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How Community College Educators Can Engage Diverse STEM Learners

Session Overview

This video was part of the July 2021 REMOTE: The Connected Faculty Summit

Community colleges take the lead in equipping students to apply learning to real world, industry-relevant challenges. In 2021, the mission to meet the needs of lower income and post-traditional learners also includes resolving learning loss and unfinished learning. In this panel discussion, community college STEM educators recount their personal experiences in striving to meet diverse learners where they are. With a focus on teaching science with virtual labs, the panel shares ideas and best practices for engaging students in an inclusive way within hybrid, online, and face-to-face environments.


Paul Kasili

Professor of Genetics and Biotechnology | Bunker Hill Community College

Dr. Paul Kasili, PhD is a Professor of Genetics and Biotechnology at Bunker Hill Community College. He has also worked on life sciences technologies and methodologies for biomedical research.

Selinda Martinez

Professor of Biology | Laredo College

Selinda Martinez teaches biology both in-person and online at Laredo College, where she also serves as chair of the Natural Sciences Department. While at Laredo, she has developed master’s courses for biology to be taught in an online platform. Selinda is currently working on her PhD in curriculum instruction and the science of learning at the University of Buffalo, where her research focus is on diversity in the online classroom.

Terri Quenzer

Statewide Director, Life Sciences and Biotech | California Community Colleges

As Statewide Director of the Life Sciences/Biotech Initiative for the California Community College System, Dr. Terri Quenzer connects with industry partners and community college Biotech Faculty throughout the state to help align their Biotech programs with industry needs and provide students with industry-relevant skills that launch rewarding life science careers. She has also supervised and mentored student interns and postdocs, and helped bridge education with the Life Sciences industry.

Peter Gemmellaro 

Senior Customer Success Manager | Labster

Peter Gemmellaro works directly with science instructors and supports their teaching initiatives with virtual labs as part of his role as Labster’s Senior Customer Success Manager. In addition to serving as a panelist and moderator on behalf of Labster, Peter has also taught as an adjunct faculty member at Suffolk University and has held various roles in student affairs and admissions in higher education.