5200 N Lake Rd, Merced, CA 95343

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Brian Sato, Ph.D.
Professor of Teaching, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Associate Dean, Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation

Director, Postsecondary Education Research & Implementation Institute



National conversations regarding the need to improve undergraduate STEM education have been driven by poor completion rates for individuals interested in pursuing a STEM degree and a significant opportunity gap for minoritized individuals relative to those traditionally represented in higher education. Considerable efforts have been spent by educators and researchers as to how to best accomplish this. Within the UC system, one potential driving factor may be the Teaching Professor, a tenure-track, education-focused, faculty position embedded within STEM departments. In this seminar, I will present work in which we examine a variety of data – including interviews, surveys, and classroom observations, to identify the impact of Teaching Professors on their students, colleagues, and the broader higher education community. Using these data, we aim to provide recommendations for campuses who currently employ teaching-focused faculty as well as those exploring the possibility of adding similar faculty positions to maximize their impacts.



Dr. Brian Sato is a Professor of Teaching in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry as well as the Associate Dean for the Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation at the University of California Irvine. Dr Sato’s research focuses on creating more equitable and inclusive STEM programs in higher education, examining teaching and learning from both the instructor and student perspective. This work has been supported by multiple National Science Foundation grants. In his administrative capacity, Dr. Sato oversees instructional professional development activities for faculty and future faculty including the creation of more student-centered and culturally inclusive learning spaces.

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