My Interest in ASCN: Jay Labov

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Senior Advisor for Education and Communication

Prior Organizational Change Work

In addition to efforts at Colby in my role as Chair of the Natural Sciences Division, more recently, in my roles as Chair-elect, Chair, and now Retiring Chair of the Education Section of AAAS, I have been working with colleagues to push for changes in the ways that AAAS interacts with and relies on its disciplinary and interdisciplinary sections. For example, we have written and distributed to the leadership of other sections and to the leadership of AAAS a strategic vision to guide the work of the education section in the future. Other sections are interested in using our document as a possible model for their own sections.

How ASCN Can Contribute to my Work

One of my roles as a staff member at the Academies is to serve as staff director of the National Academies Scientific Teaching Alliance (NASTA; NASTA has overseen the National Academies Summer Institutes and is now looking to expand its purview to focus on various aspects of improving undergraduate STEM education for the systems and policy levels, including institutional change. Participating in the ASCN could help foster new ideas and opportunities for potential cooperation and collaboration.

How I Can Contribute to ASCN

My entire professional career (40+ years) has been devoted to various aspects of improving undergraduate education. For the first 20 years I was a professor of biology, associate, department chair, and chair of the Natural Sciences Division of Colby College in Maine. For the past 20+ years I have directed or contributed to more than 25 studies and workshops at the Academies on multiple aspects of education (for a list of reports see and succeeding pages). I also have authored or coauthored a number of feature articles about our work at the Academies on undergraduate education in the online, peer-reviewed journal, CBE/Life Sciences Education (for a list of articles see Thus I believe that my broad perspectives about undergraduate education that I've gained from this work could contribute to your work.