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PLU biology professor Amy Siegesmund receives national teaching award

PLU biology professor Amy Siegesmund receives national teaching award

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Amy Siegesmund speaking with two students in a PLU biology lab. She is facing camera, the two students face down at the lab table. All three wear protective lab classes and white lab coats.

Image: PLU Professor of Biology Amy Siegesmund says she takes great joy in building learning communities with students that explore how the microbial world is intricately tied to our lives. (Photo by John Froschauer/PLU)

September 14, 2022
By Zach Powers
PLU Marketing & Communications

Pacific Lutheran University Professor of Biology Amy Siegesmund is the recipient of the American Society for Microbiology's 2023 Carski Award for Undergraduate Teaching. The award recognizes a university educator for outstanding teaching of microbiology to undergraduate students.

What I love about teaching microbiology is that I get to share with students a discipline that I am passionate about and excites me every day,” said Siegesmund. “I get the opportunity to bring students together in a learning community to understand how the microbial world is intricately tied to our lives and our deaths. To share in that journey with students is one of my greatest professional privileges and joys—I can’t think of a more rewarding experience as a microbiologist.”

Siegesmund regularly teaches microbiology, introductory biology, cellular biology, and immunology at PLU. Her current research focuses on student metacognition and learning; the use of self-assessment to increase metacognition; and student theories of intelligence, learning, and failure. Siegesmund is an alumnus of the National Science Foundation Biology Scholars Research Residency and has received PLU faculty excellence awards in service (2019-20) and teaching (204-15).

“During her time at PLU, Dr. Siegesmund has proven herself to be an incredibly dedicated, passionate and effective teacher,” said Chair of Biology Matt Smith. “She challenges her students to learn and think for themselves, holds them to high standards, but supports them tremendously.”

“More than being an excellent instructor to our students, Amy inspires better teaching in her colleagues, and as a result, her peers in our department have become better educators as well,” Smith continued. “She is the epitome of what an excellent teacher should be.”

One of the largest life science societies in the world, ASM has over 30,000 members, including researchers, educators and health professionals. ASM manages a slate of awards and prizes recognizing outstanding science at every career level and in every sub-discipline of the microbial sciences. Recipients are chosen by a selection committee from a competitive list of candidates nominated by their peers.

“The ASM Awards and Prize Program recognizes exceptional microbiologists who have made significant contributions to advance the field and the microbial sciences community,” said ASM CEO Stefano Bertuzzi. “There is no better way to show gratitude to a mentor, respect to a colleague, or support for an early career scientist than by nominating them and acknowledging their outstanding contributions.”

A complete rundown of 2023 ASM honorees, including Professor Siegesmund, is published on the organization’s award page.