Here's The Background On 2 Baylor School Science Researchers Who Crafted Virus Testing Plan

Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Elizabeth Forrester
Elizabeth Forrester

Here is the background on two Baylor School science researchers and faculty members who have set up an innovative lab to test for coronavirus on the school campus:

Dr. Elizabeth Forrester has a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Cancer Biology from Vanderbilt University. She came from McCallie School where she taught AP Biology and she also served as adjunct professor in the UTC chemistry department.

Dr. Forrester recently established the Partnership in Research and Laboratory Learning (PReLL) with the UTC chemistry department, which exposes a select group of highly motivated high school students to the rigors of undergraduate level research. She has also partnered with UMASS-Boston to develop a small personalized online course for Introductory/AP Biology using the Edge.EdX platform.

As a researcher, she has ongoing projects in biochemistry and cancer biology at both UTC and the University of the South: Sewanee.

Her son, Jack, is a member of the Baylor Class of 2023.She was appointed in 2016.

Although Dawn Richards was often bored in her high school science classes, she chose to major in environmental science and resource management at Lehigh University.Dawn intended to study law, but she was drawn to research, to the chance to find answers to the “I wonder why” and “What would happen if…” questions that she often pondered.

“I may have been bored by science in high school, but I knew there was more out there,” she says. “Scientific research fulfills curiosity; you get to answer questions about the world around you.”

Dawn continued to ask and answer questions, earning an M.S. in oceanography in 1997 and a Ph.D. in the same discipline in 2003, both from the University of Delaware’s College of Marine Studies.

Dawn did not plan to teach, but, after she married a scientist, Dawn realized that she and her husband could not both put in the time it takes to secure funding and conduct research and still raise a family. Dawn decided to give high school science another chance, but only at a school like Baylor, where she has the freedom to find the most effective ways to reach students.

“I am so aware of making it interesting to my kids now. I try to apply it to the real world, to teach it in a way that makes them realize that it makes sense and to show them that science is literally what’s happening around them.”

Dawn most enjoys watching students make connections. “I love when they get it, when in April, they realize that something we learned on the first day of class fits in with something we did in December, and now it all comes together to make a complete picture.”

She was appointed in 2004.

Dawn Richards
Dawn Richards

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