University of Nebraska Medical Center

Member Spotlight

Shining a Spotlight on Dr. Laurey Steinke

Laurey Steinke poses for a headshot

Academy Member Since 2016
Co-Director, Problem-Based Learning
Associate Professor, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, College of Medicine

What do you do at UNMC?
Over the years, I have taught biochemistry to Pharmacy, Graduate and Medical students. I also facilitated small groups in Problem-Based Learning and Communications (interviewing skills for medical students). I was given the opportunity to design and direct a master’s program in Biochemistry. This past year, my responsibilities lay in the College of Medicine, serving as Co-Director of Problem-Based Learning and leader of the Nutrition Curriculum Team, as well as lecturing the medical students on Metabolism throughout their first two years. In the past, I conducted research on microbial mats, both in the thermal pools of Yellowstone National Park and made by Staphylococcus aureus.

Tell us about your educational research interests and teaching role.
I have a passion for promoting critical thinking. I enjoy working with students in small groups and determining how to appropriately assess those groups.

What is one of your favorite/memorable teaching moments?
I worked hard on including active learning and critical thinking in a large lecture setting. I settled on the pair and share method; posing a series of questions to the class and then asking them to discuss with a partner or small group before calling for answers from the group at large. We were discussing metabolism in different types of muscle tissue, and I posed questions using examples of a duck, a lizard and a chicken. The students always reacted positively, but I was thrilled when one of them specifically mentioned this activity by naming those animals and said “I will never forget…"

What do you see as the biggest benefit to being a member of the IAE?
The biggest benefit to being a member of the IAE is meeting passionate educators from all across UNMC, developing relationships with them and learning from them!

What do you enjoy doing in your free (non-work) time?
I read, walk, garden, travel, practice photography and stay involved in community groups promoting critical thinking. When I retire, I plan to go back to making music along with being an audience member and working on my hundred-year-old house.