Dr. Jacqueline S. McLaughlin

Dr. Jacqueline S. McLaughlin
Associate Professor of Biology Founding Director, CHANCE

Mission Statement

To encourage the use of research as
the integral component of science education in all learning environments


Phone: (610) 285-5109
Fax: (610) 285-5220
E-mail: jshea@psu.edu
Office: 3N

Ph.D. Cell and Developmental Biology
Rutgers University/University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)

M.S. Cell and Developmental Biology
Florida State University

B.A. Biology/Chemistry
New College

Recent & Upcoming Field Courses:

Past Field Courses

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).

Teaching Awards and Honors


Dr. McLaughlin has graciously accepted numerous awards at the local, state, and national levels for excellence in teacher professional development, international programming and education, and undergraduate biology teaching and learning. Some of these awards include 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; The Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Education 2012 Outstanding Environmental Education Program Award and, most recently, The Pennsylvania State University 2015 W. LaMarr Kopp International Achievement Award. Due to her reputation as a master teacher and expertise in faculty development using inquiry-based methods, she is also visiting scholar at Jiangnan University in Wuxi, China.

Science Education Scholarship

Her research interests hold true to her endless passion for teaching itself: the use of research in science education: the benefits of authentic research experiences in traditional science education settings; the use of technology to blend research with the teaching of science; and, the assessment of international programs that utilize real-world research experiences to teach conservation. As a research scholar she has published, as an author or editor, 45 publications in peer-reviewed books, journals, proceedings, and online environments. Key contributions include an invited chapters in the following books: Exemplary Science Programs: Science for Resolving Issues/Problems (R. Yager, Ed.; NSTA Press), The CHANCE Program: Transitioning from Simple Inquiry-based Learning to Professional Science Practice and Game Changers: Education and Information Technology (Diana Oblinger, Ed., President and CEO, EDUCAUSE), The CHANCE Program in China: Transforming Students into Global-minded Scientific Investigators and Citizens. The CHANCE online "Research Modules" that she developed, authored, and edited in partnership with governmental and non-governmental organizations, research scientists, and academies around the world are freely accessible and used throughout the globe. Dr. McLaughlin has as given over 120 presentations around the country and world on her innovative teaching practices, pedagogical research, CHANCE program, and the importance of STEM education for women and/or undergraduate research in higher education. She is a sought out field guide for local elementary school children at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary (Kempton, PA), instructor of a Mini-Medical School program for adult learners, and keynote speaker at educational conferences.

Professional Service to Teaching and Learning

At the present time, she is acting co-chair of the 2015 Undergraduate Research at the Capital – Pennsylvania (UNC-PA) Organizing Committee, co-chair of the 5th Annual Penn State Regional Undergraduate Research Exhibition, co-chair of the 2015 NABT Faculty Development Committee, chair of the 2015 NABT Global Perspectives Committee, and member of the Penn State Lehigh Valley Faculty Invitational Lecture Series. She is also providing professional development workshops on STEM teaching and learning to faculty at Jiangnan University, Wuxi, China, and mentoring a faculty member at Citrus Community College in Irvine, California in inquiry-based laboratory methods. She is a recent 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. As the CHANCE Founding Director, she oversees the website, international field courses, on-line research modules of this program. She has secured over $300,000 to support CHANCE, and has partnered with 44 organizations worldwide including the Durrell Conservation Trust, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), Organization of Tropical Studies (OTS), Science/AAAS, and Nanjing University. Dr. McLaughlin also advises the Penn State Lehigh Valley Biology Club.

Dr. McLaughlin prides herself in being a visionary who effectively "reimagines" educational interfaces, course delivery, and programs that utilize authentic research. Her experiences as a teacher of biology, researcher of the teaching and learning of biology, and director of a university-wide international educational program have provided her expert training in creating web-based educational materials and interfaces, partnership building, and leadership skills.