure 1: The reach of the LAMP over the course of 5 regular semesters and 3 summer semesters (summer 2016 – fall 2018). The first LAMP cohort of educators began training in the summer of 2016. Student numbers include a pilot active learning course taught in spring 2016. However, class and student numbers do not yet include community college data. Thirteen of the 72 fellows teach at five of our seven Wyoming community colleges: 2 faculty from Eastern Wyoming College (EWC), 6 faculty from Laramie County Community College (LCCC), 4 faculty from Northwest College (NWC), and 1 faculty member from Sheridan College. One graduate student trained in the 2016 cohort now teaches at Western Wyoming Community College. A majority of the classes (85 of 141) are lower division courses.  



Figure 2: The reach of the LAMP by Program or Department. Circle size indicates the number of students reached. Individual departments and programs within the biological and physical sciences are listed in order of the number of students reached. LAMP-trained educators in the Life Sciences Program have reached 4,661 students and those in the Chemistry department have reached 1,093 students. Instructors serving the Life Sciences Program hail from the Zoology/Physiology, Botany and Molecular Biology departments. The Microbiology Program is serviced by educators in the Veterinary Sciences, Chemistry and Molecular Biology Departments.

Previous Summer Institutes


group picture of the summer institute participants


June 13, 2019 – Twenty-three educators from the University of Wyoming and three Wyoming community colleges completed intensive active learning training last week at Sheridan College. This Summer Institute is the kick-off event for a yearlong, immersive program facilitated by the Learning Actively Mentoring Program (LAMP), one of the Science Initiative's signature programs.

The theme for the Summer Institute was Transformative Learning and educators engaged in mock active learning sessions so that they could experience Team-based Learning (TBL) and other forms of active learning in an authentic way. On the final evaluation, one educator commented, " Everything that was talked about was also demonstrated. It would have been one thing to tell us about team based learning, but you showed us how by getting us involved in an actual TBL activity."

Amongst the group of 23 educators were 16 instructors from four University of Wyoming Colleges: Arts & Sciences, Health Sciences, Agriculture and Natural Resources and Engineering. These participants were joined by six community college colleagues from LCCC, NWC and Sheridan College. 


Participants engage in team based learning by collaborating in a seated circle


In addition to learning effective ways to implement active learning into their classes, Summer Institute participants also learned about the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) which is the practice of systematically studying the effectiveness of active learning strategies implemented in classrooms. On the final anonymous survey, one participant commented:

       ... I have to say that I feel really energized and ready to rock teaching next semester. My engagement with and sense that I've benefited from this seminar is several times higher than the best seminar I've attended in the past. I'm SOLD on SoTL; I feel like I've found a home I've been looking for. Yes, this sounds super enthusiastic (and therefore suspicious). But, I'm feeling it for realz.

       Thank you. I cannot thank you enough. You all created a space that made it safe and possible for me to go through this big personal transition re. teacherly excitement.

LAMP director Rachel Watson commented, "Transformative learning is defined as changing the very essence of what we know. It is important that we facilitate transformative learning for our state-wide educators because changing from traditional passive (lecture) methods to evidence-based, active learning practices requires a fundamental change in how we teach. In order to facilitate transformative learning for educators and encourage them to seek this for their students as well, we engaged them in reflective dialogue every day. This is an essential element of deeply internalizing the learning that we have done."

On the parting comment section of the evaluation, one participant offered, " Thank you, Rachel and everyone else for creating a transformative week!"

External and internal mentors facilitated the reflective dialogue and offered subject-matter expertise. External mentors were Ferlin McGaskey, assistant Director of the University of Tennessee (UT) Teaching and Learning Center, and Lisa Murray, Marketing Assistant Department Head at the UT Haslam College of Business, and Ed Nuhfer, (retired geologist and educational developer, expert in metacognition). Internal mentors included Janel Seeley, Christi Boggs and Thomas Stoudt (Ellbogen Center for Teaching and Learning), Michele Larson (Life Science Program faculty), Monia Haselhorst (NWC Biology Program faculty), Sridhar Budhi (EWC Chemistry Program faculty) and Jessica Sutter (Physics and Astronomy Graduate Student Mentor).

"Sheridan College was an excellent venue to host our annual Summer Institute. The facilities are cutting edge and our collaborator Debi Isakson is a consummate organizer. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to spend time in Sheridan," said Watson.




2019-2020 Faculty and Graduate Student Fellows



  • Rob Milne (Sheridan College Chemistry Program)
  • Tim Glatzer (NWC Math Program)
  • Deepthi Amarasuriya (NWC Physics Program)
  • Lorilyn Beck (NWC First Year Experience)
  • Rachel Hanan (NWC Science Literature)
  • Qing Du (LCCC Chemistry Program)
  • Reshmi Singh (UW Pharmaceutical Sciences/Pharmacy)
  • Jerod Merkle (UW Department of Zoology and Physiology)
  • Ellen Aikens (UW Department of Zoology and Physiology)
  • Becky Wilcox (UW Department of Zoology and Physiology and Program in Ecology)
  • Linda Van Diepen (UW Department of Ecosystem Science and Management)
  • Anna Schwyter (UW Ecosystem Science Management)
  • McKensie Harris (UW Department of Animal Science)
  • Will Bowers (UW Botany/ Program in Hydrology (WRESE))
  • Ramesh Sivanpillai (UW WyGISC)
  • Ginka Kubelka (UW Chemistry Department)
  • Debashis Dutta (UW Chemistry Department)
  • Pam Langer (UW Molecular Biology Department)
  • Tawfik Elshehabi (UW Petroleum Engineering Department)
  • Ashley Piccone (UW Physics and Astronomy Department)
  • Jason Rothenberg (UW Physics and Astronomy Department)
  • Harrison Leiendecker (UW Physics and Astronomy Department)
  • Cristilyn Gardner (UW Physics and Astronomy Department)




Participants in LAMP’s 2018-2019 Science Initiative Summer Institute (as well as the mentor’s supporting their learning) are pictured above. Participants are listed below.


On the week of June 4th - 9th, 2018, twenty-five educators from the University of Wyoming, Northwest College, Sheridan College and Laramie County Community College attended a summer institute during which they received intensive training in active learning. In-depth training on Team-based Learning and Problem-based learning accompanied holistic training on all forms of hands-on, minds-on pedagogy.



The weeklong retreat, called LAMP’s Science Initiative Summer Institute (or dubbed LAMP Camp by participants) took place in Leadville, Colorado. Above, LAMP participants engage in Team-based Learning (TBL) with mentor Julie Estis of the Team-based Learning Collaborative ( )


Fellows rate the overall experience as 4.75 on a 5 point scale and they say:


“I can't imagine it being a more positive, energizing, productive experience. This is just what we need--hands across campus, working as a tribe to make learning more active and also more interdisciplinary.”
“The way everything was presented in modeling style and the time to collaborate was the key.  Best PD I have done EVER, I am walking away ready to implement and feeling supported.”
I had no idea about implementing active learning prior to the program. It was fantastic to learn from diverse mentors with various expertise.
“The level of introspection the content and methodology invoked was unmatched”
“Everything about LAMP was great. It was a wonderful networking opportunity and it was run by caring, competent staff who did an amazing job of leading activities about the techniques rather than just talking about the techniques.”



Fellows say they most appreciated: 


“That there is not one correct way to teach. The Summer Institute was designed to show us many different techniques and ideas and let us take what works for us, what feels true to ourselves. I really appreciated this was someone who can't make a huge change to the course, as a TA I can only change what I do.” 


The collaboration between the organizers and the mentors, as well as the guest speakers, was truly inspirational. There is so much passion around active learning in this group, that it's a pleasure to be part of this mission.”


“It is a very thoughtful program that creates a strong bond with its members. While it was intense, it was incredibly thought provoking and informative.”


Productive retreat in a beautiful environment.”

Faculty presenting instructional strategy

Michael Taylor (professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Wyoming) presents his instructional strategy. All participants will design or redesign curriculum based upon their learning at the Summer Institute.


Faculty presenting instructional strategy
LAMP Summer Institute Participants present their instructional strategy at the Historic Mining Hall of Fame. Ann Stebner Steele of the Honors Program is pictured at right        


2018-2019 Faculty and Graduate Student Fellows


  • Michael Cuddy (NWC Chemistry)

  • Mathew Osborne (NWC Biology)

  • Kerrie Spinney (NWC Mathematics)

  • Matthew Craig (Sheridan College Biology)

  • Stephanie Fielder (LCCC Chemistry)

  • Matthew Morrison (LCCC Agriculture)

  • Kira Heater (LCCC Mathematics)

  • Rosemary McBride (LCCC Agroecology/Natural Resource Economics)

  • Bruce Nisley (LCCC) Agriculture

  • Gerard Andrews (UW Microbiology)

  • Riley Jordan (UW Physics & Astronomy)

  • Dylan Kloster (UW Physics & Astronomy)

  • Amy Cavanaugh (UW Physics & Astronomy)

  • David Kasper (UW Physics & Astronomy)

  • Ali Baas (UW Science Education & Albany County School)

  • Lori Howe (UW Honors Program)

  • Mary Katherine Scott (UW Honors Program)

  • Anne Stebner Steele (UW Honors Program)

  • Amy Navratil (UW Zoology & Physiology)

  • Karagh Brummond (UW Zoology & Physiology)

  • Libby Megna (UW Zoology & Physiology, Program in Ecology)

  • George Noah (UW Aerospace Studies)

  • Samuel Shearer (UW Aerospace Studies)

  • Katie Wagner (UW Botany)

  • Michael Taylor (UW Chemistry)


Poster Presentations

aerial view of the poster presentations    
three people talking in front of a poster    Two people talking in front of a poster


2017 summer fellows participants group photo


The 2nd annual Science Initiative Summer Institute was held during the first week of June, 2017 at the UW-NPS AMK Research Center in the Grand Teton National Park. The beautiful setting promoted focus, collaboration and reflection. Feedback from attending fellows:


“It is a whole new world about how to teach and make an impact in student lives.”
“This is one of the first times in the last decade that I have truly felt like I grew as an individual and as a teacher.....I found it to truly be amazing and a time of renewal for me as faculty and my approach to my classroom. ” (CC administrator)
"We wish to participate every year.”


2017-2018 Faculty and Graduate Student Fellows

  • Sridhar Budhi (Chemistry at EWCC)

  • Ali Darzi (Electrical Engineering)

  • Kristin Di Bona (Molecular Biology)

  • Reilly Dibner (Environment and Natural Resources)

  • Mariah Ehmke (Agricultural & Applied Economics)

  • Derek Hand (Physics & Astronomy)

  • Caleb Hill (Chemistry)

  • Lynne Ipina (Mathematics)

  • Dinesh Kasti (Mathematics and Statistics at EWCC)

  • Trina Kilty (Secondary Science Education)

  • Marina Lazic (Molecular Biology)

  • Stephanie Mapes (Physics & Astronomy)

  • Amanda Patrick (Geology)

  • Eric Quade (Mathematics)

  • Amy Rhoad (Veterinary Sciences)

  • William Rice (Physics & Astronomy)

  • Lauren Schmidt (Botany)

  • Jacqueline Shinker (Geography)

  • Kerry Sondgeroth (Veterinary Sciences)

  • Jessica Sutter (Physics & Astronomy)

  • Rebecca Upjohn (Ecosystem Science and Management)

  • Richard Vercoe (Geography)

  • Ami Wageline (Biology at LCCC)

  • Chen Xu (Geography)

The first annual Science Initiative Summer Institute (SI2) was held June 7th through the 12th, 2016. it was considered a massive success by mentors, faculty and graduate students alike. The diversity and collaborative nature of the group led to unprecedented articulation, collaboration and innovation beyond that anticipated/predicted. Fellows described the experience as being "transformational", "jump starting [their] active learning knowledge" and inspiring them to help other instructors. Fellows presented their plans for launching innovative curriculum during the 2016-2017 academic year and with continued LAMP support, they look forward to spreading the ripples of their revolutionized teaching and learning environments.

2016-2017 Faculty and Graduate Student Fellows

  • David Anderson (Chemistry)

  • Morgan Balabanoff (Chemistry)

  • Brian Barber (Biodiversity Institute)

  • Jamie Crait (Life Sciences / WRSP Director)

  • Ellen Currano (Botany)

  • Melissa Gelwicks (Chemistry)

  • Jesse Hinshaw (Molecular Biology)

  • John Hoberg (Chemistry)

  • Abigail Hoffman (Botany)

  • Joshua Holmes (Molecular Biology)

  • Elliott Hulley (Chemistry)

  • Hayley Lanier (Zoology & Physiology)

  • Michele Larson (Zoology & Physiology)

  • Brian Leonard (Chemistry)

  • Hilary Madinger (Zoology & Physiology)

  • Jaya Maithil (Physics & Astronomy)

  • Michelle Mason (Physics & Astronomy)

  • Kali Nicholas Moon (Botany)

  • Chris North (Botany / Life Sciences)

  • Kristopher Parker (Molecular Biology)

  • Jonathan Prather (Zoology & Physiology)

  • Sean Stettner (Molecular Biology)

group image

The 2016-17 Fellows included 22 faculty and graduate students across UW STEM fields. 

four professors at a lab table

Elliott Hulley, Dave Anderson, Brian Leonard and John Hoberg of the Chemistry Department work together to develop instructional strategies during the 2016 Summer Institute on Active Learning in the Sciences





“Overall, the science initiative fellowship has reawakened my passion for teaching and made me more aware of how much I missed the creative experience of designing curriculum.” 


“The idea of allowing students to develop their own opinions and ways to approach problems, with help in groups or individual, was eye-opening…The group activities negate the professor-student dichotomy, which drives students’ critical thought, promotes metacognition, and can enhance the classroom experience.” 


“I implemented many more active learning techniques during the lecture period and saw an increase in student response and attentiveness. It was great to have immediate (especially positive) responses to my new classroom techniques.” 

Contact Us

UW Science Initiative

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Department 3254, 1000 E. University

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-4415


UW Science Initiative

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