Valerie Haywood is a senior instructor of biology at Case Western Reserve University. She received her B.S. degree in plant biology from Ohio State University (1998). She went on to graduate school at the University of California, Davis, where she received a Ph.D. in plant biology (2003). Her graduate work focused on elucidating the mechanisms involved in phloem-mediated translocation of mRNA molecules in angiosperms. To broaden her biology education, Dr. Haywood went on to do postdoctoral work in the Department of Biological Sciences at Stanford University where she studied mechanisms involved in sexual differentiation in Drosophila.
In 2005, Dr. Haywood joined the faculty in the Department of Biology at Case Western Reserve University. While Dr. Haywood’s broad interest in plant biology remains, her main focus is undergraduate biology education, particularly assessment of student performance and retention rates in large introductory biology courses. Dr. Haywood has been invited to present her educational research at several national conferences, including the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) Professional Development Conference, the American Association of Plant Biologists (ASPB) Midwest Section Annual Conference, and the inaugural Gordon Research Conference on Undergraduate Biology Education Research. Dr. Haywood’s commitment to undergraduate education was recognized by the National Academies of Science, who named Dr. Haywood an “Education Fellow in Life Sciences” in 2007-2008 after her completion of the National Academies Summer Institute. Dr. Haywood currently serves on the Board of Directors for OH-PKAL, the Ohio regional network for Project Kaleidoscope. Dr. Haywood also serves on the Education Committee for the American Society of Plant Biology and is the Publications Manager for the Midwest section of the ASPB.
Millis Science Center, Room 506C