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About Tess Killpack

Tess Killpack received her Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, her Master’s degree in Secondary Education from Loyola Marymount University, and her undergraduate degree in Biology and Spanish from Kalamazoo College. She is an animal physiological ecologist by training. In her doctoral work at the University of Wisconsin, she performed field and laboratory studies on songbird nestlings to examine the impacts of ecologically-relevant food restriction on growth, digestive physiology, and immune function during the developmental period. During her postdoctoral fellowship at Tufts University, she shifted gears to study microbiology and immunology, working with a team that was examining how mammals respond to Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme Disease. Her current research focuses on how to create inclusive classroom environments and how to redesign courses to actively engage students and enhance their learning and self-confidence in doing science. At Salem State University, Tess teaches lecture and lab courses in Biology and she is also the coordinator of the Biology Secondary Education program.


2017 - Present Assistant Professor, Salem State University Biology
2015 - 2017 Instructor of Science Laboratory, Wellesley College ‐ Biology
2015 - 2015 Adjunct Professor, Pine Manor College ‐ Biology
2013 - 2015 Postdoctoral Researcher, Tufts University ‐ Training in Education and Critical Research Skills



2019 Center for Research & Creative Activities Scholarship Support Grant
Salem State University
2018 Kathy Murphy Summer Research Academy in Biology
Salem State University
2017 Evidence-Based Teaching Innovations
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
2015 Laboratory Science Curriculum Innovation Program Grant
Wellesley College
2013 - 2015 Training in Education and Critical Research Skills Postdoctoral Fellowship
National Institutes of Health, Tufts University
2009 - 2012 Graduate Research Fellowship
National Science Foundation
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Professional Service and Affiliations

2019 - Present Member, Institutional Review Board, Salem State University
2019 - Present Member, University Research Advisory, Salem State University
2018 - Present Coordinator, Biology 105, Salem State University
2017 - Present Member, Assessment Committee, Biology, Salem State University
2017 - Present Coordinator, Biology Secondary Education, Salem State University
2017 - Present Member, Darwin Festival Committee, Salem State University
2017 - Present Member, Program Area for Content Education, School of Education, Salem State University
2019 - 2020 New Faculty Mentor, Biology, Salem State University
2019 Member, Outstanding First Year Advocate Selection Committee, Salem State University
2018 - 2019 Facilitator, First Year Reading Experience, Opening Day, Salem State University
2018 - 2019 Member, Genetics Faculty Search Committee, Salem State University
2018 - 2019 Lead Organizer, STEM Explorations Day, Salem & Lynn, MA
2017 - 2019 Member, Flowsheet & Curriculum Redesign Committee, Biology, Salem State university
2014 - 2019 Expert Question Writer, USA Biology Olympiad Exam
2018 Conference Organizer, Massachusetts PKAL Regional Network Summer Meeting
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Honors and Awards

  • 2019, Nominee, Distinguished Teaching Award, Center for Teaching Innovation, Salem State University
  • 2019, Nominee, Outstanding First Year Advocate Award, Office First Year Experience, Salem State University
  • 2018, Faculty Winner, Outstanding First Year Advocate Award, Office First Year Experience, Salem State University


2008 - 2013 Teaching Certificate, University of Wisconsin - Madison ‐ Delta Program in Research, Teaching, and Learning
2008 - 2013 PhD, University of Wisconsin - Madison ‐ Zoology
2006 - 2008 MA, Loyola Marymount University ‐ Secondary Education
BA, Kalamazoo College ‐ Biology and Spanish

Articles (13)

Presentations (10)