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. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she served as the EPA compliance officer for the sciences for 5 years. 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. She is a co-sponsor of the Pre-Professional Society and the Pi Sigma chapter of Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society. She has served on various university committees. Current professional memberships include 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 at all 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 has been involved in various outreach programs such as summer science camps and after school programs. She is currently a Science Olympiad coach for a local school and is participating in curriculum development of a new elective course for a local high school.
Professor Atwood’s other area of research is stream ecology and water quality. She has offered summer workshops the last 2 summers for elementary and secondary educators involving water quality. The workshops involved field work and actual data collection for the City of Lebanon. Through these workshops funded through the Middle TN STEM Innovation Hub, participants gained new knowledge and activities to share with their students in the counties of Wilson, Sumner, and Davidson. Professor Atwood also worked on a rain garden project last year that involved a partnership between CU and the City of Lebanon that provided a new rain garden on the Cumberland campus. Many CU students helped plant the garden which will be used not only as a water quality/flood control tool, but as an education tool for the entire community.
Prior to coming to Cumberland, Professor Atwood was 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 and 2013-2014.
View images of the rain garden project here: