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Graduate student Alice Tipton receives award for science outreach

April 29, 2013

Alice Tipton, a graduate student in the Division of Biological Sciences, was awarded the Sandra K. Abell Scholarship Award for Excellence in Science Outreach.

The Abell Award recognizes the outstanding achievements of a graduate student pursuing PhD studies in any science discipline who has demonstrated a dual passion for both research and teaching. Tipton was recognized for her work with fourth grade classes at Mill Creek Elementary School as part of the Show-Me Nature GK-12 Fellow Program.

Tipton, a doctoral student in Candi Galen’s lab, studies plant-fungal relationships and their role in native habitat restorations of dolomite glades. In 2012, she was awarded a GK-12 Fellowship to work alongside fourth grade teachers as a “science ambassador” to bring research and inquiry into the classroom. ShowMe Nature is a nationally funded program that bridges scientific research at the University and science education in the Columbia Public School District.

“I believe that education is foundational to a bright future. I hope to learn how to effectively share my passion for science and nature with students, like great teachers once did with me,” said Tipton.

Becky Bentley and Karla Sommer, the fourth grade teachers at Mill Creek with whom Tipton works, also were recognized for their contributions with receipt of the GK-12 Teacher of the Year Award.

Image shows Tipton and several young girls in front of research poster

Tipton and fourth graders from Mill Creek Elementary share their project on invertebrates at the ShowMe Nature Research Symposium.

The awards were announced at the Show Me Nature GK-12 Research Symposium on April 27. The annual event showcases the research projects of teams of fourth and fifth graders from ten Columbia Public Schools. Fourth graders from Mill Creek shared their research project on invertebrates at the event.

Tipton will receive a plaque as well as a $500 stipend to help support her doctoral research over the summer.

The Abell award honors the memory of Dr. Sandra K. Abell, professor of science education and former director of the SW Bell Science Education Center at MU. Abell, a champion of science education, was dedicated to unleashing a passion for science in students, from kindergarten to university, in the lab, in the classroom, and in the public sphere.


More about the Sandra K. Abell Scholarship Award for Excellence in Science Outreach.

More about ShowMe Nature GK-12 Fellow Program

Related research strengths:
Ecology, Plant Biology
Related categories:
Awards, Graduate Studies, Science Outreach