SABER Executive Committee

Jenni Momsen, President

North Dakota State University, Email:

Trading the plants and pollen of local wetlands for the students and faculty of biology classrooms, Dr. Jenni Momsen joined the biology education research community just as SABER took seed. Her research on modeling and systems thinking, assessment, and more recently equity and inclusivity impacts her vision for SABER and the role of the executive committee. As our society continues to grow, we must work to expand the accessibility of our meetings, develop tools to support our members as they enter diverse career pathways, and expand the impact of our research beyond the biology classroom.

Stanley Lo, President-Elect

University of California San Diego, Email:

Dr. Stanley Lo is an Associate Teaching Professor (with tenure) in Cell and Developmental Biology and Affiliate Faculty in Mathematics and Science Education at the University of California San Diego. His research examines how faculty conceptions of teaching, learning, mentoring, and diversity informs the way they design courses and interact with students, ultimately leading to equitable outcomes. He teaches a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate courses, including an introductory course-based undergraduate experience (CURE) on soil microbiome, a capstone primary literature course in genetics using the CREATE method, a pedagogy course for first-time teaching and instructional assistants, and a STEM identity course for Ph.D. students in Mathematics and Science Education. Prior to moving to San Diego, Dr. Lo was a Research Associate in Learning Sciences at the Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching at Northwestern University. He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Harvard University and B.S. and M.S. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University. Between college and graduate school, he taught high school science at Phillips Exeter Academy, where he first developed his interests in education research. In addition to SABER, Dr. Lo has been involved with other professional organizations such as the Summer Institutes on Scientific Teaching, the Gordon Research Conference on Undergraduate Biology Education Research, and the National Association for Research in Science Teaching and journals such as CBE-Life Sciences Education and CourseSource. He hopes to build on our existing community to ensure equitable access and transparent pathways toward leadership. He would like to learn more from everyone about how to foster equity and inclusion at SABER, build collaborations between institution types, bridge education research and practice, and create interdisciplinary DBER connections.

Jenny Knight, Past President

University of Colorado - Boulder, Email:

Dr. Jenny Knight is an Associate Professor in the Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder (CU).  She has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Michigan, where she studied eye development, and postdoctoral training at CU, where she worked on the genetic control of early cell movements in development.  She has been teaching undergraduates at all levels for twenty years. She began at CU in a teaching-only (non tenure-track) faculty position and began transitioning into education research in 2003, motivated by a desire to learn more effective teaching practices and understand student thinking. It took a long time to get her department to understand DBER and its value!  In her work, she wants to connect research to practice; thus she worked on developing concept assessments, an attitudes assessment, and a survey for measuring Scientific Teaching before turning to studying the benefits of peer discussion, and now understanding how students engage in complex problem solving and scientific reasoning, particularly in genetics.  She has also been involved in the Summer Institute on Undergraduate Education in Biology since its inception, and was part of the founding of SABER itself.  She is excited to help lead this next phase of SABER’s development!  She’d like to hear from all of you about your needs and dreams for SABER’s future before doing too much, but some of her thoughts are to help foster connections with other disciplines and disciplinary societies, ensure avenues for collaborative relationships and a voice for all our members, and to increase the impact and reach of our work.   

Joe Dauer, Secretary

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Email:

Dr. Joe Dauer's research has long bridged the theoretical and applied realms, first in plant ecology and now in student learning. He conducts research on how students gain and re-organize knowledge during learning and how different pedagogical approaches impact knowledge organization. Specifically, he focuses on leveraging quantitative reasoning and simulations to increase undergraduate student learning of system dynamics. As secretary, he will advocate for improving access for attendees that have family considerations. He will also push for increased visibility of interdisciplinary research at our annual meeting to broaden our methodologies and theory-building approaches.

Kristine Callis-Duehl, Treasurer

Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Email:

Dr. Kristine L. Callis-Duehl received her PhD in Biology from the University of Florida in 2013, where she participated in Biology Education Research (BER) research on group discussions and in-service teacher professional development. During her joint postdocs at UC-Irvine and UC-Davis, part of her research involved online learning and learning games for K-5. As an assistant professor at East Carolina University (2015-2019), her research has focused on: online learning, scientific argumentation, and recruitment/retention of underserved populations of students. Kris became the Director of Education Research and Outreach at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, MO in the summer of 2019. As treasurer, she is looking forward to helping SABER and the community continue to emphasize, pursue and communicate cutting edge biology education research and possibly expand SABER’s scope into regional conferences beyond SABER-West.

Mary Pat Wenderoth, Historian

University of Washington, Email:

Mary Pat Wenderoth is a Teaching Professor in the Biology Department at the University of Washington, Seattle (UW) where she teaches animal physiology courses and conducts biology education research on how students learn biology. Her main research interests focus on assessing implementation of cognitive science principles in the classroom, particularly those associated with conceptual change, use of first principles in constructing conceptual frameworks in physiology and student metacognition. She also does research on academic achievement gaps in STEM and effectiveness of professional development efforts to close those gaps. She received the UW Distinguished Teaching Award in 2001and has served as the co-director of the UW Teaching Academy. She was recognized by the National Association of Biology Teachers as the Biology Education Researcher of 2017. She received the Claude Bernard Distinguished Lectureship of the American Physiology Society Teaching of Physiology Section in 2019. She is co-founder of the UW Biology Education Research Group (UW BERG) and the national Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research (SABER). She also served as President of SABER from 2010-2019.  She served as a facilitator at the HHMI Summer Institute for Undergraduate Biology Education from 2007 -2011. Dr. Wenderoth earned her B.S. in Biology from the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., a M.S. in Women’s Studies from George Washington University, a M.S. in Exercise Physiology from Purdue University and her Ph.D. in Physiology from Rush University in Chicago.  The Historian role has been created to facilitate communication, both between the executive committee and other SABER committees and with our membership more broadly.

The Executive Committee provides regular updates of their activities.  You can access those reports here.

Former Executive Committee Members

Mary Pat Wenderoth, Past President, 2019-2020, lead SABER visionary, organizer, and champion 2010-2019

SABER Governance

According to the Bylaws, SABER is led by an Executive Committee consisting of five Officers, including

  • President (1 year term, entered after serving as president-elect, except inaugural president)
    • Chief elected Officer of the Society. The president shall supervise and direct the conduct of the business of the Society. In consultation with the Executive Committee, the president shall provide direction and guidance for the formulation of Society policy. The president shall be responsible for ensuring that all affairs of the Society are conducted in a manner consistent with the Bylaws. The President shall call and preside at all regular, and Executive Committee meetings of the Society. The President has automatic succession to the office of Past President.
  • President-elect (1 year term, elected)
    • Works cooperatively with the President in the performance of their duties and assumes those duties if the President is absent or unable to act. The President-Elect has automatic succession to the presidency. The President-Elect is a voting member of the Executive Committee. The President-Elect will perform other duties as assigned by the President or Executive Committee.
  • Past President (1 year term, entered after serving as president)
    • Provides leadership continuity and helps assure strong future officer succession. The immediate Past President is a voting member of the Executive Committee and serves as the Chair of the Nominating Committee. The Past President shall perform other duties as assigned by the President or Executive Committee. The immediate Past President shall assume the duties of the President if both the President and the President-Elect are absent or unable to function. The Past President automatically assumes the title of President Emeritus at the end of their term.
  • Secretary (3 year term, except inaugural secretary who will serve 2 years, elected)
    • Responsible for notifying the membership of all regular and special meetings. The Secretary shall take and keep minutes of all regular, special, and Executive Committee meetings of the Society. The Secretary shall have responsibility for and participate in the maintenance of all corporate records and important Society documents. The Secretary may also oversee the collection, organization, and archiving of any historical materials of interest to the Society. The Secretary is a voting member of the Executive Committee and shall perform other duties as assigned by the President or Executive Committee.
  • Treasurer (3 year term, elected)
    • Chief fiscal officer of the Society. The Treasurer shall oversee the receipt of all moneys paid to the Society as well as the deposit of all such moneys in a bank in the name of the Society. The Treasurer shall oversee the payment of all Society expenditures, scholarships, and grants. The Treasurer shall keep, or oversee the management of, a complete set of financial records for the Society and present financial reports as required. The Treasurer shall prepare a summary of the previous year’s financial transactions prior to September 1 annually. At the end of their term of office, the Treasurer shall turn over all funds and financial records to their successor. The Treasurer is a voting member of the Executive Committee and shall perform other duties as assigned by the President.

The first Executive Committee took office in September 2019.

The Executive Committee will establish and manage the policies and affairs of the Society and shall endeavor to enact the mission of the society.

The Executive Committee is responsible for creating and dissolving committees to manage different aspects of SABER, as well as setting the priorities for these committees.

SABER is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
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