Dr. Jacqueline McLaughlin

Professor, Biology
Lehigh Valley, 315-B
2809 Saucon Valley Rd
Center Valley, PA 18034

Dr. Jacqueline S. McLaughlin, Professor of Biology; Founding Director, CHANCE

Jacqueline S. McLaughlin is best known for her endless enthusiasm for science, tireless devotion to conservation, and fervent passion for teaching and undergraduate research in the life sciences. 

She is a Professor of Biology at Penn State Lehigh Valley where she has been educating undergraduates both formally (classroom) and informally (in the field) for over 25 years. She earned her Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology from Rutgers University/University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (Piscataway, NJ), M.S. in Cell and Developmental Biology from Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL), and B.A. in Biology from New College (Sarasota, FL). To her credit, she is the Founding Director of Connecting Humans and Nature through Conservation Experiences (CHANCE), Penn State’s award-winning, international environmental education program with over 60 governmental, non-governmental, academic, and corporate partners and collaborators around the world. She has developed and led research-intense, study abroad programs to Alaska, Australia, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Galapagos Islands, Panama, Peru, Romania, and Tanzania wherein students have researched issues related to deforestation and loss of biodiversity, lake eutrophication and water pollution, desertification and water loss, and global climate change and coral bleaching. 

She has served as an appointed visiting professor at Jiangnan University, Wuxi, China, and at the University of Bucharest, Romania; an appointed National Academy of Science Jefferson Science Fellow to the U.S. Department of State; and an Embassy Science Fellow to the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest, Romania. Most recently, she served as a special counselor to the vice rector of research at the University of Bucharest. Dr. McLaughlin has received numerous accolades for her teaching research and service, including the 2022 National Society for Experiential Education John S. Duley Lifetime Achievement Award in Experiential Education, 2021 Meritorious Honor Award from the U.S. Department of State, 2018 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Citation from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and 2017 Higher Education Educator of the Year from the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE). And, at PSU-LV, she was the recipient of the 2018 Teaching Excellence Award and the 2017 Outstanding Contribution in Research and/or Service. 

As a scholar, she has published, as an author or editor, over 65 publications in books, journals, proceedings, and online environments. She is a frequent invited keynote speaker or presenter in arenas that promote undergraduate research in STEM, international environmental education, and conservation biology. Her research in biology education has played an active role in the NSF/AAAS Vision and Change movement to transform undergraduate biology education through her creation and assessment of effective Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) for our nation’s undergraduate biology laboratories. Presently, Dr. McLaughlin is trailblazing a new area of research – the benefits of international CUREs in short-term study abroad instruction. She is credited for developing a CURE conceptual-pedagogical framework that can be used to develop and implement effective undergraduate research experiences in both the traditional laboratory and field-based short-term study abroad environments.

Dr. McLaughlin has and continues to mentor to faculty, both national and international, in various professional development arenas; and presently serves as an editorial board member to the peer-reviewed academic journal, Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, that communicates the latest research on education abroad.

Dr. McLaughlin’s research evaluates the integration of high-impact teaching and learning practices into the biology curriculum. Currently, Dr. McLaughlin is engaged in a new area of research – the benefits of blending international and transdisciplinary CUREs (Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences) into short-term study abroad instruction. 

Publications (since 2018):

Refereed Journal Articles 

Cruz, L., Allocca, A., Hall, E., Hemel, J., McLaughlin, J. S. , & VanderMaas-Peeler, M. Mentoring Undergraduate Research in Global Contexts (MURGC): An Integrated Model. New Directions for Teaching and Learning. (In press). 

Smith, M. A., Olimpo, J. T., Santillan, K. A., & McLaughlin, J. S. (2022). Addressing foodborne illness in Cote d’Ivoire: Connecting the classroom to the community through a non-majors Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience. Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education, 23(1): 1-9. 

McLaughlin, J. S., Perry, G., Manuel, K. B., Soluri, K. S. & Hebbeler, A. M. (2021). The U.S. Embassy Science Fellows program: Implementations and impacts.Science & Diplomacy, 10(3): Fall 2021 (online). 

McLaughlin, J. S. (2021) Teaching environmental sustainability while transforming study abroad. Sustainability, 13(1): 1-13.  

McLaughlin, J. S., Patel, M. & Slee, J. B. (2020). A CURE using cell culture-based research enhances career-ready skills in undergraduates. Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research (SPUR), 4(2): 49-52. 

Hussain, S., Babar, Z., Hadid, J. & McLaughlin, J. S. (2020). Coating polyurethane with palmitoleic acid and bovine serum albumin to prevent the host response to foreign materials. American Journal of Undergraduate Research, 16(4): 5-14. 

Slee, J. B. & McLaughlin, J. S. (2019). Making it stick: A CURE designed to introduce students to the scientific process and the host response to foreign materials. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education (BAMBed), 47(4): 417-425. 

McLaughlin, J. S., Patel, M. A., Johnson, D. K. & de la Rosa, C. L. (2018). The impact of a short- term study abroad program that offers a course-based undergraduate research experience and conservation activities. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, XXX(3): 100-118. 

Non-refereed Journal Articles 

Mclaughlin, J. S. (2023). Research experiences = Learning Opportunities = Professional Growth.The American Biology Teacher. 85 (4): 185 - 186. 

New Media 

Mclaughlin, J. S. (2020). “Developing Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences.” The Pennsylvania State University, Undergraduate Research and Fellowship Mentoring Office website,  https://urfm.psu.edu/mentors/developing-course-based-undergraduate-research-experiences. 

Mclaughlin, J. S. (Editor) (2014 - present). Penn State CHANCE Website. State College, PA: The Pennsylvania State University. Penn State online educational website, www.chancepsu.org. 

Editorial Responsibilities 

Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, Editorial Board. (February 2019 Present).  https://frontiersjournal.org/index.php/Frontiers/about/editorialTeam. The Frontiers Editorial Board, a body responsible for providing guidance to the Editor, reviewing  manuscript submissions, evaluating special issue proposals, and working to promote and deliver innovative, academic content through the journal. 

IK: Other Ways of Knowing (ISSN: 2377-3413), Editorial Board. (March 2015 - 2019). https://journals.psu.edu/ik/about/editorialTeam. 

Ph.D., Cell and Developmental Biology, Rutgers University/University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)

M.S., Cell and Developmental Biology, Florida State University

B.A., Biology, New College

All entries in this section are from 2018 to the present.

Distinguished Lectures

McLaughlin, J. S. (July 2, 2021). “CHANCE Romania: Where We Are Now, and Plans for the Future,” Faculty (College) of Biology, University of Bucharest, ROMANIA.

McLaughlin, J. S. (January 28, 2020). "A Retrospective, Mixed Methods Impact Analysis of the U.S. Embassy Science Fellows Program," U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.

McLaughlin, J. S. (January 13, 2020). "International Exchanges and Partnerships in Higher Education that Promote Transformative Undergraduate Research Experiences in Environmental Science and Conservation," The Romanian Institute for Education Sciences (ISE), Bucharest, ROMANIA.

McLaughlin, J. S. (November 19, 2019). "The Penn State CHANCE Program Utilizes International Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences to Transform Environmental Education,” Universidad Catolica Boliviana "San Pablo," Tarija, BOLIVA.

McLaughlin, J. S. (October 5, 2018). "Exposing Students to Environmental Realities: The Merit of International Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences," Alabama Water Institute Seminar Series, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Keynotes/Plenary Addresses

McLaughlin, J. S. (Keynote). (July 2, 2022). “CHANCE Romania: Water and Environmental Sustainability,” FarmConect (sponsored by the Romanian Maize Growers Association and recommendation of the U.S. Department of State, Embassy Bucharest), Slabozia, ROMANIA.

McLaughlin, J. S. (Keynote). (April 24, 2019). "New Places, Faces and Spaces,” Penn State Lehigh Valley Awards Convocation, Center Valley, Pennsylvania.

McLaughlin, J. S. (Keynote). (August 14, 2018). "Exposing Students to Environmental Realities: Developing, Implementing, and Evaluating International Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (I-CURES)," International Arid Lands Conference, Texas Tech University, Office of International Affairs, Lubbock, Texas.


McLaughlin, J. S. (April 5, 2021). "The Impact of a Short-Term Study Abroad Program that Offers a Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience and Conservation Activities.” Natural Resource Management Class (NRM547), Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas.

McLaughlin, J. S. (April 5, 2019). "The Global Realities of Conservation and the Need for Systemic Advocacy.” OES/STC Lunch Lecture Series, U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES), Office of Science and Technology Cooperation (STC), Washington D.C.

Mclaughlin, J. S. (October 23, 2019). "The Global Realities of Conservation and the Need for Systemic Advocacy," Psychology of Activism Class, Moravian College, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.


McLaughlin, J. S., Fadigan, K. A. (Penn State Lehigh Valley), Postolache, C. (University of Bucharest, Romania). (October 20, 2022) “Taking a CHANCE: International Model of Sustainability Education Built Through Global Partnerships,” ForumEMEA Annual Conference (Europe, Middle East & Africa), Milan, ITALY.

McLaughlin, J. S., Perry, G. (Texas Tech University), LoSecco, J., (University of Notre Dame), Sen, S. (University of Buffalo). (December 9, 2020). “Fellow to Fellow: Conversation with JSF at USAID & State,” Jefferson Science Fellowship 2021 Interview Week Virtual Orientation, National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), Washington, D.C.

McLaughlin, J. S., Moore, D. (Department of State), Jacobs, S. (Department of State), & McDuffee, B. (Department of State) (July 16, 2019). "Providing STEM Education to Underserved and Vulnerable Groups," Canadian International Leadership Panel, U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), Washington D.C.

McLaughlin, J. S., Cantalupo, B. A., & Michalec, B. (November 6, 2018). "Lewis Thomas: The Lives of a Cell," Reading Anew: Voices from the Past, Penn State Lehigh Valley, Center Valley, Pennsylvania.


McLaughlin. J. S., & Slee, J. B. (DeSales University) (December 4, 2020). “Using CUREs to Impart Career Ready Skills Needed in the American Workforce,” Cell Bio Virtual 2020 Meeting, American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) and the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), Washington, D.C.

Barthell, J., Buckmaster, M., Frohlich, E., Hall, E., Idris, M., Ketcham, C., McLaughlin, J., Patch, K., Sutton, S., Vandermaas-Peeler, M. & Whitehead, D. (October 17, 2019). “Mentoring Undergraduate Research in Global Contexts,” American Association of Colleges & Universities (AAC&U), Elon University – Center for Global Engagement, and The Forum on Education Abroad, Hyatt Regency, San Antonio, Texas.

Presentations (refereed)

Mclaughlin, J. S. & Postolache, C. (University of Bucharest) (August 24, 2022). “A Bi-National Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience as a Model for Sustainability Education,” 6th European Congress on Conservation Biology (ECCB), Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC.

Mclaughlin, J. S. & Cruz, L. E. (Penn State University) (October 7, 2021). “Re-inventing Short-term Study Abroad Using a High Impact, Online CURE,” American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Conference on Global Learning (virtual), Washington, D.C.

Mclaughlin, J. S. & Slee, J.B. (June 6, 2021). “Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) Impart Career Ready Skills Needed in the American Workforce,” The Teaching Professor Annual Conference – Global Learning Reimagined, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Mclaughlin, J. S. (September 21, 2020). "Research Reveals the Importance of Reflection in Undergraduate Research," 47th Annual National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE) Conference (virtual), Mount Royal, New Jersey.

Mclaughlin, J. S. (June 29, 2020). " A CURE that Imparts Career Ready Skills in Preparation for the American Workforce," Council for Undergraduate Research (CUR) Virtual Biennial Conference (VBC), Washington, D.C.

McLaughlin, J. S. (July 24, 2019). "Undergraduate Students' Environmental Policy Research in Cuba: Outcomes and Opportunities," 29th International Congress for Conservation Biology, Society for Conservation Biology (SCB), Kaula Lumpur, MALAYSIA.

McLaughlin, J. S., Patel, M., Slee, J. B. (June 29, 2019). “A CURE Centered on the Host Response to Foreign Materials,” Council for Undergraduate Research (CUR) Undergraduate Research Programs Conference, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

Slee, J. B. (DeSales University), & McLaughlin, J. S. (January 6, 2019). “Making it Stick: A CURE Designed to Introduce Students to the Scientific Process and the Host Response to Foreign Materials,” Annual Meeting for the Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology (SICB), Tampa, Florida.

McLaughlin, J. S., & Esparza, D. (University of Texas, El Paso). (January 5, 2019). “Learning Outcomes of a Short-Term Study Abroad Program in Cuba that Offers Research Experience in Environmental Policy and Conservation Realities,” Hawaiian International Conference on Education (HICE), Honolulu, Hawaii.

McLaughlin, J. S., & Esparza, D. (University of Texas, El Paso). (June 14, 2018). "Learning Outcomes of an International Program in Cuba that Offers Undergraduates Opportunities in Authentic Research in Environmental Policy," 5th European Congress for Conservation Biology, Society for Conservation Biology (SCB), Jyvaskyla, FINLAND.

Workshops (refereed and non-refereed) 

McLaughlin, J.S., (January 26, 2023). “Pedagogical Research! Development, Implementation, and Assessemnmt of a Novel Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) for the Cell Biology Laboratory,” Work in Progress Workshop, Penn State Lehigh Valley. Center Valley, Pennsylvania.

McLaughlin, J.S., & Fadigan, K. A. (Penn State Lehigh Valley). (September 19, 2022 - September 2, 2022). CIVIS (European Civic University) CHANCE Mentoring Workshop, University of Bucharest, ROMANIA.

McLaughlin, J.S., & Slee, J. B. (DeSales University), (November 13, 2021). "Incorporating Authentic Research into a Course Through CUREs (Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences)," National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) Professional Development Conference, Atlanta, Georgia.

McLaughlin, J.S., (February 12, 2021). "CUREs Promote Student Equity, Autonomy, Workforce & STEM-specific Skills," American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) 2021 Conference on General Education, Pedagogy, and Assessment (virtual), Washington, D.C.

McLaughlin, J. S. (August 14, 2018). "Collaboration Workshop: Teaching Environmental Water Realities," International Arid Lands Conference, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas.