Research

Current Research Projects:

How Summer Hyflex Training Impacted Fall Teaching and Learning

As planning for Fall 2020 began, administration at Nicholls State University planned for all courses to be delivered in a remote learning environment pending the rate of infection. Administration defined remote learning as Hyflex, hybrid, 100% online synchronous, and 100% online asynchronous teaching modalities. The remote learning strategy was enforced by administration to ensure the maintenance of enrollment and the high quality delivery of instruction. Particular emphasis was placed on introductory courses being taught using Hyflex methodologies to retain first and second year college students who are 66% first generation students. Hyflex course design is defined as a course that combines both online and face-to-face teaching with flexibility for students to choose how they attend a course without experiencing any learning deficit (Beatty, 2014). The majority of faculty at NSU did not have experience designing or implementing remote learning methodologies as most pre-pandemic courses were delivered using the face-to-face modality. NSU’s Office of Academic Affairs provided a voluntary remote learning professional development in July 2020. Part of the course completion was providing a final assignment in which faculty and staff write a reflection on how they will use remote learning pedagogy and educational technology tools in their fall 2020 courses. A follow up survey was used to measure what faculty actually implemented in their courses. The professional development was organized by university faculty and staff including those who are directly involved in student success and educational technology. The training itself was delivered in the Hyflex modality to model best practices. The faculty who participated in the training were invited to attend daily one-hour zoom sessions. Participants also used daily forums, weekly question, answer sessions to participate with one and other, and the course materials. Anyone who could not attend the live sessions could watch recorded sessions on their own and continue to participate in the forums. In this study, we identified faculty confidence level in educational technology and pedagogy to deliver courses in the hyflex modality. We also identified what session topics were most highly valued by participants, what best practices and or topics for instruction would internal experts utilize if able to replicate this service learning initiative in the future and what instructional methodologies and educational technologies were utilized by faculty who took this training during the fall 2020 semester.

Undergraduate perception of community pre and post GTA inclusive pedagogy training  

As stated by Trujillo and Tanner (2014) a sense of belonging and acquiring community can impact a student’s academic motivation, academic achievement and well -being. Inclusive pedagogy is the teaching approach that supports teachers to respond to individual differences between learners but avoids the marginalization that can occur when some students are treated differently.  Florian, L., & Spratt, J. (2013).   We plan to study how a GPD focusing only on inclusive pedagogy impacts undergraduate student’s sense of belonging and community in introductory biology laboratory courses. 

Evaluating student perceptions and confidence in science communication (Data analysis)

We are in the process of surveying graduate students who participated in the Louisiana Sea Grant program GRS and their change in perception of science communication and outreach.

Teaching from BIG to small (Currently working on the manuscript)

Traditionally Biology courses are taught building on concepts of very tiny matter like atoms, molecules and cells and working up to organism, tissues and organ systems. This is how most Biology textbooks are written and traditional curriculum is taught.  However, in general education courses where we face many challenges such as student’s lack of interest and knowledge of how to study areas outside their major, we need to reassess the way we teach these courses. Therefore, I redesigned Biology 106 and taught the curriculum backwards from traditional curriculum.  The same concepts and book chapters were covered in a semester as a traditional course however I started with information that was more appealing and easier to conceptualize for a non-major student such as body systems. Once students mastered how to study this material, they were more successful at mastering abstract concepts like organismal development and classification. We observed using linear regression that students enrolled in my Biology 106 course were two times more likely to pass my course compared to other instructors based on the way the course was taught.    This study was conducted over 8 semesters and final grades of students enrolled in Biology 106 were used for statistical analysis.   

Past Research Projects: 

Antibiotic resistances in hospital isolated bacteria from urinary tract infections (UTIs) UTIs  occur when infectious bacteria enters the urinary tract typically through the urethra and infect the bladder. Approximately 10 million doctor visits a year are due to UTIs with 80 percent of those cases occurring in women. The most common causative agent of a UTI in the United States is Escherichia coli. This is followed by Klebsiella spp, and Proteus mirabilis. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control recommends antibiotics for treating a UTI. The sulfonamide, Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (TMP/Sulfa) and the nitrofuran, nitrofuratonin, are most commonly prescribed for UTI treatment nationwide.  Due to antibiotic use and recurrent UTIs, many etiological agents are becoming antibiotic resistant. We are investigating hospital isolates to identify common strains of bacteria that cause UTIs and the mode of antibiotic resistance these microbes utilize.

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RNA Methyltransferase Gene Identification in Neisseria gonorrhea Isolates The Centers for Disease Control designated Neisseria gonorrhea, the etiological agent of the common sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea, as a superbug. The agency currently recommends the dual therapy of 250 mg of intramuscular ceftriaxone and 1 g of oral azithromycin. Erythromycin therapy was discontinued in the early 1990’s due to widespread resistance. This study is aimed at identifying the presence of erythromycin resistance-inducing methyltransferase genes ermA, ermB, ermC, and ermF in current clinical isolates

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Publications: 

Hollander AM. Guess that Microbe – gamifying pathogenic microbiology. CourseSource. In Preparation 

Hollander AM., Menard P., Hicks R., Teaching big to small, increasing student success in general education biology. In preparation 

Hollander, A., Vavavsseur, C., & Robicheaux, H. A Service-Learning Approach for Faculty Development Focused on Remote Delivery of Courses During a Pandemic. Journal of Service-Learning in Higher Education, 11(2).

Gregory A.Price, Aimee M. Hollander, Brian D. Plikaytis, Brian T. Mocca, George Carlone, Helen Findlow, Ray Borrow, Samba O. Sow, Aldiouma Diallo, Olubukola T. Idoko, Godwin C. Enwere, Marie-Pierre Preziosi; Prasad S. Kulkarni, Margaret C. Bash, Human complement bactericidal responses to a Group A meningococcal conjugate vaccine in Africans and comparison to responses measured by two other group A immunoassays  2015, November 15 Clinical Infectious Disease 61 (suppl 5): S554-S562 doi:10.1093/cid/civ504

Hollander, A.M., Mercante, A., Shafer W.M., and Corneliessen, C.N.: MpeR, an AraC-like regulator activates FetA expression in strain FA1090, Infection and Immunity 2011 Dec;79(12):4764-76. 

Cornelissen, C.N, and Hollander, A.M: TonB-dependent transporters expressed by Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Frontiers in Microbiology, 2011 http://www.frontiersin.org/Journal/Abstract.aspx?s=149&name=cellular and infection microbiology&ART_DOI=10.3389/fmicb.2011.00117

Price, G.A., Masri H.P., Hollander, A.M., Russell, M.W., and Cornelissen, C.N.: Gonoccocal transferrin binding protein-cholera toxin B chimeras induce serum bactericidal and vaginal transferrin utilizations blocking antibodies in mice, Vaccine, 25 (41): 7247-7260, 2007. Delboy, M.G., Patterson, J.L., Hollander, A.M., Nicola A.V.: Nectin-2-mediated entry of a syncytial strain of herpes simplex virus via pH-independent fusion with the plasma membrane of Chinese hamster ovary cells, Virology Journal, 2006 Dec 27;3:105

 Presentations: 

Teaching Evolution using 3D printed skulls, Aimee M Hollander, LATM/LSTA Joint Conference, Baton Rouge LA, November 4th -5th,2019 (oral presentation) 

Teaching from BIG to small and seeing increased passing rates, March 13th 2019, Aimee M Hollander1, Phil Menard 2, Renee Hicks3, Stacy Pate3 ASMCUE, Tysons Corner VA, August 5th, 2019 (oral presentation) 

Incorporating Science Communication into Undergraduate STEM Courses, Aimee M Hollander, Scott Banville, ASMCUE, Tysons Corner VA August 5th 2019. (Oral presentation) 

Various active learning techniques to try in your classroom, Aimee M Hollander, November 2nd 2018, Nicholls State University faculty development workshop series CAFÉ (oral presentation) 

Creating Faculty and Student Success Initiatives at a PUI, Aimee M Hollander, June 8th, 2018, American Society for Microbiology ASM Microbe, Atlanta GA (oral presentation) 

Oil eaters, a course based undergraduate research experience for 200 levels microbiology students, Aimee M Hollander and Sara Shields-Menard, November 10th, 2017 National Association of Biology Teachers