Individual Accomplishments

Alyssa MacDonald

I have:

  • Learned more about the demography of our students in STEM and how to better engage them
  • Presented to colleagues to add to our activity repository for active learning strategies
  • Interacted with colleagues from across the nation to share strategies for improving student success

Next steps:

  • Create career posters for STEM common areas
  • Integrate environmental justice across my curriculum
  • Present at UH Conference (HISSI)

Luca Preziati

I have:

  • Interacted more often with Colleagues from other Departments
  • Added a number of active learning strategies to my lectures
  • Worked with my Colleagues to create an online database repository of teaching resources

Next steps:

  • Add scientist spotlight assignments to my lectures

Donn Viviani

I have:

  • Incorporated active learning activities as regular parts of my classes
  • Discussed pedagogy and best teaching practices with fellow geoscientists across the country
  • Added Scientist Spotlights to some of my lectures

Next steps:

  • Collaborative project to facilitate Leeward CC student transfer to UH Mānoa for geoscience majors.

Team Accomplishments

Strengthening our Department/Program

Accomplishments/Action Plan:

  1. We created a database where faculty can share active learning strategies, teaching tools and resources:
  2. We created a workshop about interdisciplinary teaching with active learning strategies that was very well received
  3. Shared active learning activities and lessons with Geoscience and STEM faculty at Leeward CC

Next Steps:

  • Create career posters for STEM common areas
  • Analyze success rates after active learning has been integrated into the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semester classes/labs

Developing our Campus Community

Engaging our Colleagues:

Alfredo Sauce Workshop

  • Audience: Faculty and Staff of Leeward
  • 14 participants
  • Impact: Overall Satisfaction 9.5

Workshop Feedback: The title of our workshop, "Bringing the Alfredo Sauce Out of Your Classes" was creative and drew me in to the presentation. Excellent facilitation and wonderful engagement from participants.

Collaboration with Administrators

  • Working on Geoscience Pathway to UH Manoa
  • Commitment from Dean to purchase STEM Career Pathway Posters

Next Steps: We are planning to create a new version of this workshop for the Hawaii Student Success Institute that

is planned for Spring 2021 (HISSI).

Team Members

Alyssa MacDonald

Alyssa has a PhD in Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering and a Master's Degree in Fisheries Oceanography. She is the Biology Discipline Coordinator and Marine Option Program Coordinator for Leeward Community College. She is passionate about place-based and problem-based learning and has worked with multiple governmental and non-governmental organizations while doing research with her classes.


Alyssa teaches Introduction to Biology I and II, Introduction to Commercial Aquaponics, Introduction to Zoology, Marine Biology, Marine Option Program Seminar, and Marine Option Program Directed Study

Luca Preziati

Luca is the webmaster of the 2 Year Community College Chemistry Consortium. He has co-authored 4 chemistry lab manuals - General, Organic and Biochemisty I and 2, and General Chemistry 1 and 2. He has adapted several chemistry lecture-only courses to online courses.


Luca teaches General Chemistry I, General Chemistry II, and General Chemistry labs.

Donn Viviani

Donn has spent over 368 days at sea during 69 different research cruises. He has co-authored two science communication papers (Bruno et al. 2013 and Wood-Charleson et al. 2015), nine oceanography papers, and is interested in biogeochemistry and plankton populations of Pearl Harbor.


Donn teaches Science of the Sea, Science of the Sea Lab, and Natural Hazards.


Leeward Community College is the second-largest campus of the University of Hawaii system, with an enrollment of nearly 7,000 students. 26% of the students identify as Native Hawaiian and 15% are mixed ethnic backgrounds. 57% of the students are female. The college, located in Pearl City, Hawai'i, approximately 10 miles north of Honolulu, offers an extensive liberal arts program, a growing number of career and technical education, and workforce development offerings.


Associates of Science Natural Science (ASNS) program - Natural Science track
Seven full-time faculty and ten lecturers (adjunct) teach Biology, Environmental Policy/Studies, Environmental Science, and Agriculture courses, although there are other divisions of the Associates of Science Natural Science (ASNS) program. There is overlap in many requirements for students, including math, physics, chemistry, and natural science. More than 150 students are in the ASNS - Natural Science Track at Leeward, most of whom are Biology majors who are required to take the Introductory Biology I and II classes.


One full-time and two part-time faculty teach Oceanography and Environmental Policy/Studies courses. Marine Biology courses are taught in another area. Students taking Oceanography include every major from auto tech and culinary to business and liberal arts, and also include students on the ASNS track. Many students take OCN 201 as their Diversification-Physical Science requirement, while others take it because of their interest in surfing, diving, fishing, underwater photography, and/or marine biology. From Fall 2018 through Spring 2020, there have been 39, 151, 153, and 119 students enrolled in OCN 201, respectively. Similarly the lab class (OCN 201L) had enrollments of about 40 students each semester.

Both ASNS and Oceanography are parts of the Math and Sciences Division at Leeward.

Institutional information was provided by the institution in 2020.

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