Biology Professor Selected for National Science Teachers Association Board

Posted on 10/7/2011 1:01:36 PM

Thomas Lord, a professor in the Biology Department since 1989, is the first IUP faculty member to be selected for the board of directors of the National Science Teachers Association.

The association is the largest organization in the world committed to promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning. Founded in 1944 and headquartered in Arlington, Va., the association has more than sixty thousand members, including teachers, professors, scientists, and business and industry leaders.

Board members must be elected. Lord, who was selected as chairman of the four-year college division, will serve as a member of the board through June 2013. The board of directors includes ten elected members, along with the organization’s president, president-elect, and past president. The group meets monthly.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for me to truly make an impact on the profession,” Lord said. “Concern about the quality of contemporary education has been one of my academic interests for many years, and I have been happy to serve on the advisory councils on outcomes assessment and on faculty development for the New Jersey Department of Higher Education and the committee on Standards in Teaching for the National Biology Teachers Association.

“Serving on the board of this national organization is an opportunity for me to tie together my years of experience and passion for teaching excellence in the sciences.”

At IUP, Lord was honored with the Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching in 2004, the Innovative Teaching Award in 2007, and the Pedagogical Research Award in 2011.

Lord has been active with the Society for College Science Teachers, serving as councilor at large, national membership chairperson, vice president, and president. He also has conducted several studies on effective teaching strategies at both the secondary and college levels, including research on the role spatial aptitude plays in science learning. This work has led to cooperative investigations with several cognitive theoreticians in the United States and Great Britain.

Lord also has a research focus on lower plants, particularly pteridophytes. This involvement has led to several research studies and presentations at professional meetings on individuals in these groups and the publication of a book titled The Ferns and Fern Allies of Pennsylvania.