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Kathy Winnett-Murray of Biology Faculty
Receives State Teaching Honor

Posted February 3, 1998

          HOLLAND -- Dr. Kathy Winnett-Murray, associate
  professor of biology at Hope College, has been named the
  "Michigan College Science Teacher of the Year" by the
  Michigan Science Teachers Association (MSTA).
          She will receive her award on Friday, Feb. 20,
  during the MSTA's 45th annual Conference Banquet in Detroit.
          The MSTA is a state unit of the National Science
  Teachers Association (NSTA), which seeks to improve and make
  relevant science instruction at all educational
  institutions.
          Winnett-Murray was nominated for the award by Hope
  colleague Dr. Christopher Barney, who is a professor of
  biology and chair of the department.  He complimented her
  for her commitment to improving science education at not
  only Hope, but elsewhere as well.
          "Kathy is an outstanding teacher at the college
  level.  However, she is not content just to have a positive
  impact on her students at Hope," he said.  "Her interest in
  science education has led her to reach out to other college
  teachers, to elementary teachers and to parents in general."
          Winnett-Murray, in turn, praised the college for
  valuing her commitment to exploring ways to enhance science
  education.  At many institutions, she said, emphasis is
  placed on the ability to obtain research grants and generate
  scholarly publications, to the exclusion of other interests.
  While she has stayed active in research, she's also had the
  chance to do more.
          "It's no coincidence I've been able to do that,
  because the other areas--working with elementary teachers
  and curriculum development--are valued here," she said.  "I
  know that there are other institutions where your colleagues
  wouldn't value these things highly enough to nominate you in
  the first place."
          Winnett-Murray has been a member of the Hope
  faculty since 1986.  Her courses in recent years have
  included "Vertebrate Zoology," "Animal Behavior,"
  "Principles of Ecology," "Schoolyard Ecology" and
  "Principles of Biology Laboratory."  She was also co-
  coordinator of the college's introductory biology
  laboratories from 1995 to 1997.
          She and her husband, Dr. K. Gregory Murray, who is
  also an associate professor of biology at Hope, are
  specialists in tropical ecology.  They involve Hope students
  in their research both on-campus and in Costa Rica, where
  they have conducted research since the early 1980s, living
  and working at the Monteverde Cloud Forest during the
  summers.
          Along with Gail Van Genderen, at the time a
  teacher in West Ottawa, she established a local edition of
  "SYEFEST:  Schoolyard Ecology for Elementary School
  Teachers," part of a nationwide project funded by the
  National Science Foundation designed to help elementary
  teachers view their school yards as teaching laboratories.
  The program included summer institutes, co-led by Winnett-
  Murray and Van Genderen, for local teachers in the summers
  of 1994 and 1996.
          Although the NSF program has since ended, Winnett-
  Murray continues to work with many of the participants as
  they continue to integrate its concepts into their lesson
  planning.  She and Van Genderen have also made presentations
  about the project at professional meetings at the local,
  state and national level.
          Beyond her work with SYEFEST, Winnett-Murray has
  made numerous science-related presentations, which she terms
  "guest experiments," at area schools.  Each year, she also
  supervises a local high school student intern who works with
  her on her research.
          In addition to the MSTA and NSTA, she is a member
  of several professional organizations, including the
  American Ornithologists' Union, the Sigma Xi scientific
  research society and the Organization for Tropical Studies.
  She chaired the Education Section of the Ecological Society
  of America from 1994 to 1996.
          Winnett-Murray has been a contributing writer and
  editor for "Dragonfly," a children's magazine devoted to
  scientific inquiry, since its inception in 1996.  She has
  reviewed articles for scientific journals such as "Condor,"
  "Auk," "Ecology," "Biotropica" and "Conservation Biology."
          She holds a bachelor's degree from the University
  of California at Irvine, a master's from California State
  University at Northridge and a doctorate from the University
  of Florida at Gainesville.
  -30-
  


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