Biology professor receives Excellence in Teaching Award

Posted on April 21, 2016

Naoma Nelsen-at SCICU with Brad

From left, SCICU Board Chair-Elect Russell Cook, Dr. Naoma Nelsen, Dr. Brad Christie

Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Naoma Nelsen was one of 20 professors from member colleges honored at the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU) 11th Annual Excellence in Teaching Awards Dinner April 12.

Each year, a member of the faculty from each SCICU institution is nominated for the teaching award according to rigorous SCICU guidelines. Recipients are honored at the annual dinner and awarded a $3,000 professional development grant.

Nelsen joined the Erskine College faculty in 2008. She holds a Ph.D. in genetics from Clemson University, a master’s degree in microbial genetics from Texas A&M University, and a bachelor’s degree from Southwest Missouri State University.

Some of her recent research projects have focused on bacterial growth in the human urinary tract, on mouthpieces of musical instruments, and on pet bedding. She has also studied aerobic bacteria found in the mouths of non-venomous snakes. At Erskine, where faculty-student research collaboration is emphasized, Nelsen supervises undergraduate research in related areas, some of it supported by SCICU grants.

Nelsen’s biography on the SCICU website, submitted by Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Brad Christie, describes her as “a committed and passionate teacher, impeccably organized and engaging in the classroom and laboratory.”

Christie also notes that Nelsen’s students praise her for “her deep knowledge of biology and her passion for it,” and appreciate “her accessibility outside of class and labs, her eagerness to help students achieve—at Erskine and beyond—to the best of their abilities.”