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Newsmaker: Nancy Trun

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Dr. Nancy Trun,, a faculty member at Duquesne University, recently was honored for her outstanding work with the President’s Distinguished Awards. Excellence in Teaching: Dr. Trun, associate professor in the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences and designated National Academies Teaching Fellow from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has distinguished herself in her teaching expertise and commitment. Dr. Trun has taught a diversity of courses, ranging from freshman lecture classes to small elective courses to specialized graduate courses.An innovator in her introduction and development of Application-Based Service Learning, students in her Microbiology SuperLab course focus on characterization of bacterial parasites in feral cats.Last year, a national test showed the impact of Trun’s teaching methods. Her students were administered the Critical Thinking Assessment Test, which measures critical thinking skills at the beginning and the end of a course. On average nationwide, a 5-point gain was measured between freshman and senior years. Trun’s students showed a 7-point gain in only one semester, showing how much her teaching influences her students.

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
 

Noteworthy: Received the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching from Duquesne University.

Residence: Highland Park

Age: 54

Family: Parents, Margaret and Francis Trun

Occupation: Associate professor in biological sciences at the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences at Duquesne

Education: Doctorate in molecular biology from Princeton University in 1988; Bachelor of Science from Ohio State University in 1982

Background: National Academies Teaching Fellow at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chevy Chase, Md.; treasurer of the American Society of Microbiology, Allegheny branch; treasurer of the Faculty Senate of Duquesne; vice president of the Homeless Cat Management Team, Tarentum

Quote: "I get to teach Ph.D. candidates in the laboratory, as well as teach undergraduates. So it's a great mix because I can do some research and do some teaching."

- Thomas Olson

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