Department of Biology
Lake Forest College
Lake Forest, Illinois 60045&
Lake Forest College is excited to welcome Dr. Alex Shingleton as a new addition to our liberal arts community. Looking for an institution that provides the ability to form close relationships with undergraduate students and professors alike, Dr. Shingleton found the perfect place to move his research. The college’s small classroom setting will also allow the new professor to really put his “bring it on” teaching style to work. His impressive background, including a Bachelor of Arts in Zoology from the University of Oxford and a PhD in Zoology from the University of Cambridge, allows students to learn from an instructor truly interested in not just teaching, but demonstrating science. When interviewing Dr. Shingleton, he expressed his interest in integrating all areas of biology, such as genetics and developmental biology, into his courses. He believes the future includes “integrative thinking.” A common problem students face is that biology cannot be necessarily taught without doing some hands on work; thus, Dr. Shingleton makes sure he include as much laboratory and research experience in his courses. Currently Shingleton teaches Biology 120: Organismal Biology, Biology 131: Biological Inquiry: The biology of Dogs, and Biology 389: Evolution. As a professor he feels great satisfaction when students initiate conversation and even question the theories and methods taught in the classroom. He enjoys when there are disagreements, because this initiates and promotes class discussion and critical thinking. Shingleton considers his teaching style to be commonly socratic; he wants his students to actually to have put in individual thought and consideration when trying to figure out their answers. Just as the great philosopher Socrates questioned his audience until they understood his message, I think Professor Shingleton’s teaching style will leave future students understanding that true education is earned not given.
Now at Lake Forest College Dr. Shingleton also wants to incorporate more undergraduates in his research. When working at his previous institution, Michigan State University, Shingleton most enjoyed working with the undergraduate students. He found great enjoyment in watching them grow as researchers and develop their skills; he believes that working closely with these students and providing them with guidance “makes an impact on their lives.” Dr. Shingleton studies the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, to see how the environment influences morphology and how this in turn generates diversity. Shingleton’s research is perfect for undergraduate students; researchers will learn many different laboratory methodologies from real-time PCR, to microscopy, to fly husbandry. Obtaining measurements is simple through these techniques, and students can create new hypothesis and experiments with the use of these methods.
Dr. Alex Shingleton
Alexander Shingleton is already making a fantastic contribution to Lake Forest College through his successful lectures and the start of his laboratory on campus. Most importantly, Shingleton is dedicated to students, and he loves being an advisor. One moment that struck me during this interview is that Professor Shingleton said he enjoyed helping students with their career paths. Even if you are not here to be a scientist, he helps students find what they are truly interested in. We are all confident that Professor Shingleton will be a great addition to our intimate community as both an advisor and mentor.
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