Foundation Award for Teaching

Kyoungtae Kim

College of Natural and Applied Sciences

I. Philosophy of Teaching

Human society has evolved through the maintenance and advancement of knowledge, which have been the real goals of education. Effective teaching and learning is, therefore, the best strategy of shaping the next generation of leaders with sound intelligence, forcing society to step onto the next stage.

Admittedly, science is intricately woven into our society and changes rapidly along with society. A few years ago, a momentous battle between man and artificial intelligence (AlphaGo) evoked the reality of a rapidly changing world. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic provokes the online world of teaching and learning, forcing every individual stake holder in the education field to master the necessary tools for online education more urgently than ever before. As an active science researcher and teacher, I believe educators must be responsible for staying current in a field through an effort of active lifetime learning such as being engaged in cutting-edge research, attending and presenting at a conference or workshop. I firmly believe that a motivated learner can become a better and more effective teacher.

Teachers must function as an effective, facilitating guider for student learning. I strive to guide my students’ intellectual journey by committing myself not only to pointing out particular principles and concepts of the subject matters and their relevant issues, but also to actively create an optimal education climate where students can engage themselves in active learning processes. As a facilitator, I am responsible for providing an organizational framework and a set of tools that students can use to assimilate the knowledge they obtain. These tools must be sufficiently diverse in order to accommodate the varying needs of different personalities and learning styles.

Yet, no teacher is perfect and there is always room for improvement. To be “a more effective teacher tomorrow”, I am not only listening carefully to feedback from students and fellow teachers, but also checking myself as often as possible, to discern whether I am on the right track for effective teaching or not.

II. Examples of Courses/Topics

Biological Concepts, Principles/Biological Science, Introduction to Cellular Biology, Advanced Topics in Biology, Special Topics in Biology, Cytoskeletal Dynamics, Cell Movement, Membrane Dynamics, Cell Organization, Recent Advances in Biology, Eisosome and Trafficking, Study of Cellular Dynamics, Protein Targeting, Cancer Cell Motility, Inner Cell Traffic and New Caner therapy.

III. Future Projects

My goals for the coming years are to further refine my teaching techniques to provide a stimulating learning environment for our students so that they could acquire not only solid life-science knowledge, but also lifelong active learning techniques. Specifically, I would like to 1) incorporate multi-media computer technology to enhance the student learning process; and 2) adopt, modify, and develop new teaching techniques like problem-based learning, collaborative learning, and cooperative learning, which would be effective for our diverse student population.

My experience has taught me that students challenge my own thinking and work. As a result, teaching will certainly become an integral part of my intellectual and professional growth. Therefore, I am going to continue to teach courses that I have taught at MSU. Further, there is currently an online course boot-camp that I am participating in for the development of online classes that will be offered during the fall semester.

I am also open to the opportunity to develop and teach new courses. I am primarily interested in teaching an Advanced Cell biology Course (Senior/Graduate level), which will include a lab component with emphasis on understanding Molecular/Cellular phenomena taking place in the cell.

IV. Topics related to teaching and of interest to the University Community, for which you are available for presentations and/or consultations (e.g., presentation tools, special topics, technology, public affairs).

  • The protein-protein interaction, cytoskeleton, cell cycle, and cellular trafficking.

  • Cancer dynamics

  • Nanomaterial cytotoxicity

  • Mentoring undergraduate and graduate research

  • Global online teaching