MCB Staff Awarded UC Berkeley Teaching Award

The Molecular and Cell Biology Department is pleased to announce Erol Kepkep, Jim Sharkey, and Lianna Wong have been awarded the UC Berkeley Extraordinary Teaching in Extraordinary Times Award. Kepkep, Sharkey, and Wong support Berkeley's introductory Biology 1AL laboratory course. The course is a requirement for all students in the Biological Sciences Majors, including those declaring MCB undergraduate majors. Each semester an average of 600 students register, with 750 enrolled during the spring 2021 semester.

The award honors UC Berkeley faculty, staff, and student instructors who, in 2020, embraced the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. They used innovative methods and worked beyond their traditional roles to ensure teaching and education success.

Kepkep, Sharkey, and Wong transformed the printed lab manual into a structured online multimedia environment that delivered sequenced resources for each lab module. They produced videos of all lab procedures and curated a collection of resource images and experimental datasets for student analysis. To support the online data analysis learning objectives, they designed a new enzyme lab module and developed Excel and statistics resources. By utilizing Google Drive, they created a space allowing for asynchronous teamwork, collaborative development of lab assignments, and compilation of instructor feedback on the new course materials and infrastructure.

The extensive catalog of materials they produced has helped students succeed during remote learning and will pay dividends. When in-person learning resumes, students will be able to prepare for their labs by reviewing these resources. 

Learn more about the award and the other recipients here