Public Release: 

ASM Director of Education Amy Chang named AAAS Fellow

American Society for Microbiology

Washington D.C.-- Nov. 21, 2016 -- Amy L. Chang of the American Society for Microbiology has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.

This year 391 members have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New Fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin on Saturday, February 18, from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2017 AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston, Mass.

This year's AAAS Fellows will be formally announced in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science on November 25, 2016.

As part of the Education section, Amy L. Chang was elected as an AAAS Fellow for her extraordinarily creative contributions to biology education, particularly the dissemination of effective teaching practices and leadership in encouraging mentoring of underrepresented minority biomedical students. The Education Board of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) was established in the mid-1970s to address the graduate and medical education needs of ASM members. Today, the Board supports a diverse and inclusive community of microbial scientists and provides for their education and career needs. The Board provides legitimacy to the work of post-secondary educator members, advocates best practices in courses and student research, and fosters networks around the scholarship of teaching, learning, and mentoring.

"AAAS Fellow is such a distinguished honor, and the ASM applauds Amy on her remarkable achievements in biology education, especially the mentorship of minority biomedical students," said Stefano Bertuzzi, CEO of the ASM.

"I have been fortunate enough to watch several pivotal education programs support the growth of biology educators," said Chang. "These programs, which have evolved and expanded since their establishment, include the ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators, the ASM Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education, the ASM Student Fellowships, and the Biology Scholars Program.

The ASM Fellowships have yielded deep partnerships for the Society since their establishment in 1980 and have sent a message about ASM's commitment to scientists-in-training. In 2000, ASM was selected as the sole partner with the National Institutes of Health to sponsor the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), which encourages undergraduates to pursue advanced training in science. The conference has grown from approximately 1,000 to more than 4,000 participants since its establishment. About 2,000 of the nation's best and brightest STEM undergraduates present research posters receiving genuine advice and mentoring to transition successfully into productive scientific careers.

"For professional societies to flourish, the community must be driven by a vision for the future where all members adhere to the highest standards of teaching and mentoring, just as they do for scientific inquiry," said Chang. Chang is optimistic for a promising future in microbiology and science education. As learning has been made more accessible by technology, she looks forward to a future where educational research, digital resources, and virtual communities converge to advance discovery and understanding for all. "Anyone wanting to discover new content and attempt new experiences will be able to do so using emerging technologies," said Chang. "The only challenge preventing students from becoming successful will be their own motivation to explore and persevere."

The tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874. Currently, members can be considered for the rank of Fellow if nominated by the steering groups of the Association's 24 sections, or by any three Fellows who are current AAAS members (so long as two of the three sponsors are not affiliated with the nominee's institution), or by the AAAS chief executive officer. Fellows must have been continuous members of AAAS for four years by the end of the calendar year in which they are elected.

Each steering group reviews the nominations of individuals within its respective section and a final list is forwarded to the AAAS Council, which votes on the aggregate list.

The Council is the policymaking body of the Association, chaired by the AAAS president, and consisting of the members of the board of directors, the retiring section chairs, delegates from each electorate and each regional division, and two delegates from the National Association of Academies of Science.


The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, composed of over 47,000 scientists and health professionals. ASM's mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences.

ASM advances the microbial sciences through conferences, publications, certifications, and educational opportunities. It enhances laboratory capacity around the globe through training and resources. It provides a network for scientists in academia, industry, and clinical settings. Additionally, ASM promotes a deeper understanding of the microbial sciences to diverse audiences.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world's largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science as well as Science Translational Medicine, Science Signaling, a digital, open-access journal, Science Advances, Science Immunology, and Science Robotics. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes nearly 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world. The nonprofit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to "advance science and serve society" through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!, the premier science news website, a service of AAAS. See

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