James J. Krupa Receives 2012 NABT Evolution Education Award

Publish Date: 
Wed, 10/10/2012

James J. KrupaThe National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) will recognize James J. Krupa, an Associate Professor at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, with the 2012 Evolution Education Award during the NABT annual Professional Development Conference to be held 31 October – 3 November in Dallas, Texas.

The Evolution Education Award is co-sponsored by Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) and the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent). The award is presented in recognition of innovative classroom teaching and community education efforts to promote the accurate understanding of biological evolution. Dr. Krupa will receive a commemorative plaque, a $1,000 cash prize and a one-year membership in NABT.  

“I am thrilled and honored to be this year’s recipient of the Evolution Education Award,” said Krupa. “I think it is tremendous that those who teach evolution are being recognized for their efforts. It is so vitally important that good teachers are acknowledged for their efforts.”

Dr. Krupa has been at the University of Kentucky since 1989, first as a postdoctoral student, then as a tenure-track faculty member. He has taught 16 different courses to 23,000 students.

“Every class has been built on an evolutionary foundation,” he said. “Teaching our required evolution class at the University of Kentucky gives me a great sense of satisfaction and responsibility. John Scopes was a graduate of the University of Kentucky. He was inspired to defend evolution and academic freedom in Dayton, Tennessee because of being inspired by great teachers at UK. Every time I walk into my evolution class to deliver a lecture, I imagine a future John Scopes taking the class who may one day, if I do my job correctly, defend the teaching of evolution from those who continue to try to hinder evolution education in this country.”

Krupa believes evolution is the foundation of all biology. “Essentially it is biology’s unification theory. To not understand evolution, is to not understand biology. Evolutionary medicine is the future of medicine and medical research. Now more than ever, physicians need to be versed in evolution in order to better understand that adaptations (coughing, fever, sneezing, morning sickness) should not normally be treated (except for extreme cases) as symptoms. Too many students are being accepted into medical schools without knowing evolution. Too many medical students are anti-evolution. Such individuals are potentially problematic, thus every biology program should be providing a solid foundation in evolution for all pre-professionals. This makes solid evolution education of vital importance.”

Learn more about James Krupa.

About BSCS: BSCS (Biological Sciences Curriculum Study) has been a leader in science education since 1958, emphasizing a comprehensive, inquiry-based approach to improved science teaching and learning. The mission of BSCS is to transform science teaching and learning through research and development that strengthens learning environments and inspires a global community of scientifically literate citizens. BSCS is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

About NESCent: The National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) is a nonprofit science center dedicated to cross-disciplinary research in evolution. 
Funded by the National Science Foundation, NESCent is jointly operated by Duke University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 
and North Carolina State University. For more information about research and training opportunities at NESCent, visit www.nescent.org.
About NABT: Since being established in 1938, the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) has been dedicated to empowering teachers to provide the best possible biology and life science education to all students. NABT is a 501c(3) not-for-profit organization and is the recognized "leader in life science education." The association helps thousands of educators share experiences and expertise with colleagues from around the globe; keep up with trends and developments in the field; and grow professionally. Please visit www.nabt.org to learn more about programs, events and the journal, The American Biology Teacher.