Skip to main content

Welcome, the Hub connects all projects

Member Profile

Kathleen Marrs



  • Higher Ed: Science 



Illinois Wesleyan University: Biology B.S. 1984
University of Illinois at Chicago: Biological Sciences Ph.D. 1990
Sandoz Agro Biotechnology - Maize Genetics Postdoctoral Fellow 1991-1993
Stanford University, Palo Alto CA: Maize Genetics Postdoctoral Fellow 1993-1995


2009 - Present Director of the Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship program at IUPUI
2009 - Present Director of UCASE, the Urban Center for the Advancement of STEM Education
2004 - Present Associate Professor of Biology, Department of Biology, IUPUI
1998 - 2004 Assistant Professor of Biology, Department of Biology, IUPUI 


I became a faculty member in the Department of Biology at IUPUI in 1998. The department was specifically looking for a bench scientist to initiate a research program in Science Education. Although this was not in my area of research (which had been in molecular genetics), I had always greatly enjoyed teaching undergraduates, and welcomed the opportunity to start a research program in what was an emerging field that would allow me to take a scholarly approach to the classroom setting.

My research is now in the area Biology Education, and serves to advance the Department of Biology and School of Science commitments to excellence in teaching and learning. My research goals are to develop ways to reinforce the content students are exposed to in lecture, to help students develop the intellectual skills needed to understand science and the scientific process, and to continually establish connections concerning the relationship of biology and science to society. I teach Biology K101, the first course for Biology Majors in the School of Science using a method for teaching and learning developed at IUPUI called Just In Time Teaching, or JiTT. I am currently the Director of UCASE: The Urban Center for the Advancement of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education.

I currently have a number of funded programs to help increase the number of STEM teachers in Indiana who teach in high-need school districts, grades 6-12, and also have a campus-wide GK-12 program for graduate students to advance scientific knowledge through partnerships with K-12 schools. My active projects and grants include:
(1) The GK-12 Urban Educators Program at IUPUI (2008-2012)
(2) Advance Urban Learning: Teach Science (2007-2011)
(3) The Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship (2008-2010)
(4) Urban Educators: Robert Noyce Scholarship for Mathematics and Science Teachers (2005-2009) 


1.Allen JR, Buckingham JE, Roper RJ, Marrs KA (2010) How Middle School Students Come Face to Face with Down Syndrome Research. Science Scope, in press, January 2010

2.Marrs KA (2009, in press) Just-in-Time Teaching in the Biological Sciences; Simkins, S.P. & Maier, M.H. (Eds.). Just-in-Time Teaching Across the Disciplines. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing LLC

3.Marrs KA and Chism GR III (2005) Just-in-Time Teaching for Food Science: Creating an Active Learner Classroom Using the Internet. Journal of Food Science Education, 4:1-8

4.Marrs KA (2004) How do you know what your students know? Determining Student Prior Knowledge Using Web-based Warm Up Exercises. in: "Quick Hits For New Faculty: Teaching Strategies Aimed At First-Time Faculty", Indiana University Press, Bloomington IN

5.Marrs KA, Blake RE and Gavrin AD (2003) Use of Internet Based Warm Up Exercises to Determine Students' Prior Knowledge and Misconceptions in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. Journal of College Science Teaching, 33(1):42-47, September/October 2003