Invited Speaking Engagements (location, title, event):
Scientific educators are typified by their fervid passion for the content they deliver to students. I am no different. However, students–for the most part–only transiently retain content they are coerced into learning. One might argue that their short-lived retention of information is a consequence of ineffective learning practices, ineffective teaching practices, too much television, too many video games, text messaging, or simply the consequence of learning information not immediately relevant to the brain. Regardless of the reason, content does not stay with students. And, if we as educators focus only on content mastery, our students will be ill equipped to face the challenges of the world they inhabit.
My solution to this is an educational philosophy based on intellectual fitness training. This is not to say that content is irrelevant, for it provides the framework, the arena, the weights for cognitive training. The training programs instituted in my courses seek to develop the capacity for logical reasoning, creative problem solving, and self-guided discovery. Why? Because, such outcomes represent advanced cognitive processing. Processing that does not evaporate a week after the exam. It is for this reason that my teaching philosophy has been founded on building mental fortitude. In computer lingo, I believe that our role as educators is to build faster Pentium chips– not test the storage limits of the hard drive.
Dr. Mitchell’s current research interests span the fields of stem cell biology and cellular and molecular neuroscience. His lab currently pursues two research questions: 1) what role does cell excitability play in neural stem cell fate determination, and 2) do adult born neurons originating from the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the hippocampus contribute to learning and memory in mammals.
Students are invited to meet with Dr. Mitchell to learn more about these research aims and determine if or how they might contribute to the lab’s mission.
Previously Mentored Students:
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