Kenan Fellows Crack the Shell of Salmonella Research

Nine Kenan Fellows spent the summer exploring salmonella research and learning about developments in food-borne illness prevention. They joined top researchers at NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill to incubate new ways of teaching the importance of food safety.

As direct participants in the research, the nine K-12 teachers partnered with either Dr. Hosni Hassan, NC State; Dr. Matt Koci, NC State; or Dr. Andrea Azcarte-Peril, UNC-Chapel Hill translating laboratory research on Salmonella into a more “digestible” form. Their efforts will help provide other teachers, students and informal educational audiences an increased understanding of food-borne illnesses and the necessary precautions that must be taken to prevent their outbreak.

The Fellows are: Whit Baker, Lauren Boop, Shannon Page, Cassandra Palmer, Victoria Raymond, Bradley Rhew, Kalyani Tawade, and Kristin Bedell.

2013-14 Fellow Kristin Bedell, a teacher at Efland-Cheeks Elementary School in Orange County, shares her Fellowship experience below.

How has this experience affected your teaching career?
Bedell: I have been able to connect with other teachers and professionals from whom I can learn and who can help inspire my students.

What has been the most eye-opening experience during your time at UNC-Chapel Hill?
Bedell: The most eye-opening experience has been how little I knew about genetics.

What new careers have you learned about that you want to share with your students?
Bedell: I am working on a video that profiles Belen Cadenas, the lab manager. I have finished the rough cut of the video and am working on the soundtrack, which includes both English and Spanish interviews with her.

How will you incorporate this experience into your classroom?
Bedell: I will be even more attuned to the background knowledge my students need. I am also trying to coordinate a lab visit for the Hispanic mothers at our school to talk about ways to support their daughters in science.

When your students ask, what you did this summer, how will you sum up your experience?
Bedell: I will tell them I learned about DNA and worked in a lab; something I never imagined myself doing.

*Photo by Amneris Solano: Fellows Victoria Raymond, Kristin Bedell (center) and Cassandra Palmer conduct a lab experiment with a mentor at UNC-Chapel Hill.