Regina (Gina) F. Frey is the Florence Moog Professor of STEM Education, with her primary appointment in Chemistry, at Washington University. She is also the Executive Director of The Teaching Center and the Co-Director of the Center for Integrative Research on Cognition, Learning, and Education (CIRCLE).
An advocate of peer learning and group work, Gina brings years of expertise in STEM education and in research on STEM pedagogies, including multiple-strategy active-learning approaches such as Peer-led Team Learning (PLTL) and Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL). She is the major architect of the Washington University PLTL program, which currently includes General Chemistry, the Calculus series, and General Physics. Gina consults with universities across the country on implementing active-learning strategies in their STEM curricula and improving their introductory chemistry curricula. She has been involved in evaluation of pedagogical methods since the late 1990s, and is a member of the Washington University Committee on Assessment of Student Learning.
As Florence Moog Professor of STEM Education (Department of Chemistry), Gina is one of the instructors for General Chemistry, which each year enrolls approximately 850 undergraduate students, most of whom are in their first year at the University. Gina also teaches the peer-leader training course for the PLTL program. In addition, she co-teaches two Women in Science freshman-focus courses (with Barbara Baumgartner, WGSS) and a graduate-level course, Introduction to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (with Denise Leonard, The Teaching Center, and Erin Solomon, AAU project manager).
Since joining Washington University, Gina has been one of the primary faculty members leading the teaching and curriculum development of General Chemistry at Washington University. With collaborators in the Departments of Chemistry and Education, Gina has focused on the development, implementation, and evaluation of multiple-strategy active- and collaborative-learning pedagogies, such as PLTL and POGIL, and a transition program for underprepared students in General Chemistry. With Bill Buhro and Dewey Holten (Chemistry), Gina introduced computer-based instruction in chemistry courses.
In addition, in her dual role at The Teaching Center and CIRCLE, she conducts pedagogical research—also known as the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). Gina’s work in this area began with her research in chemical education and has since expanded to include working with faculty to develop SoTL projects in other disciplines. In fall 2009, for example, Gina began collaborating on a project, with Mark McDaniel (Psychology, CIRCLE), investigating the learning approaches of students in General Chemistry. This project has since expanded to include a consortium of 7 universities. As Co-Directors of CIRCLE, Gina and Mark are collaborating with Biology and Physics faculty on investigations of active-learning pedagogies.
In collaboration with faculty from Chemistry, Biology, and Romance Languages & Literatures, Gina and Beth Fisher (The Teaching Center) have developed a variety of teaching approaches that utilize flexible technology, including wireless tablet PCs.
Gina is one of the founding members, with Kathy Miller (Biology) and Vicki May (Institute for School Partnership) of the STEM Educational Research Group, a faculty discussion group that meets weekly to discuss their pedagogical scholarship on student learning in science, technology, engineering, and math. This group, which began meeting in 2008, includes members from the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Education, Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology, as well as Institute for School Partnership (K-12 science and math education).
At The Teaching Center, Gina works with faculty from all disciplines and schools to develop, evaluate, refine, and improve their teaching. Since 2002, Gina has developed and presented pedagogical workshops for faculty, customizing the workshops for specific departments when appropriate. Gina initiated a successful a junior-faculty workshop series for assistant professors in 2007 and a brownbag series in 2009. Gina works with Beth Fisher to develop these workshops, along with annual faculty workshops on incorporating writing and on the grading process. In addition, Gina consults with faculty, individually and in groups, to discuss strategies for incorporating new pedagogical methods and tools, such as group work, active-learning exercises, writing exercises, and instructional technology.
Gina and Beth work with the Academic Services staff to develop and publish scholarship in the field of faculty development. In addition, they work with Kathy Miller (Biology) in leading the development, implementation, and evaluation of the WU-CIRTL program, which focuses on improving STEM education by preparing graduate students and postdoctoral fellows for future faculty positions.
In her capacity as chairperson of the Classroom Monitoring Committee (CMC), Gina works closely with Liz Peterson (The Teaching Center) and the other members of the CMC to oversee the planning and management of University-managed classrooms. The committee’s responsibilities include working with Facilities Management to design, renovate, and upgrade the classrooms. Gina has also initiated the development of design standards for University-managed classrooms and classroom multimedia. In conjunction with the Office of the University Registrar, Gina analyzes classroom-usage data and advises the University on the types of classrooms that are needed. She also works with Liz to design new classrooms, including rooms designed for active and collaborative learning. Gina is a member of the Committee for Classroom Planning Related to Undergraduate Growth.
Gina has received funding for educational curriculum development from the Luce Foundation, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), and the Hewlett-Packard Technology for Teaching Grant Initiative.
Gina received her B.S. degree, summa cum laude, in chemistry and mathematics from Clarion State University in Pennsylvania in 1982 and her Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Utah in 1986. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Indiana University from 1986-1988. Before joining the Department of Chemistry in 1994, Gina was employed as a scientific-support specialist, first with IBM and then with a scientific-software company Biosym Technologies. Gina was appointed Lecturer of Chemistry in 1994, Senior Lecturer in 2000, Professor of the Practice in 2010, and Associate Professor in 2012.