Robin Wright currently serves as director of the Division for Undergraduate Education. She is at NSF on a temporary assignment from the University of Minnesota’s Department of Biology Teaching and Learning, for which she was the founding head. She previously served as Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs in the College of Biological Sciences and as professor of Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development.
Prior to focusing exclusively on undergraduate education research and development, her lab used genetic, cell biological, ecological, and evolutionary approaches to explore cold adaptation, using baker’s yeast as a model organism. Her laboratory was known as a great place for undergraduates to pursue research and she has mentored nearly 100 undergraduate researchers over the past 27 years. At Minnesota, she helped to develop and co-teaches the Nature of Life orientation program and has been a leader in development of Foundations of Biology, an innovative, team-based introductory biology course for biological sciences majors. She has led HHMI- and NSF-supported initiatives to deliver discovery-based research experience to the thousands of majors and non-majors who take biology classes in the College of Biological Sciences each year.
Dr. Wright served on the Education Committee of the American Society for Cell Biology and as chair of the Education Committee for the Genetics Society of America.She was a senior editor of Life Science Education, and is the founding Editor-in-Chief of a new biology curriculum journal called CourseSource.She was a member of the Executive Committee for the HHMI/National Academies of Science-sponsored Summer Institute on Biology Education and the National Academies Scientific Teaching Alliance.During this work, she was named as a National Academies Biology Education Mentor for fourteen consecutive years.She was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was received the Elizabeth Jones Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education from the Genetics Society of America