2019 Faculty Initiative Grant Spotlight: Dr. Amy Zielinski

Name and Credentials:

Amy Zielinski, PhD


Course Grant is Being Developed in:

BIO131: Anatomy & Physiology II Lecture


Other Courses Taught:

BIO131 Lab

Human Biology (past semesters)


Faculty Initiative Grant project:

This grant will use an educational brainstorming technique called “notice and wonder” in an interactive online setting using Moodle forums. Students will be presented with a clinical issue, question, or scenario and be asked to respond with 1) what they notice about it and 2) what they are wondering about it. Additionally, students will provide a response to one of the wonderings of their peers. Reading and evaluating complex scenarios in an environment with essentially no incorrect answer, it will help students develop the ability and confidence to think critically about human physiology. Furthermore, by replying to the wonderings of their classmates, students will develop the ability to do outside research in order to synthesize information and write their responses.


How will this project benefit Student Success?

This project will allow students to critically evaluate clinical issues – an ability that will help them not only with understanding and answering complex exam questions, but also will be a huge asset to them in their eventual careers. Additionally, this project will provide a means of communication and participation between every student in the course, and this interaction will help to strengthen in person classroom communication as well.



BS, Biological Sciences, State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo

MS, Biological Sciences, SUNY at Buffalo

Ph.D., Biological Sciences, SUNY at Buffalo


Time at Trocaire:

I began at Trocaire in January of 2017 – I’m just beginning my third year as an instructor here.


Teaching Philosophy:

Students deserve an environment that enables learning, the tools they need for success, and a sense of capability and confidence in their own aptitude. I believe it is my duty as an instructor to not only be able to effectively translate complex topics into materials that can be understood by my students, but also to design courses that ultimately set up students for success. It is truly our responsibility as educators to ensure that each learning opportunity makes a significant contribution to the student’s ultimate professional goals.


Research/Academic Interests:

Although my dissertation research was focused on post-transcriptional regulation of the mRNA that encodes the primary photosynthetic enzyme in plants, my academic interests since beginning at Trocaire have shifted to all things involved with the human body and its physiologic processes. I’m interested in and continually reading the newest research in the field of human health, most specifically pertaining to metabolism, nutrition, endocrinology, and pharmaceuticals.



Since beginning at Trocaire I have been elected as a Faculty Senator, served on/chaired several standing committees of Faculty Senate, been promoted to Assistant Professor, served as Faculty Marshall for two Trocaire Commencements, served on a Middle States working group, and participated twice in the Community School Initiative that partners Trocaire College with South Park High School.


Hobbies/Interests outside of work:

I love fitness and spend my evenings teaching group fitness classes for Catalyst gyms!  I teach Body Pump, a barbell weightlifting class, and Body Combat, a mixed martial arts-inspired cardio kickboxing class. I would love to in the near future also get certified to teach yoga and/or barre. I spend my weekends singing with my cover band UltraViolet (I also play the guitar and harmonica too – a little!)  Professor by day; rock star by night.