Travel Awardee, Kwiek 2014

Jesse Kwiek
Jesse Kwiek, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Microbial Infection, Immunity, and Microbiology
The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio
Award year: 2014
Dr. Jesse Kwiek is an interdisciplinary scientist who laboratory utilizes molecular virology, evolutionary biology, and molecular epidemiology to understand HIV-1 transmission and pathogenesis. Owing to his multidisciplinary scientific training and experience as a high school biology teacher in the US Peace Corps, Dr. Kwiek recognized the importance of interdisciplinary collaborations as a means to advance microbiology research and educational training. As such, his lab also investigates how host proteins contribute to viral replication, a research project that involves a collaborative team of virologists, pharmacologists, biochemists, and medicinal chemists. Through his research program, Dr. Kwiek has trained several early career scientists, including high school students, undergraduate students, doctoral and medical graduate students, and medical and postdoctoral fellows. A large percentage of his trainees included females and under-represented minorities.

As a teacher, Dr. Kwiek strives to use active learning as a means to integrate research and education. He states, “I have learned that topics and approaches embedded in meaningful contexts can improve learning and increase achievement.” He believes that students should be actively engaged in the production, dissemination, and application of knowledge. To apply these concepts, he uses service-learning in his classes. Instead of clinical observation and shadowing experiences, students work with community partners to develop short, achievable projects that complement the didactic classroom instruction and benefit both the host and the student participant. Since 2013, OSU students have been placed with local agencies in Ohio, including the Ohio Department of Health, Columbus Public Health, AIDS Resource Center, AIDS Education and Training Center, and The Family AIDS Clinic and Education Services at Nationwide Children's Hospital. Students have also traveled to Malawi, Africa, where they conducted service learning projects at both a rural hospital and at a secondary school. According to Dr. Kwiek, “The goal is to immerse the students in a multidisciplinary perspective of HIV and TB, and leave behind meaningful contributions to a community heavily burdened by infectious diseases.” Based on anonymous evaluations and exit interviews, students gained a real-world perspective on diseases with global importance, and learned how to collaborate with multidisciplinary teams focused on HIV and TB. Through participation in ASMCUE-LINK, Dr. Kwiek hopes to meet educators who use service-learning to teach microbiology and learn successful strategies to scale service-learning so that it can be offered to a larger number of undergraduates, including non-science majors.

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.