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MARC Undergraduate Student Training for Academic Research

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Jacqueline Tanaka, PhD, Program Director

Dr. Jacqueline Tanaka is an Associate Professor of Biology at Temple University and Director of the TU MARC U*STAR (T34) program. Previously, she directed an NSF Bridge to the Doctorate to increase the number of minority students entering graduate programs in the sciences. She is interested in science teaching and collaborates with the Education Department on NSF-funded projects to examine 1) science, technology, and math retention at the undergraduate level focusing on women and minority students and 2) diagrammatic reasoning in biology, an effort to prepare students for success in the biology major. Previously in the Biophysical Society, she was the Chair of the Committee for Professional Careers for Women in biophysics, the Minority Affairs Committee, and the Professional Development Committee. Dr. Tanakas research is focused on understanding the relationship of ion channel function to the structure and the pathophysiology involved in channelopathies or inherited diseases caused by mutations.

Elisabeth Russell-McKenzie, PhD, Program Administrator/Coordinator

Dr. Elisabeth Russell-McKenzie is the TU MARC U*STAR Program Administrator/Coordinator. Dr. Liz (as she is called by her students) comes to this program with a vast wealth of experience in higher education administration, science education and program planning and evaluation. A Biology high school teacher for 9 years, Dr Russell-McKenzie moved on to science education administration and curriculum planning at the secondary and tertiary level and then examination administration. An educational psychologist by profession, Dr. Russell-McKenzie also serves as program evaluator on several federally funded projects related to the performance and persistence of underrepresented students in teacher education, and undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral science programs, Her current research interests include under-representation of minorities and women in science, particularly in graduate and postdoctoral programs and at senior faculty levels; with an emphasis on the role of mentoring; and motivational and identity factors; also the impact of educational science policy on the underrepresented student populations.