Department of Biology, Swarthmore College
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professional activities


To stay abreast of current research findings and to contribute to research in the area of bacterial stress response, I spend time engaging in many professional activities:

•Accepting invitations to speak at colleges and universities to talk about my research (at some of these campuses, I have also met with students and postdoctoral fellows to talk about career options in microbiology)

• Recently, I have also made presentations on teaching

• I have compiled a list of resources for those who teach and do research with undergraduates - with help from Lisa Elfring at the University of Arizona (pdf here).

I had the privilege to be the editor-in-chief (chair of the editorial committee) for the first 3 years and as co-editor-in-chief for the 4th year of a new journal supported by the American Society for Microbiology, Microbiology Education. I also serve as an ad hoc reviewer for journals such as: Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Journal of Biochemistry, Food Microbiology

I have served the National Science Foundation as a panelist as well as an ad hoc reviewer in Microbial Genetics. I have also served as a member and as chair of the panel that reviews applications for Predoctoral Fellowships in Biochemistry, Biophysics and either Molecular or Structural Biology

The American Society for Microbiology is the oldest professional society in the biological sciences: I am currently serving a 3-year term as Chair of the Student Membership Committee.  This committee focuses on supporting undergraduate, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.  Student Chapters, sponsored by ASM branches are a great way to keep students involved with the ASM at the local level.  Our committee provides support and assistance to Student Chapters.  I also participate as a presenter in the Kadner Summer Institute for Career Preparation (for graduate students and postdocs)


• With support from the ASM’s Eastern PA branch, the HHMI and the Mellon Foundation, I have organized a group of regional microbiology educators.  We meet 3 times each year:  a teaching workshop, a summer research symposium and a research dinner

• Foundations are important professional organizations. I was very honored to be chosen as president of the Waksman Foundation for Microbiology.
Recently I also was an adviser to the Beckman Foundation in its awarding of grants to 13 institutions to support undergraduate research

I have learned a great deal reviewing programs at a number of institutions, including: re-accreditation of University of California at Santa Cruz, re-accreditation of Westmont College (CA), the biology department at Georgian Court College (NJ), the HHMI program at Haverford College (PA), the biology department at Dickinson College (PA), Brigham Young University (UT), Ursinus College (PA)

• In addition to grant proposals, I spend time writing papers for publication

Chapters that editors invite me to contribute in the area of research:

Vollmer, A.C. 1998. Visualization of Bioluminescence. In Methods in Molecular Biology: Bioluminescence Methods and Protocols. (LaRossa, R. A., ed.). Humana Press, Totowa, NJ.

Vollmer, A.C. 1998. Genotoxic Sensors. In Methods in Molecular Biology: Bioluminescence Methods and Protocols. (LaRossa, R. A., ed.). Humana Press, Totowa, NJ.

• As well as in the area of teaching

• And presenting posters at meetings

•Students from my lab also present posters at meetings (the ones presented at ASM meetings are reviewed for acceptance by the ASM Division chair):

•I have also helped to organize professional meetings: The First Tri-College Symposium on Research in the Life Sciences in 1993, the annual Myxobacterial conference in 1994, and the 2000 Gordon Research Conference on Microbial Stress Response. These have been a lot of work, but fun, because I get to meet and know colleagues all over the world!


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