SF Professor Committed to Improving Bio-Sciences Education as a BEN Scholar

Professor Beatriz Gonzalez has been selected as a 2012 BEN scholar. The BEN Scholars Program is a grassroots outreach program of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) Biological Sciences Pathway, BiosciEdNet (BEN). Each year, the NSDL selects 15 BEN Scholars to promote the use of digital libraries and inquiry-based learning in higher education biological sciences courses.

As a BEN Scholar, Gonzalez will receive training in effective use of digital libraries, resources to use in her classroom and share with colleagues, integration into the BEN Scholars Network and recognition from BEN collaborators, as well as travel support and a small stipend. Gonzalez is expected to conduct outreach activities for biological sciences faculty at Santa Fe, throughout the region and nationally, through professional societies.

When the award was announced in late October, Gonzalez was happy she was chosen and excited about the opportunities that lay ahead.

“Now that I have ‘virtually’ met the other scholars, I am deeply honored, and at the same time humbled, to see so many other professors from all over the US,” Gonzalez said. “Many of them are at very prestigious institutions, and some even head programs dedicated to the teaching of science.”

Gonzalez sees this not just as a teaching opportunity, but as a learning opportunity for herself as well.

“It is very exciting; I have started the online course offered to BEN Scholars, and have already learned numerous things.”

In her 16 years teaching at Santa Fe, Gonzalez has earned several other honors, including the first ever PRAT grant which she used to attend a workshop on guided-inquiry learning.

~ written by Amanda Hernandez, Communication Specialist, College Relations