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Spring 2016 Recipients

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Spring 2016 Recipients:

Adam Fenton (BMB401)

Tejas Kollu (BMB401)

Jacob Thomas (BMB401)


Summary of Tejas Kollu's Leadership Project

Being an LA for Dr. Boal has been a really fun and rewarding experience at Penn State University. Having taken the class with her in Spring 2016 and now working for her as an LA, I feel that my BMB 401 experience has come full circle. I am aware of common pitfalls that students face in the course and have been able to proactively handle those concerns both in the classroom and during office hours. From my vantage point as a former student and now as a guide, helping students transcend obstacles to arrive at their “Eureka!” moment is really awesome.


Dr. Boal and I exchanged ideas during the fall about making her spring semester course more exciting and engaging for students. We architected the idea of incorporating an extra credit component to the course that would involve protein-visualizing programs like Coot and Clustal to help students link the material being taught in class with current research and clinical applications. As part of my senior project, I was involved in helping students troubleshoot programs, navigate through the various project instructions, and realize important concepts during these workshops. Rather than passively reading a topic or staring at an image, students have the unique opportunity to engineer proteins and tangibly use 3-D visualizing software and sequence alignment technology to gain a clearer understanding of how structure and function relate to one another. Working with Dr. Boal has been incredibly beneficial and has inspired me to pursue other academic teaching opportunities in the future.