Faculty Spotlight: Erin Bauer

Erin Bauer
Meet Erin Bauer, an Entomology Lecturer and Center for Transformative Teaching Ambassador in the UNL Department of Entomology.
June 18, 2024

Lincoln, Neb. —

What is your background before coming to the University of Nebraska Lincoln?

I have bachelor's in Education from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, a master's in Library Science from Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois, and a master's in Entomology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Before coming to UNL, I started my career working in academic libraries in Omaha, including University of Nebraska Medical Center and Creighton Health Sciences Library.

What is your position at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?

I am an Entomology Lecturer and Center for Transformative Teaching Ambassador in the UNL Department of Entomology.

What drew you to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?

I began my UNL career in 2004 in the Agronomy/Horticulture department, working in the Pesticide Safety Education Office where I developed and revised training materials for licensed pesticide applicators and conducted IPM in Schools programs.

In 2015, I joined the Entomology Department as an academic advisor and online instructor. I advise online graduate students and teach both undergraduate and graduate courses in areas such as Cultural Entomology, IPM, and Forensic Entomology. I also serve as the entomology liaison to the Forensic Science Department, where I have collaborated on forensic entomology pig research and other projects with forensic science colleagues and students. I am currently working on my doctorate in Entomology with an emphasis on gamification and play in education.

What aspect of working in an educational setting do you enjoy the most?

I love the atmosphere, working with colleagues and students within my discipline and collaborating with other faculty across the university. I am extremely passionate about teaching online, I love the flexibility it offers to both students and instructors, and it has been rewarding to also experience both sides, as a student in the master's program and now teaching in it. It gives me a unique perspective that I can share with students as they progress through their coursework. One of my favorite parts of the job is curriculum development! I love designing new courses about content I am excited about and offering them to students! I try to incorporate creative assessments that not only integrate the relevant material, but also give students autonomy in how they approach their learning. Overall, I hope it provides them with an engaging experience.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I definitely am proud of where I have gone in my career. I love how I am able to incorporate skills I have learned from all my degrees (education, library science, and entomology) into my current position and tie it all together (insects, how to research, teaching skills, etc.). One of the things I love most is hearing from students who are graduating/have graduated when they share what the program meant to them, and how something with my teaching/advising has helped them or really had an impact on their lives or careers. I feel strongly about helping my students succeed, so I love stories like this.

What is something that most people don’t know about you?

I am the Wellness Coordinator for our department and over the past few years, I’ve really wanted to start a therapy dog program at UNL, as these have been successful at other institutions in improving mental health. Once people were returning to campus after COVID, I approached the Big Red Resilience and Well Being Office and the UNL libraries, and together we established the Big Red Pawp Up therapy dog program in September 2022, which has grown significantly in popularity in the almost two years it’s been running! We offer monthly therapy dog visits during the Spring and Fall semesters at both East and City Campus (in the libraries) to help faculty, staff, and students de-stress. I have met a lot of wonderful dog teams through our dog therapy organizations we work with (Domestipups, Healing Hearts, and Uplifting Paws), and we’ve had extensive positive feedback about the program from the UNL community. https://newsroom.unl.edu/announce/isso/17464/95201

Visit the dogs (and learn about insects and the entomology department!) at the annual Entomology Bugfest from 10-2, Aug 10, 2024, during the East Campus Discovery Days (see info about the program from 2023 at https://entomology.unl.edu/2023-bugfest-set-august-12)

What is your life like outside of work?

I enjoy my time with family and friends and my two cats, Mae (a Siamese) and Holly (a tortoiseshell). I am a mystery buff and run a thriller book club. I also have always loved historical fashion, especially the Victorian bustle era, and in 2022 began the Nebraska Historical Costuming Society. Our members have interest either in historical costuming or history in general, and we attend or volunteer at history-related events, visit museums, have teas, etc. One of my favorite events was portraying historical entomologists for our Entomology Alumni Dinner! Everyone found this a really fun activity!

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