Millis Science Center, Room 506C
Valerie Haywood received her B.S. degree from Ohio State University, graduating with both honors and distinction in Plant Biology (1998). She went on to graduate school at the University of California, Davis, where she received a Ph.D. in Plant Biology (2003). Her graduate work focused on elucidating the mechanisms involved in phloem-mediated translocation of mRNA molecules in angiosperms. To broaden her biology education, Dr. Haywood completed her postdoctoral scholar work in the Department of Biological Sciences at Stanford University where she studied mechanisms involved in sexual differentiation and development in Drosophila.
Dr. Haywood joined the Department of Biology at Case Western Reserve University in 2005. While Dr. Haywood’s interest in plant biology remains, her main focus is undergraduate biology education, particularly evidence-based pedagogy, assessment of student performance, and retention rates in large introductory biology courses. She has been invited to present her educational research at several national and international conferences, including the National Association of Biology Teachers Professional Development Conference, the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) Annual Meeting as well as the ASPB Midwest Section Conference, and the prestigious Gordon Research Conferences on Undergraduate Biology Education Research. Dr. Haywood’s efforts have been recognized by the National Academies of Science, who named Dr. Haywood an “Education Fellow in Life Sciences”. Dr. Haywood’s commitment to biology education is further evidenced by her dedicated service to the field. She is currently serving her third term as an elected member of the Education Committee for the ASPB, where she has directed the national outreach activities since joining the committee in 2015. She also currently serves as an invited member of the AP Biology Development Committee for the College Board. Dr. Haywood is on the editorial board for CourseSource and has been sought out as an editorial consultant and peer reviewer for several prominent publication houses, including Norton, Pearson and McGraw Hill. Dr. Haywood was very involved in the Ohio regional network for Project Kaleidoscope, OH-PKAL, an organization dedicated to promoting and improving STEM education. Dr. Haywood was a founding member of the OH-PKAL Governing Board, serving from 2015 – 2021. She was elected Secretary of OH-PKAL from 2016 – 2019, and rose to President from 2019 – 2021. During her time on the Governing Board, Dr. Haywood was instrumental in developing the legislative by-laws and organizing the group’s inaugural conference. The organizational structure put in place by Dr. Haywood and the other founding members continues to serve as a template for establishing other regional PKAL networks.
In her spare time, Dr. Haywood can usually be found at one of her sons’ baseball games or at a dog show with her two Vizslas, Chief and Macy.