June 19, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wharton County Junior College Biology Instructor Archna Bhasin recently earned an award from the Texas Branch of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) that covered the costs of attending the ASM Microbe 2023, a national conference in Houston that featured topics related to infections, climate issues, pandemics and the energy industry.
WHARTON, TEXAS – Wharton County Junior College Biology Instructor Dr. Archna Bhasin had always wanted to be a physician, until the day she started volunteering in a hospital.
“I started out in pre-med but really hated the hospital environment,” the Houston resident says.
A summer research opportunity opened her eyes to the joys of working in the laboratory and she quickly switched gears, setting her sights on biochemistry. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Texas in Austin in 1994 and followed that up with a doctorate degree in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2000. Upon graduation, Bhasin completed a two-year stint with the U.S. Peace Corps in the Philippines and then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in bacteriology at UW-Madison.
She has taught at WCJC since 2014, teaching General Biology 1, General Biology 2 and Microbiology. This summer, Bhasin earned an award from the Texas Branch of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) that covered the costs of attending the ASM Microbe 2023, a national conference in Houston that featured topics related to infections, climate issues, pandemics and the energy industry. Guest speakers included a NASA astronaut and bestselling authors.
Bhasin was excited to win the award and learn more about the cutting-edge research being done in her field. One of her primary objectives as an instructor is to stay up-to-date on new scientific developments and to bring that information to the classroom.
“My goal is to provide my students with current information on the role that microbes play in health and disease,” she said. “I begin every microbiology class with a discussion of the beneficial microbes and their role in human health.”
Fellow WCJC Biology Instructor Kevin Dees, who serves as Division Chair of the college’s Life Sciences Division, credits Bhasin for her dedication to student development.
“Her classes are challenging, yet students appreciate her instructional style and often realize she is pushing them to reach their potential,” Dees said. “She is a true asset to the Biology Department and WCJC’s campus family.”
Bhasin said she strives to help her students exceed their own expectations.
“My classroom philosophy involves pushing my students beyond their comfort zone so that they realize that they are capable of much more knowledge acquisition and critical thinking than they thought,” she said. “This helps them build their confidence for a challenging world.”