Dr. Jan Pechenik, professor at Massachusetts’s Tufts University and author of “A Short Guide to Writing About Biology” was on campus last week to deliver two writing workshops to science faculty and graduate students.
On Thursday, October 4, Dr. Pechenik spoke with science professors about how to teach through writing, and shared tips on how to incorporate writing into courses without “killing themselves in the process.” Issues covered included plagiarism, peer review, and teaching students to write well. The workshop was ideal for professors who want to incorporate more writing into their curriculum. The workshop was attended by faculty from Science, Education, AVC, and Holland College.
On Friday, October 5, Faculty of Science graduate students were treated to Dr. Pechenik’s advice on how to write brilliant papers, lab reports, and theses. This session was considered an applied workshop in the Biology Seminar Series, and was co-sponsored by the Science Graduate Studies committee and the Department of Biology. Support was also received from Science Atlantic, through a fund for speaker tours for Atlantic universities, and support from the Office of the VP Academic. Science students were in attendance, as well as students from AVC, Business, and Education.
“The workshops were engaging and fun, with great practical examples for both students and faculty,” said Dr. Donna Giberson, Professor, Department of Biology. “Both faculty and students were extremely impressed, and are already asking if we can do something like this again.”
Dr. Pechenik has a Bachelor of Arts in Zoology from Duke University, and a PhD in Biological Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island. He directed the ‘Writing Across the Curriculum’ program at Tufts University for six years, and has given workshops all over the world to faculty and students on various aspects of writing. Dr. Pechenik is currently a professor of Invertebrate Zoology and Marine Biology in Tufts’ Department of Biology.
Dr. Pechenik also delivered workshops and presentations to students and faculty at St. Francis Xavier and Cape Breton University.