Dr. Jacqueline McLaughlin is an Associate Professor of Biology at Pennsylvania State University – Lehigh Valley, and Founding Director of Penn State's award-winning international professional development and environmental education outreach program called CHANCE (Connecting Humans And Nature through Conservation Experiences). McLaughlin received her doctorate degree in cell and developmental biology from Rutgers University and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and her master's degree in the same field from The Florida State University. Whether she is working as a cell and developmental biologist on cancer cell lines with her undergraduate students in her research laboratory or as a conservation scientist studying the effects of global climate change on ecosystem diversity and dynamics with K-12 teachers and undergraduates in the fields of Panama, Costa Rica or China, her overall mission is to create learning environments wherein students, at any level, are inspired and effectively learn science by doing actual research.
As a scholar, she has published 27 publications in peer-reviewed books, journals, proceedings, and online environments, and has received numerous awards at the local, state, and national levels including the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) 2001 Four-year College and University Outstanding Teacher Award, The Pennsylvania State University 2003 George Atherton Award, the Penn State Lehigh Valley 2007 Outstanding Research and/or Creative Accomplishment Award, The Pennsylvania State University 2010 Spirit of Internationalization Award, the Pennsylvania Council for International Education 2010 David A. Portlock Outstanding International Educator Award, the Penn State 2012 Outreach Award for Community Engagement and Scholarship, and, most recently, the Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Education 2012 Outstanding Environmental Education Program Award. Her research areas of expertise include the use of higher-end inquiry (research) in science education; teaching and learning with technology; and, international programming and assessment.
Presently, besides spear-heading the field and technological interfaces of CHANCE, she is acting co-chair of the 2013 Undergraduate Research at the Capital – Pennsylvania (UNC-PA) Organizing Committee, co-chair of the 2013 National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) Faculty Development Committee, and co-chair of the 2013 NABT Global Perspectives Committee. She is also instructing an international environmental science course at Jiangnan University, Wuxi, China. She is a current co-PI of an NSF Transforming Undergraduate Education in STEM (TUES) grant entitled, Moving from Vision to Change: 21st Century Transformation of the Undergraduate Biology Education, which is disseminating practical ways that undergraduate biology instructors throughout the United States can reimagine and re-create their traditional classroom, laboratory, online, and/or field-based learning environments.
Dr. McLaughlin prides herself in being a visionary who effectively "reimagines" educational interfaces, course delivery, and programs to encourage the use of research as an integral component of science education. In the summer of 2013, Dr. McLaughlin will be directing and offering an international field course to Panama through Penn State CHANCE in partnership with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), WIDECAST, and Rainforest and Reef Costa Rica.
Upcoming Presentations and Workshops