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Galen receives 2015 Excellence in Education Award

April 29, 2015

image shows a group of 10 individuals

Dr. Candace Galen (center) was among ten recipients of the 2015 Excellence in Education Award.

Dr. Candace Galen was among ten recipients of MU’s Excellence in Education Award winners for 2015. Galen is a professor of biological sciences in the College of Arts and Science.

Co-sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs and the MU Parents Leadership Council, the award recognizes Mizzou educators who contribute to student learning and personal development through out-of-the classroom experiences.

Galen was recognized for the opportunities she has created for Mizzou students to bring scientific research directly into elementary school classrooms. Through the Undergraduate Mentoring in Environmental Biology, ShowMe Nature, and BGreen projects, Galen has created partnerships between Mizzou students from across the life sciences and fourth and fifth grade classrooms across Columbia Public Schools. The MU students work closely with schoolteachers to organize and prepare grade-appropriate, hands-on science activities and experiments, facilitate class discussions about science, and design and carry out authentic research projects at their schools. Her projects also have provided ample opportunities for school kids to come — virtually and in person — to the MU campus to participate in science experiments with MU students, visit research labs, meet additional scientists, and share the results of their own school-based science research projects.

Through her projects, local school kids have gained experience using real-world experimental procedures while also learning, in a hands-on way, that science is exciting and fun. Mizzou students, in turn, have had an opportunity to share their passion for science while also gaining invaluable skills and hands-on experience in communication, leadership, and teaching.

Over 100 MU students from across the Mizzou campus have participated in and benefitted directly from Galen’s science outreach projects. The impact on students is one of the reasons Curators’ Professor and Director of Biological Sciences John C. Walker nominated Galen for the award.

“Students who have participated in her projects have embraced science outreach and community engagement as part of their professional lives and careers. Through them, her impact is exponential,” he wrote in his nomination.

When asked what motivates her efforts, Galen says the answer is simple. “I do this because I really love it, and I love working with people,” she said.

Galen is also the recipient of the 2014 Science Hero Award from the Columbia Public Schools as well as the 2011 Eco Award from Grant Elementary School.

Galen and the other award recipients were recognized at the 2015 Excellence in Education Awards Ceremony and Reception held in the Great Room of the Reynolds Alumni Center on 28 April.

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Written by: Melody Kroll

Related research strengths:
Ecology, Evolution
Related categories:
Awards, Science Outreach