3 Questions with BioCommons Director, Jerry Whitmore, Jr.

October 13th, 2016

What would you like students to know about the BioCommons at Steenbock Library?

BioCommons is a collaborative initiative to support biology-interested students by simplifying access to resources and opportunities, building community, encouraging involvement with beyond-the-classroom learning, and helping students integrate their learning.

What can we expect to see in the BioCommons this semester?

As of right now, you can see more student and administrative staff in the physical location. We are also adding more tutoring and mentoring services. Our program schedule will start in the fall of 2016 [and can be viewed online].

How can students and staff collaborate with you?

I am responsible for programs and courses to support first-and second-year UW-Madison undergraduates in science, with a particular emphasis on serving underrepresented minorities and first-generation college students. Contact me to become a part of the collaborative effort.

Biographical/Professional Statement

Jerry Whitmore Jr. is Faculty Associate for First-Year and Retention Programs in Science for the Wisconsin Institute for Science Education and Community Engagement (WISCIENCE) and Director of BioCommons (1st floor of Steenbock Library).

While completing his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Research from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La he started a research agenda that represented an integration of the scholarship of higher education, educational history, leadership, and sociology. This focus on pedagogy and social justice is manifested in a scholarly agenda of two interwoven strands of investigation: Inquiry into the influence of racial difference on teaching and learning, and the development of a historically and communally informed type of leadership knowledge.

Dr. Whitmore joined UW-Madison in 2015 as a HHMI BioScholar Postdoctoral Fellow for WISCIENCE (Wisconsin Institute for Science Education and Community Engagement) expanding his prior research and student affairs experience into practice. He developed a set of leadership and mentoring activities (I.M.P.A.C.T. Peer Leader Program) along with a course (BIO 375: Exploring Discipline Based Leadership and Mentoring) as a part of the HHMI Foundation for Success Program to help first years, first generation and underrepresented minority undergraduate student’s success in Science.

BioCommons is a comfortable and inviting space on the first floor, “garden-level” of the library and features formal and informal spaces for advising, individual and collaborative study, and related programming.  A community is what we make.  We enjoy sharing this space with you.