Professor Wins Award for Microbiology Digital Lab Manual


Professor Wins Award for Microbiology Digital Lab Manual

Tuesday, March 29, 2022
derek webber in white shirt and tie

Dr. Derek Weber of Flemington, Raritan Valley Community College Professor of Biology and Microbiology, is the winner of this year’s “Top Author Award” by Top Hat, an active learning platform used by colleges and universities. Weber is being honored for his work creating an affordable, clinically relevant, digital lab manual in microbiology.

Seeing a need for a manual that helps allied health students draw connections between basic microbiology and their future careers, Weber decided to create his own digital lab manual using the Top Hat platform. The manual, which can be updated and adapted by instructors on-demand, includes such features as animations, videos, and integrated assessments that engage students at each step along their learning path. The response has been extremely positive, with increased levels of student engagement and application, as well as improved grades.

A faculty member at RVCC since 2008, Weber previously taught at Broward College in Davie, FL. His current scholarly work focuses on the use of instructional technology and the implementation of authentic, clinically relevant material into the microbiology curriculum. His work has been recognized with multiple recognitions and awards, including the Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Technology at the International Teaching and Learning Conference. Weber is a member of the American Society for Microbiology and regularly shares his work at the annual American Society for Microbiology Undergraduate Educators Conference. His work in the area of microbiology education has resulted in several projects in the academic publishing world. He is the author of Focusing on Health: Laboratory Exercises in Microbiology (1st edition, bluedoor/Top Hat), as well as a co-author on the upcoming 14th edition of Microbiology: An Introduction (Pearson). He received a B.S. in Chemistry from Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA, and a Ph.D. in Biomolecular Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Weber was nominated for the Top Author Award by faculty who adopted his manual at Indiana University and Lone State College in Houston, Texas. Weber’s students at RVCC also were interviewed as part of the award process.

Ranked by and as the #1 community college in New Jersey, Raritan Valley Community College has been serving as an academic and cultural center for Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for over 50 years. The College has been nationally recognized for its service to the community, environmental stewardship, and commitment to diversity. It is home to  a Planetarium, Science Education Institute and 3M Observatory; a Theatre offering professional performances for all ages; and an Honors College for high achieving students.

The College offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training, small business assistance through the Small Business Development Center, and professional development courses. RVCC is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. For further information, visit



March 29, 2022

Media contact: Donna Stolzer, 908-526-1200, ext. 8383

PR #102