B.S., Biology (Minors: Chemistry and Anthropology), Cumberland University
M.S, Biology (Ecology Emphasis) Middle Tennessee State University
Office Location: Memorial Hall, 309D
Professor Atwood has been an employee of Cumberland University since 2005. She has primarily taught the introductory-level biology course for non-majors (BIO 100 Principles of Biology). In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she coordinates the EPA compliance standards for the sciences. She is the faculty advisor for the CU chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi women’s fraternity, Lambda Omicron, of which she is a founding member, and is a co-sponsor of the Pre-Professional Society. She has served on several university committees. Current professional memberships include the National Science Teachers Association and the Tennessee Academy of Science.
In addition to her education in Biology, Professor Atwood has additional graduate coursework in the field of Education, and one of her current research interests involves science education in higher education, as well as at elementary and secondary grade levels. She has particular interests in alternative content delivery and technology in the classroom. She has implemented various tools in her traditional sections, as well as her hybrid and online sections, such as personal response systems, or clickers, screen casting lectures, and case studies. She is a co-director of the summer science camp for 6th graders. In the past, she was instrumental in establishing a partnership with a middle school program that brought 7th & 8th graders to campus to perform various science activities throughout the school year. She is currently a Science Olympiad coach for a local school and is helping to develop the curriculum for a new elective course for a local high school.
Professor Atwood’s other area of research interest is stream ecology and water quality. This past summer she held a workshop funded through the Middle TN STEM Innovation Hub for elementary and secondary educators involving water quality. The workshop involved field work and actual data collection for the City of Lebanon. At the end of the workshop, participating educators had new knowledge and activities to share with their students in the counties of Wilson, Sumner, and Davidson. She is currently working on a raingarden project with the City of Lebanon.
Prior to coming to Cumberland, Professor Atwood worked as a staff scientist for an engineering firm, working primarily on ecological studies contracted through the Tennessee Department of Transportation. In graduate school, her research involved monitoring stream systems through physical/chemical analysis and benthic macroinvertebrate collection/identification to determine whether or not sediment pollution from road construction activities had any effect on the stream systems.
Received Office of Student Life award of Most Outstanding Faculty Member 2011-2012