Carrie Valentine

Faculty Recognition

Carrie Valentine

Carrie ValentineDr. Carrie Valentine received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Chemistry from the Honors College at the University of Oregon and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Biochemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  She took post-doctoral training both at Montana State University and the University of California-Davis.

Dr. Valentine taught microbiology and molecular biology to nursing, medical, and dental students at the Oral Roberts University School of Medicine in Tulsa, Oklahoma, from 1979-1990.  From 1990-1992 she was a faculty member within the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Arkansas College of Medicine in Little Rock, Arkansas.  In 1992 she accepted a position as a Research Microbiologist for the Food and Drug Administration at the National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) in Jefferson, Arkansas, until retiring in 2008 when she received the FDA Distinguished Career Service Award. 

Dr. Valentine served as chair of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at NCTR for four years and as chair of the Transgenic and In Vivo Mutagenesis Interest Group of the Environmental Mutagen Society for 8 years. She has been teaching online classes in biology, chemistry, and scientific writing at Grand Canyon University since 2010.  Dr. Valentine is also a licensed private pilot with an active interest in general aviation.

How has facilitating online courses at GCU helped you find your purpose?

Teaching online courses at GCU has enabled me to further develop a gift for teaching. It also allows me to travel with my husband on business trips while teaching. Online instruction requires developing enhanced communication skills and GCU Faculty Training and Development has been highly professional in their instructional material for faculty members. The association with GCU has allowed me to remain active academically, with access to a library, and has introduced me to many new online teaching tools.  The freedom to be anywhere in the U.S. and still teach online is now an exciting extension of my years of academic pursuit.

What is one effective teaching strategy you use in your online classes?

The most effective teaching strategy I have developed at GCU is the use of a screencast to demonstrate writing techniques.  This includes how to conduct a search in the GCU library and PubMed, how to order articles through interlibrary loan, how to set hanging indents, how to properly place in-text citations and how to use Microsoftâ Word Endnotes.  Each of these was made in response to problems that I recognized my students were having in preparing appropriate submissions.  Frequently, students remark in both the discussion forums and in the end of course survey how helpful these screencasts have been.

What is a GCU online student success story you can share?

Many students are disappointed with their initial grades in my Scientific Communication and Research class (BIO317V) and ask how they can improve their work.  One student arranged for a telephone conference in which I used a screen-sharing tool to show her how her draft needed a clearer thesis statement, better organization, and better critical thinking, explaining what evidence she needed to provide to support her hypothesis. Although I give similar initial feedback to all students, this student was fertile soil for the seeds of academic improvement. Contributing to the development of student skills and accomplishments is the primary reward of any type of teaching.