Term of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Biology

Committee Chair

Sue Ellen DeChenne-Peters

Committee Member 1

Traci Ness

Committee Member 2

Stephen Vives


Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) provide students the benefits of undergraduate research participation by incorporating authentic scientific research into laboratory courses. CUREs are a relatively young pedagogy and are therefore innovative. Roger’s (2003) diffusion of innovations (DOI) framework posits that the diffusion of innovations, such as CUREs, is a highly social process. Most existing CURE research has focused on the impacts to students and the critical elements of CURE design. Investigation into instructor peer network communication is largely absent from the existing CURE literature. This study investigates the structure and function of a CURE community – the Malate Dehydrogenase CURE Community (MCC) – throughout the innovation adoption process using qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews with thirteen MCC members. This study established that the CURE community functions as both a community of practice for fundamental malate dehydrogenase research and as a faculty learning community for teaching CUREs. The MCC also serves vital functions throughout each stage of the adoption process. While CURE adoption is still in the early stages of diffusion, the MCC has reached critical mass and is therefore a viable model for the design of CURE communities that wish to facilitate sustained CURE adoption.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material


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Biology Commons