Carol A. Hurney, Ph.D.
GBIO 103 - Contemporary Biology
BIO 114 - Organisms Laboratory
B.A. - University of Rochester
Ph.D. - University of Virginia
Carol is the Executive Director for faculty development at the Center for Faculty Innovation where she directs a number of campus-wide programs that support the teaching, scholarship, leadership, and service roles of JMU faculty. Carol is also an Associate Professor of Biology where she has been teaching General Education courses for majors and non-majors since 1998. During her tenure at JMU, Carol has been involved in the development of the CFI, the design and implementation of a new core curriculum in the Biology department, and various aspects of the General Education Program including objective design, assessment, academic program review. In 2005, Carol was honored as the Distinguished Teacher in General Education. Carol recently discovered the wonders of learner-centered teaching and applies this philosophical approach to her introductory course for non-science majors. She is also committed to integrating meaningful writing and editing experiences for students in the introductory biology laboratory course for majors. Carol is still a biologist at heart and spends time with her undergraduate research students exploring tail development in the four-toed salamander, Hemidactylium scutatum. Carol received her Biology degrees from the University of Rochester (BA) and the University of Virginia (PhD). She pursued post-doctoral research at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. In her free time, you will find Carol out riding her bicycle or cooking some fantastic meal with her family and friends in her fabulous kitchen.
Salamander Tail Development
Carol's research on the molecular aspects of segment formation in salamanders is a collaborative project with Sharon Babcock (JMU). Carol's lab is interested in analyzing the formation of embryonic and post-embryonic tail segments in Hemidactylium scutatum. Axial elongation in the four-toed salamander, H. scutatum occurs throughout larval, juvenile and adult life history stages via the development and growth of additional caudal (tail) segments. The morphogenetic problems that need to be solved to add caudal segments to post-embryonic vertebrate tails have never been addressed. Insights into the underlying mechanisms for the continual addition of caudal segments throughout larval, juvenile, and adult stages may be rooted in processes that direct embryonic tail development. Their initial goals are to develop a normal table of embryonic development for H. scutatum, characterize embryonic segmentation by visualizing somites, and determine the molecular pathways involved in caudal segment formation throughout all life history stages.
Teaching Strategies and Emerging Technologies
Another area of Carol's scholarly endeavors focuses on assessing the efficacy of classroom learning environments. She has investigated the influence of learner-centered teaching in her non-majors biology course. She allows students in this course to select course topics, determine the value of course assignments, and determine which in-class strategies (clickers, active learning, etc) have the most impact on their learning.
Curriculum Design & Programmatic Assessment
To support departmental curriculum reform efforts, Carol expanded her educational research efforts to encompass the design and assessment of the biology majors-level curriculum. Her work in this area supported the development of the Bio 114 course and laboratory materials. She also helped design an assessment strategy to explore the educational impact of the biology curriculum and to disseminate products of our curriculum reform efforts.
Hurney CA, Brown, JW, Griscom, HP, Kancler, E, Wigtil, CJ and Sundre, DL. July 2011. Closing the Loop: Involving Faculty in the Assessment of Scientific and Quantitative Reasoning Skills of Biology Majors. Journal of College Science Teaching.
Seifert, K, Hurney, CA, Wigtil, CJ, and Sundre, DL. 2009. Using the Academic Skills Inventory (ASI) to Assess the Biology Major. Assessment Update, Volume 21, Number 3.
Hurney, CA, Babcock SK and Pesce, A. 2009. Organisms. A Laboratory Manual for Bio 114 - 8th Edition. Hayden McNeil Custom Publishing. 2009 (210 pages).
Monroe, J.D. and C.A. Hurney. 2002 CCLI and curriculum change in biology. CUR Quarterly. 22: 122-125.
Goodwin, EB, Hofstra, K, Hurney, CA, Mango, S, and Kimble, J. 1997. A genetic pathway for regulation of tra-2 translation. Genes and Development, 124: 749-758.
Dr. Carol A. Hurney (Professor, Biology; Director, Center for Faculty Innovation), Nancy L. Harris (Lecturer, Computer Science), Dr. Samantha C. Bates Prins (Associate Professor, Mathematics and Statistics) and Dr. Susan E. Kruck (Professor, Computer Information Systems and Business Analytics) published the article, “The Impact of a Learner-Centered, Mid-Semester Course Evaluation on Students,” in The Journal of Faculty Development. The article explores the impact of a learner-centered, mid-semester course evaluation process on student perceptions of dimensions of teaching that promote effective learning.