Faculty Recognition Awards for Biology, Games Research

Marist College

Dr. Paula Checchi of School of Science and Dr. Karen Schrier of School of Communication & the Arts receive Cannavino Library research honors

The 2016-2017 Faculty Recognition Awards were presented this week to Dr. Paula Checchi, assistant professor of biology, and Dr. Karen Schrier, assistant professor of media arts. The awards are presented annually by the James A. Cannavino Library and the Library Development Committee to faculty members who have distinguished themselves by their scholarly and/or creative work.

Dr. Checchi (at right in photo) is in her fourth year on the Marist faculty, teaching Introductory Biology and advanced coursework in developmental biology. As a researcher, she has studied developmental genetics as both an undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and, later, as a graduate student at Emory University, where she obtained her Ph.D. in biochemistry, cell, and developmental biology. Following the completion of her doctorate, Dr. Checchi completed a four-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California Davis, where she received funding from the National Institute of Health to undertake a molecular genetics approach to study sex chromosomes in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans.

The overarching objective of her current research program is to determine the mechanisms that govern chromosome behavior during meiosis, a specialized form of cell division that generates non-identical gametes (egg and sperm) in all sexually reproducing species. The findings of her work are applicable to both infertility and cancer, as both these conditions frequently result from aberrant regulation of chromosome dynamics and cause disease in humans. In 2016, she received the $332,000 Academic Research Enhancement Award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences at the NIH. The grant was based entirely upon preliminary data generated at Marist, the majority of which was from undergraduate researchers. Dr. Checchi's greatest passion as an academic is working with undergraduates in the classroom and in the lab.

Dr. Schrier (at left in photo), now in her sixth year at Marist, teaches courses in games and interactive media and directs the Games & Emerging Media program. She also directs the Play Innovation Lab, where she works with students to create and research games and media. Dr. Schrier's scholarship is interdisciplinary and is focused on the intersection of games with education, ethics, empathy, civic engagement, and citizen science. Prior to teaching at Marist, she spent more than a decade producing websites, apps, and games at organizations such as Scholastic, Nickelodeon, BrainPOP, and PBS/Channel 13.

Dr. Schrier is the editor of the book series, Learning, Education & Games, published by ETC Press (Carnegie Mellon) and co-editor of two books on games and ethics. She has written more than 30 publications, including single-authored articles published in journals such as Educational Technology Research & Development and the Journal of Moral Education. Her latest book, Knowledge Games: How Playing Games Can Help Solve Problems, Create Insight, and Make Change, was published in 2016 by Johns Hopkins University Press and has been featured in Forbes, New Scientist, and Times Higher Education, and on Radio NZ and SiriusXM. She holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University Teacher's College, a master's degree from MIT, and a bachelor's degree from Amherst College. 


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