Kalamazoo College’s highest teaching honor is the Florence J. Lucasse Lectureship, awarded to a K faculty member in recognition of outstanding classroom teaching. The 2015-16 Lucasse Lectureship recipient is Professor of Chemistry Regina Stevens-Truss. And for this honor, she gets to deliver a lecture! Hear this outstanding teacher talk about her love of teaching – and celebrate her award – Thursday May 19, 4:00-5:30 p.m., in the Olmsted Room of Mandelle Hall.
“I love what I do every day, and I wake up every day looking forward to it,” says Professor Stevens-Truss. “I get to learn with young people and share my love of learning with them. For now, life doesn’t get better than this.”
Professor Stevens-Truss is a medicinal biochemist who has taught at K since 2000. She previously taught at the College of Pharmacy, University of Michigan. Her teaching responsibilities at K include Antibiotics: Global Health and Social Justice, Introductory Chemistry II, Biochemistry, and Principles of Medicinal Chemistry. Her research focuses on understanding the enzyme nitric oxide synthase and its involvement in Alzheimers’ disease, research she enjoys carrying out with her students.
She has also been involved in numerous outreach programs that have taken her and her students into the Greater Kalamazoo community and bringing the community to the K campus. These have included Art & Science of Medicine, a summer workshop for high school students intending to pursue a career in medicine, and Sisters in Science, a K student group supporting young girls who demonstrate an aptitude for math and science.
She currently helps lead the Science and Social Justice Project, an initiative of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership (ACSJL) at Kalamazoo College and the Division of Medical Sciences at Harvard Medical School. The Project aims to study and promote the value of social justice in scientific education and research, and to identify, connect, and coordinate scholars doing science and social justice teaching and research.
Professor Stevens-Truss recently helped coordinate a three-day “Science and Social Justice Think Tank” (http://reason.kzoo.edu/csjl/sciencesj/scienceandsocialjusticethinktank) at the ACSJL attended by professors, scholars, scientists, public health and environmental leaders from across the country working at the intersection of science and social justice, as well as stakeholders in academic institutions and scientific organizations who can speak to diversity in the STEM fields and to the changing landscape of science and society.
Professor Stevens-Truss earned a B.A. degree at Rutgers University and a Ph.D. degree at University of Toledo. She is a married mother of two children who enjoys photography, bowling, watching sports (“especially those involving my kids”), and watching CSI.
The Florence J. Lucasse Lectureship (for outstanding classroom teaching) and Fellowship (for outstanding achievement in creative work, research or publication) at Kalamazoo College were established in 1979. The awards were created to honor Florence J. Lucasse, alumna of Kalamazoo College Class of 1910, in recognition of her long and distinguished career and in response to the major unrestricted endowment gift given to the college in her will.