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Florida Southern College, Lakeland, FL

Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology BS

Korinne is from Buffalo, NY. She will be a senior this fall at Florida Southern College, majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Korinne became interested in science and medicine through various internships.

Last summer she worked in a lab and realized she liked education research because of the interaction with others. After tutoring several students, she realized she may want to pursue a career in academics, which brought her to look for additional opportunities in the science education field. After meeting a woman who re-designed a medical school curriculum, she also began thinking about pursuing teaching at that level.

This summer, her REU education research is being mentored by Dr. Dina Newman and Dr. Kate Wright, with a focus on assessment of both the understanding and misconceptions in biology education. Knowing that students have a hard time understanding and explaining the connection between DNA and physical traits, she is examining how high school and college textbooks present the information to learners.  For example, Korinne noted that textbook images often show the beginning and end of a complex molecular process but not what happens in between—which could cause confusion or misunderstanding.  Informed by her textbook observations and interview data, she is designing an online survey to better understand how experts and novices conceptualize the important link between gene expression and traits.

Her virtual summer REU experience has been a good one. She is happily surprised that even though they are online, there is community and the ability to receive help with her project from her student peers. People have really been able to contribute to projects during weekly reflections together or group meetings.