2019 University System of Maryland Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching

Sarah Leupen, Senior Lecturer, Biological Sciences

Since joining UMBC in 2010, Sarah Leupen has spearheaded a series of high-impact curricular innovations and course redesigns that have transformed undergraduate science education.

The quality of Leupen’s instructional activities and teaching knowledge are unsurpassed on this campus. Upon her arrival at UMBC, she created a Biology Teaching Circle which gathered faculty to explore and implement evidence-based pedagogical approaches. She has since become a certified trainer-consultant and campus leader in the use of Team- Based Learning, an evidence-based active learning technique that holds students accountable for class preparation while simultaneously deepening their learning through group activities to master key scientific concepts. Her success with this approach led to its integration into innovative teaching spaces across campus.

In addition, she regularly provides campus-wide workshops on a range of active learning techniques through UMBC’s Faculty Development Center. She also guides the Center in the development of faculty learning communities across the campus and has offered several that push beyond Team-Based Learning and into areas of contemplative and deep learning techniques.

Her leadership and innovation in the classroom extends well beyond her discipline. She has given more than 40 invited talks on innovative teaching techniques regionally, nationally, and internationally. She is a recent recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Improving Undergraduate STEM Education Award, and most notably, received a 2016 – 17 Fulbright Award for Evidence-Based Pedagogical Innovation in Health Sciences Education. She spent her Fulbright year at Charles University in the Czech Republic, where she taught medical faculty how to implement active learning techniques and modern course design strategies in the medical school curriculum.

Leupen received her B.A. from Oberlin College and her Ph.D. from Northwestern University.