Dr. Sederick C. Rice, assistant professor of biology and director of the Math and Science Pre-College STEM Center at UAPB has been selected to attend the AR: Course Embedded Research Experience (CURE)- Synthetic Biology Faculty Workshop at Quachita Baptist University. AR-CURE was funded through an NSF RII Track 1 EPSCoR Grant and will focus on training college and university faculty in techniques of BioBrick assembly, molecular biology, and bioinformatics (computer science), as well as model classroom implementation strategies and pedagogy. The overall goal of the workshop is to bring Genomics and Bioinformatic research into undergraduate curricula and provide logistical support to begin a synthetic biology course embedded research experience at their home institution.
A 1994 UAPB graduate, Dr. Rice also earned a Master’s Degree in Biology from Delaware State University in 1996, and a Ph.D. in Cell/Molecular Biology from the University of Vermont, College of Medicine in 2003. Following his doctoral studies, he worked for the National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) in Washington, D.C., as part of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and then became a K9-12 science teacher at Bowie High School in Bowie, Maryland from 2006-2010. He returned to Arkansas in 2010 to work at UAPB and is now a tenured assistant professor of biology that conducts research in student learning styles, 3-D spatial visualization training techniques, and 3-D printing and additive manufacturing. Dr. Rice was awarded a $176,000 grant from the Arkansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (Arkansas INBRE) for a project entitled Generating Enhanced Teaching through Science Education and Technology (GET-SET) to purchase a low-cost turn-key 3-D visualization system and 3-D printer. Since that time, Dr. Rice has collaborated with the UAPB Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Scholars Academy and the Arts and Science Center of Southeast Arkansas to develop programs in 3-D spatial visualization with applications in spatial orientation, data interpretation, abstract reasoning and spatial visualization. His work has led to increased interest in the development of innovative engineering designs and fabrication models, with applications in biotechnology and nanosciences by Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) faculty and professionals, graduate, undergraduate, and K-16 students.