Director of Undergraduate Research
Professor of Biology
Finger Lakes Community College
According to the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), more than 11 million students attended a community college in 2018. This accounts for approximately 40% of all U.S. Undergraduates. For 14 years, the Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative (CCURI) has been working to expand opportunities for community college students to engage in research experiences as part of their undergraduate education. CCURI began with a single faculty member and two independent study students at Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua, NY and has grown into a network of more than 120 institutions. Each year, CCURI supports approximately 3,000 students at these institutional partners as they engage in mentored research experiences as part of their curriculum and degree programs. In this session, participants will have an opportunity to explore the barriers and opportunities that community colleges experience as they work to broaden participation in undergraduate research experiences. With more than a decade of data collected from the CCURI network, the picture of how a community college can sustain an undergraduate research program has been coming into focus.
Professor James Hewlett is a graduate of Bucknell University (B.S. in Biology) and the University of Connecticut (M.S. in Oceanography). After graduating from the University of Connecticut, he entered a doctoral training program within the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of Rochester where he worked on adenoviral vectors for gene therapy. He currently serves as Professor of Biology and the Director of Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing at Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua, NY. In addition to teaching, he serves as the Executive Director of the Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative (CCURI) – a National $5.85M NSF funded program under the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) program. He serves on the Executive Team of the InnovATEBIO NSF-ATE National Biotechnology Center and is the President and CEO of STEMsolutions, LLC, a New York based consulting firm specialized in developing customized higher education solutions to STEM curriculum reform efforts.
Professor Hewlett serves on the Editorial Board of the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science at the University of Buffalo. He serves on the Editorial Board of The American Society of Cell Biology’s CBE Life Sciences Education journal, and the Advisory Board for Rochester Institute of Technology’s Center for Bioscience Education and Technology (CBET). He is a member of the Steering Committees for the University of Georgia’s RCN-UBE Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences Network (CUREnet), and the NSF RCN program on Equity and Diversity in Undergraduate STEM at the University of Minnesota. In 2016, Professor Hewlett was appointed to a Committee of the National Academies Board on Science Education to participate in a study that will help inform policy makers and funding agencies on best practices for strengthening the undergraduate research experience at our Nation’s higher educational institutions. He is the recipient of the 2005 State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the 2016 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities.
Professor Hewlett is the author of numerous publications and curriculum materials. He recently served as Lead Editor and Author for Pearson Education's Mastering A&P Case Study portfolio. He led the production of 14 novel teaching cases for use on the Mastering A&P platform. The team included Pearson acquisitions and project management, five SME authors, and two textbook authors. Professor Hewlett has served on numerous scientific panels within the National Science Foundation, including the Advanced Technological Education (ATE), Course Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI), Transforming Undergraduate Education in STEM (TUES), Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Talent Expansion Program Centers (STEP Centers), and Undergraduate Mentoring in Environmental Biology (UMEB).
Professor Hewlett’s educational and scientific research interests include the use of the Case Study Method of teaching science, and the employment of problem-based learning strategies to connect student research to classroom theory. His scientific research interests include the study of molecular indicators of stress in corals and the use of biomarkers for the early detection of symbiotic breakdown, the employment of non-invasive DNA-based mark and recapture methods in eastern red-tail hawk, North American black bear, and New York River Otter population studies, and the study of macro-level indicators of stress in tropical coral reef ecosystems.
He currently lives in Webster, NY with his wife Sandy and two daughters, Jessica and Anna.