Cissy J. Ballen
Assistant Professor - Auburn University
I am an discipline-based education researcher who studies biology education. My interests in this field are broad, but largely center on identifying scalable strategies in higher education that improve learning for all, and reducing attrition of historically underrepresented groups in STEM fields. Prior to starting at Auburn, I completed postdoctoral research positions at Cornell University and University of Minnesota, studying the effects of high stakes assessment, support programs, teaching methods, and classroom culture on student performance and persistence in undergraduate biology. I completed my doctoral degree in evolutionary biology at the University of Sydney, Australia.
These are my research interests:
My research centers on strategies to reduce attrition of historically underrepresented groups in STEM fields. I became interested in this topic as an undergraduate teaching assistant in zoology at the University of Minnesota. Sehoya Cotner and I co-wrote a paper published in the Journal of Science Teaching that demonstrated female students largely benefit, disproportionately from men, by having a female role model teaching their Biology class. While the research has broad applications, the results also rang true on a personal level. At the University of Minnesota I will continue my work on institutional biases and solution-oriented strategies to promote diversity in the sciences.