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College of Arts & Sciences Biology Professor Kathryn Tosney Awarded Outstanding Educator Prize

By UM News

College of Arts & Sciences Biology Professor Kathryn Tosney Awarded Outstanding Educator Prize

By UM News
Society for Developmental Biology Recognizes Tosney’s Contributions to Teaching and Professional Development

Kathryn Tosney, professor of biology in the UM College of Arts & Sciences and director of the UM-wide SEEDS program, has been recognized for her exceptional contributions to developmental biology education.

Tosney is the 2015 recipient of the Viktor Hamburger Outstanding Educator Prize from the Society for Developmental Biology.

Professor Kathryn Tosney lectures students in the UGalapagosFall 

Named for noted embryologist Dr. Viktor Hamburger, the prize celebrates excellence in teaching at all levels, professional training, program administration, integrating developmental biology into other fields, and disseminating reliable information both within and beyond academia. Tosney has expertise in all of these areas.

“I so value the honor of receiving the Victor Hamburger Outstanding Educator prize from the Society of Developmental Biology because it construes educational excellence in the broadest sense, that happily coincides with my passion for teaching both science and professional skills,” Tosney said. “In this award, educational excellence is not simply lecturing well, or even developing teaching tools like my ‘origami embryo’ or my crossword puzzle text ‘Across Development.’  It is also the transmission of professional skills and career support of the sort that has culminated here at UM in the SEEDS program, initially an NSF-funded focus on women in the sciences, and now a UM-wide program to foster career success throughout our community.”

Tosney has led SEEDS since the program started in 2008. Through innovative programming – such as interactive theatre, various mentoring and career development initiatives, and an annual investigator-initiated grant competition – SEEDS is an incubator for diversity, leadership and advancement across all three UM campuses. This year, it was institutionalized within the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

Tosney joined the UM College of Arts & Sciences in 2006, serving as chair of the Department of Biology through 2014. She previously was on the faculty for more than 20 years at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She earned her Ph.D. from Stanford University and pursued post-doctoral studies at Yale University.

Tosney’s research focuses on developmental biology and neuroscience, and she is known for her innovative pedagogical approaches. Tosney also teaches courses aimed at nurturing career development, such as “Professional Writing and Grantsmanship,” in which each graduate student submits at least one grant for outside funding, and “Survival in Academia” which provides guidance for those who seek success in a university career.  

Tosney also directs UGalapagosFall, an education abroad program geared toward students majoring in the sciences. She is a Senator on the UM Faculty Senate.

College of Arts & Sciences Dean Leonidas G. Bachas said, “We are proud of Professor Tosney, and grateful for her significant contributions to our College and our students. This award is a great recognition of a career-long commitment to excellence in education.”

Biology Department Chair Athula Wikramanyake added, “The Viktor Hamburger Outstanding Educator Prize to Dr. Kathryn Tosney is a timely and well-deserved recognition of the significant contributions she has made to developmental biology education at many levels.”

The Society for Developmental Biology is a non-profit professional society dedicated to advancement of the field of developmental biology. It provides an international forum for research, education and career development in developmental biology.

Tosney said, “I am truly gratified that the principles of educational excellence and community support are rewarded by my society, and are valued by the University of Miami.”

February 03, 2015