Chelsea Confalone

Chelsea received her PhD in Biological Chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her interdisciplinary training began at the College of the Atlantic, a small liberal arts college on an island off the coast of Maine. The college offers one degree – Human Ecology – which teaches students to understand not just the subject at hand, but how that subject relates to the larger world. The island is also home to the Jackson Laboratory, a world-renowned genetics research center, where Chelsea studied how genes impact brain development. She wrote up her final research results in a scientific paper and as a children’s book, demonstrating that complex scientific concepts do not have to be relegated to academic language. She brought her holistic approach to education to her graduate studies and undergraduate teaching at UCLA. While researching the genetic underpinnings of breast cancer, she mentored students in the laboratory and taught biology to undergraduates from a wide range of academic backgrounds. Her ability to teach a variety of scientific concepts to academically diverse students led to her being awarded a Graduate Student Instructor Award for “extraordinary contributions to interdisciplinary undergraduate teaching.”

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