Jonathan MonroeJames Madison University The American Society of Plant Biologists
2001 Excellence in Teaching Award
is presented to Dr. Jonathan Monroe
in recognition of his
commitment at the local, regional, and national levels to engage students of all ages in the science of plant biology.An associate professor of biology at James Madison University since 1992, Dr. Monroe teaches a broad range of courses and makes a point of using plants as illustrative examples wherever possible.He
is particularly innovative in the teaching laboratory.The labs he
designs are highly investigative and driven by student inquiry.For example, over the course of a semester his
students isolate interesting Arabidopsis mutants and characterize them, learning appropriate techniques as they need them.Dr. Monroe
gently guides them in their investigations, leaving them with a strong sense of ownership of their work.He
and co-PIs have secured a series of National Science Foundation grants to keep science education at JMU
at the cutting edge.He
also runs a productive, federally funded research laboratory where he
colleagues research the role of apoplastic a-glucosidases in Arabidopsis.More than 20 students have participated in the research in Dr. Monroe's lab, and many of them have gone on to research careers.His
JMU colleagues note that "he
fosters a culture of excellence and the expectation that to do less is to not be sufficiently engaged.He
takes risks in [his teaching]-risks that are rewarded in kind with student insight, comprehension, growth, and motivation."
, Dr. Monroe
is a leader in education both regionally and nationally.He has served as a volunteer laboratory instructor at local high schools, ran educational exercises in plant biology for elementary schools, and served as an instructor for the Virginia Native Plants Society.He has been a councilor at the Council on Undergraduate Research since 1996 and is currently on the CUR Executive Committee and chair of the Biology Division.He
also initiated a CUR Prize for Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research.At BIOSCI Dr. Monroe founded and is co-discussion leader of the "Plant-ed" newsgroup, the highly regarded, worldwide resource for exchanging information and ideas for teaching plant biology.At ASPB Dr. Monroe has been very active in the Washington Area Section.He has also been a co-chair of the Primarily Undergraduate Institution Working Group and was a co-developer of the ASPB Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program.
It is fair to say that Dr. Monroe's work has been fundamental to building a broad community of educators in plant biology, from the introductory classroom to the research laboratory.
We are pleased to recognize Dr. Jonathan Monroe's outstanding contributions to plant biology with the 2001 Excellence in Teaching Award
When asked his
reaction to being selected, Monroe
said, "I was thrilled and honored to hear that I was selected to receive this award.