UNT’s Spring 2022 SMART Talk to Feature Dr. Ruthanne Thompson | College of Science
March 29, 2022

UNT’s Spring 2022 SMART Talk to Feature Dr. Ruthanne Thompson

The College of Science is proud to announce the newest installment of the University of North Texas' SMART Talk series, which will feature Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, Dr. Ruthanne Thompson. On April 25, 2022 at 4pm in the UNT Union Lyceum, Dr. Thompson will be presenting an engaging lecture entitled, "Without Change, Nothing Changes: The role of science education research in effecting calculated change."


The goals of Discipline-Based Education Research are to understand how people learn the concepts, practices, and ways of thinking of science and engineering; understand the nature and development of expertise in a discipline; help identify and measure appropriate learning objectives and instructional approaches that advance students toward those objectives; contribute to the knowledge base in a way that can guide the translation of DBER findings to classroom practice; and identify approaches to make science and engineering education broad and inclusive. To address these goals, DBER scholars conduct a wide range of studies that include basic and applied research. Both types of research are valuable and important.


Dr. Ruthanne (Rudi) Thompson, is a Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of North Texas. Dr. Thompson fills a Science Educator faculty line, the first of its kind in the Biology department. In the original advertisement that prompted Dr. Thompson's application to UNT, it was stated that "This individual will be expected to develop an extramurally funded research program that impacts the department's undergraduate and graduate programs and K-12 regional science students and teachers." Since being hired in 2006, she has been PI or Co-PI on over $15.6 million in funding to support her research interests, $6.1 million of which as the Principle Investigator. When she is PI she is focused on her own science education questions, deeply based in discipline-based teaching and learning in science. Her research has been continually supported by the City of Dallas, National Science Foundation, Department of Education, and the National Math and Science Institute, to name a few. She is the recipient of a COS Excellence in Service award, the University Distinguished Teaching Professorship, Outstanding Department award, Texas Environmental Excellence award, the President's Council Teaching award, and the UNT Community Engagement award. In 2015 she became the College of Science Co-Director for Teach North Texas, and she has recently entered the world of Higher Education Administration and serves as the Assistant Vice President of Digital Strategy and Innovation and Executive Director of DSI CLEAR. Aside from her intense interest in discipline-based science education research, she is equally passionate about advancing underrepresented groups in the sciences, enjoys relaxing poolside, playing with her dog Bella Rose, and spending time with her new grandson, family and friends.


The SMART Talk series was created when the College of Science became an independent UNT college in 2017. Its purpose is to highlight the outstanding scholarly work of COS faculty and the Tier One research happening at UNT, while bringing the community together to discuss scientific breakthroughs and learn about the building blocks of the world around us. S.M.A.R.T. stands for "Science & Mathematics Advancing Research & Technology." All College of Science faculty, staff, alumni, and students, are encouraged to attend these free community events.