Meredith Defelice Receives the George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching
26 March 2014 — Meredith Rosser Defelice, a senior lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Penn State University, has been selected to receive Penn State's George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching. Penn State's president, Rodney Erickson, presented Defelice the award during a formal ceremony at the Nittany Lion Inn. The award, named after Penn State's seventh president, was established in 1989 as a continuation of the AMOCO Foundation Award, and honors excellence in teaching at the undergraduate level across all Penn State Colleges and Campuses. Dr. Defelice is the very first member of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology to receive this prestigious award.
Defelice’s previous Penn State awards include the 2013 PSU Center for Excellence in Science Education Fellowship and in 2012 she was awarded the Paul M. Althouse Teaching Award.
During her time at Penn State, Defelice has focused on writing curriculum for her classes that promotes student engagement as well as enhancing the science pedagogy course offered to learning assistants as part of their preparation for classroom facilitation. She has provided service and leadership to the Penn State Center for Excellence in Science, served as reviewer for Penn States Undergraduate Discovery Summer Grants, and is a committee member on the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Undergraduate Affairs Committee. In addition, Dr. Defelice teaches several 400 level lecture and laboratory courses and works one on one with undergraduate biochemistry and molecular biology, microbiology and biotechnology majors to discuss educational options, develop academic plans, review course schedules, course substitution petition requests, and degree audits.
Before joining the Penn State faculty, Defelice was a Research Assistant Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology. Prior to that she was a post-doctoral fellow in the SPIRE program at UNC-Chapel Hill, where she received training in both research and teaching. She earned her doctoral degree in cell biology at Duke University in 2002. In 1997, she earned a bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, and departmental honors at Occidental College.