Professor brings new teaching techniques back from Brussels

By Sara Dobosh

Arts & Life Editor

Ken Field never planned on teaching students. After completing his postdoctoral research, he assumed he would further his research career in biology, yet he resorted to a career path he and his fellow colleagues never thought they would turn to.

Field grew up in New Hampshire and attended the University of Vermont as an undergraduate. He and his family moved to Lewisburg in 2002 when he began teaching at the University.

“While in high school I did not even think about looking at colleges like Bucknell,” Field said.

Although the experiences offered at Bucknell University different from that offered at the University of Vermont, Field found the small liberal arts college an ideal teaching location. He especially appreciated the abundance of research opportunities offered on campus. When attempting to find a research opportunity as an undergraduate at the University of Vermont, Field said he had to ask every professor he knew to participate in his or her research.

“At Bucknell, it is normal for professors to conduct research with their students,” Field said.

Field invites many students to help him in his research. He and his research assistants are currently working with an experimental cancer drug that may potentially cure a specific type of lymphoma. The research team is studying the effects the drug has on the normal immune system, and the team is showing “that the drug has effects that no one would have ever predicted,” Field said.

Field went to Brussels, Belgium on sabbatical for the 2009-10 school year to research the immunology of graft rejection in mice. Field took the techniques he learned in Europe home to Lewisburg and hopes that he and his students can use the new techniques to further their research.

“Working with my research students is the most rewarding part of my job,” Field said. “I have had some of the best students and I have been very fortunate.”

Field is also committed to increasing scientific literacy among non-science majors. He currently teaches Controversies in Biology which is aimed at non-science majors. He also teaches Introduction to Molecules and Cells for first-year biology majors and Immunology for upper-level biology and chemistry majors.  Field hopes to resume teaching an interdisciplinary course on AIDS.

Besides biology, Field enjoys playing World of Warcraft with his son. He has been installing a solar water heater in his house and is very excited to complete the project.

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