Pacific Receives NIH Grant To Further Post-Doctoral Teaching

FOREST GROVE, Ore. — Pacific University has received a five-year sub-award from the National Institutes for Health (NIH) to assist post-doctoral scholars in gaining critical experience teaching at the undergraduate level.

The $396,000 sub-award is part of an Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award received by Oregon Health & Science University. Pacific will serve as the teaching intensive partner for the grant, which will provide collaborative opportunities across the university’s College of Arts & Sciences and professional schools.

The sub-award provides for a group of OHSU post-doctoral scholars to develop their undergraduate teaching skills at Pacific University. Over the course of the project, three post-doctoral scholars per academic year will be paired with a Pacific teaching mentor, who will guide the scholars in the development of their teaching skills. The partnership provides an important structural component to increase the diversity of the pipeline of future faculty members.

The presence of the post-doctoral scholars will also provide Pacific students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) tracks the opportunity to learn about scientific careers and offers the potential to apply for summer research experiences at OHSU with the post-doctoral scholars.

Andy Saultz, interim dean of Pacific’s College of Education, and Talina Corvus, interim director of the PhD program in education and leadership, will oversee the program for the university.

"I am thrilled about this collaboration with OHSU to build a pipeline of high-quality, well-trained, diverse post-doctoral students in the fields of science, engineering, engineering and mathematics,” Saultz said. “Investing in scholars from historically underrepresented identities in higher education is an important step in creating an inclusive campus.”

The purpose of the grant program is to develop a diverse group of highly-trained scientists to address the nation’s biomedical research needs, combining a traditional mentored post-doctoral research experience with the opportunity to develop teaching skills.

Among the teaching mentors taking part in the sub-award project are Amber Buhler, associate professor of pharmacy, College of Pharmacy; Stacey Halpern, professor of biology, College of Arts & Sciences; Kerry Mandulak, professor of communication sciences & disorders, College of Health Professions; Jeannine Chan, associate professor of chemistry, College of Arts & Sciences; and Stephanie Stokamer, director of the Pacific Center for Civic Engagement.

The university has a long history of shared collaboration with OHSU on shared projects, including a recent sub-award between the School of Dental Hygiene Studies and OHSU’s School of Community Dentistry on a community-based dental partnership as well as a collaboration with Pacific’s Oregon Healthcare Workforce Institute for the Health Services & Resources Foundation-funded Area Health Education Center.

Pacific University is the only comprehensive university in Washington County, Oregon, serving more than 3,600 undergraduate, graduate and professional students in the arts and sciences, business, education, health professions and optometry.

Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023