Kirstin Parkin

Kirstin Parkin is an assistant professor in the department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. She earned her PhD in Immunology from Loyola University Chicago and was fortunate to teach a full-semester undergraduate immunology course during her final year in graduate school.  That was an overwhelmingly positive experience that lead to a teaching position in the Biological Sciences department at Wayne State University for ten years.  During her tenure at WSU, Kirstin taught a variety of courses from nighttime biology classes for non-majors, to 500-student lecture courses for biology majors.  She also led an after-school science club and taught one year of high school biology for a charter school in downtown Detroit.  Six years ago, Kirstin began teaching at MSU and collaborating on reproductive research focused on the role of the immune system in endometriosis and pregnancy.  She has been the lead instructor and course coordinator for a variety of undergraduate and medical school courses, and is currently the course coordinator for BS161, the large intro biology course for life science majors.  Kirstin has been developing an active learning model for her undergraduate immunology course for the past four years that centers on using primary research articles from MSU labs as learning tools to help to help students learn how to “think” like MSU scientists.  Her goal is to help students connect biology and science practices to everyday life and to make her courses a more meaningful experience for the students.