Travel Awardee, Holmes 2014

Dawn Holmes
Dawn Holmes, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Biology
Western New England University
Springfield Massachusetts
Award year: 2014
While at Western New England University, Dr. Holmes has designed student research projects spanning a wide range of disciplines, including Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Ecology, Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, and Evolution. Dr. Holmes states that her research is particularly amenable to student participation because “the experiments foster a broad set of skills, students with a wide range of interests can participate, the research includes both laboratory and field experiments, and students can be involved or develop independent projects while taking classes, and/or participate during the summer supported by a stipend.” As such, her students have been able to participate in several interdisciplinary collaborations, including projects to study the antimicrobial properties of chemotherapeutic agents, antimicrobial properties of floral fragrance compounds, and many other projects. For their efforts, students of Holmes have presented their work at local and national conferences and in peer-reviewed publications.

Dr. Holmes has received several faculty research grants to fund her studies, including grants from the U. S. Department of Energy. She also received funds to design the undergraduate science elective Functional Genomics, which is a collaborative research-based course studying unique hyperthermophilic microorganisms. In addition, Dr. Holmes continues to build on Western New England University’s long-standing, firmly held commitment to diversity by organizing local outreach programs for high school students, many of whom are underrepresented minorities. She believes through her efforts that the students will see modern research laboratories, and this exposure will help them consider career paths that they never even realized existed.

ASM-LINK Welcomes Your Input
Looking for advice on ways to enhance undergraduate learning or just hoping to start a conversation about innovative ways to involve underrepresented minorities in research? The ASM-NSF Leaders Inspiring Networks and Knowledge (LINK) programs welcome your interest. Contact the individual awardee for details. 
LINK is sponsored by ASM with support from National Science Foundation grant no. 1241970.