Posted by Stephanie Kollm on July 22, 2014
In recent years, Aurora University has embraced new concepts in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education, and its faculty are leading the way to ensure that students at all levels in Illinois have access to cutting-edge resources and instruction in these key subjects. In August, the university will open the John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School on the Aurora campus, the university recently developed new master’s degree options in STEM content areas, and both students and teachers participated in STEM-focused workshops led by AU faculty throughout the summer months.
Associate Professor of Biology Mark Zelman is one AU professor who is always looking to advance STEM knowledge among his own students, and to support others in teaching science at the undergraduate level.
Several years ago, Zelman was looking for the right textbook to support his AU courses in human diseases. After finding no suitable texts that were engaging, scientifically grounded and affordable to today’s students, Zelman began the enormous task of writing his own book. He sought out partners from across Illinois to create “Human Diseases: A Systemic Approach,” which he and his team published in its eighth edition through Prentice Hall this summer.
“We revised the text to keep pace with the science and technology that have transformed diagnosis and treatment and have provided a deeper understanding of disease mechanisms in the last several years,” Zelman said. “We also need to adapt to best practice in teaching. For example, we revised the text to promote problem solving and case analysis, and moved some of the book content online.” Other additions to the book include new diagnostic tests and lab procedures and a new section at the end of each chapter that provides multimedia resources related to the text content.
For Zelman, the book is a tool to build upon in the classroom. “In my classes, I want students to recognize that science is a body of knowledge about the natural world and a process for developing that knowledge. Toward that I teach science with questions, cases and problems.”
Earlier this year, Zelman was recognized for his efforts to promote scientific research, facilitate communication of scientific knowledge and advocate for the interest of science students in Illinois through his election as secretary of the Illinois State Academy of Sciences.