Jennifer Evarts Lineback, Ph.D.

Chair, Cross-Disciplinary Studies Program
Professor of Biology and Education

Dr. Jennifer Lineback has been teaching at PLNU since 2012. Previously, she spent the first 10 years of her professional life teaching biology and environmental science at the high school level in schools in several different states (Connecticut, Florida, and Maryland) and overseas (Trinidad). Lineback considers herself blessed to be part of the PLNU community, teaching in the School of Education and the Department of Biology. Such a "split" professorial position allows her to cultivate her two passions: biology and teaching. Her research interests include investigating how teachers (at all levels) learn to incorporate student-centered pedagogies into their classrooms. She also explores ways to best train new educational researchers, especially in the area of qualitative data collection and analysis.

Research Gate

Blended Bachelor’s and Teaching Credential


  • B.S., Zoology, Miami University (Ohio)
  • B.A., Chemistry, Miami University (Ohio)
  • M.S., Zoology, Miami University (Ohio)
  • Ph.D., Math and Science Education, San Diego State University and University of California, San Diego (joint program)

Courses Taught

  • Genetics – BIO 3045 / BIO 3045L
  • Methods of Teaching Secondary Science – BIO 4063
  • Learning in Science – BIO 6011
  • Ecology of Plants and Animals – BIO 6061
  • Differentiated Mathematics Instruction for All Learners – EDU 3024 / EDU 6012

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Chair, Children's Education Committee [University Church, United Church of Christ], 2016  – present
  • Coordinator, mentorship program for SOE master's candidates, 2015 – 2017
  • Research mentor, several SOE master's candidates, 2015 – 2017
  • Panel member, numerous SOE master's candidates, 2013 – present
  • Guest workshop facilitator, SD Science Faith Alliance, Teachers Grades K-12, October 2016
  • Science and Faith Discussion Facilitator, Mission Hills UCC, University City UCC, spring 2014
  • Member, American Educational Research Association (AERA), National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT), National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), National Science Teachers of America (NSTA)
  • Reviewer, BioScience (professional journal)
  • Reviewer, ISLS (International Society of the Learning Sciences) national conference papers

Awards and Honors

  • PLNU Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) Writing Retreat Recipient, 2018
  • PLNU RASP Grant Recipient to fund attendance at AERA Conference in New York City, 2018
  • PLNU SOE Dean's Grant Recipient to fund attendance at AERA Conference in San Antonio, TX, 2017
  • IDEA Impact Grant Co-Recipient (with Dr. Jo Clemmons), 2016
  • PLNU Alumni Association Faculty Grant Co-Recipient (with Dr. Rob Elson), 2014
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, April 2010
  • Who’s Who Among American Teachers, 9th (2004–05) and 10th (2005–06) Editions
  • HHMI Teacher Fellowship, to assist in a molecular biology research laboratory at the National Institutes of Health, summer 2002

Dissertations, Presentations, and Publications

  • Lineback, J. E. & Jansma, A. Development of Spatial and Critical Thinking Skills for Biochemistry Students Utilizing the Visualization Software PyMOL. Manuscript under review.
  • Dorrell, M. I. & Lineback, J.E. (2019). Using Shapes and Codes to Teach the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology: A Hands-on Inquiry-based Activity. The American Biology Teacher, 81, 202-209.
  • Lineback, J.E. (May 2019). Peer Review as a Vehicle to Develop Student Writing. Poster Presented at: MSED 25th Year Reunion – San Diego, CA
  • Lineback, J.E. (October 2018). Mutagenesis Part II: Design Your Own Experiment. Round Table Presented at American Society of Human Genetics – Undergraduate Workshop, San Diego, CA.
  • Lineback, J.E. (April 2018). Improving Graduate Student Literature Reviews Through Writing Workshop-embedded Peer Review.  Round Table Presented at the American Education Research Association International Meeting, New York, NY.
  • Lineback, J. E. (April 2017). The Effectiveness of Experiential Coding Activities on Novice Qualitative Researchers. American Educational Research Association National Conference. San Antonio, Texas.
  • Lineback, J. E. (2015). Methods to Assess Teacher Responsiveness in Situ. In A. Robertson, R. Scherr, and D. Hammer, (Eds.), Responsive Teaching in Science and Mathematics (pp. 203-226). New York: Routledge.
  • Lineback, J. E. (2014). The Redirection: An Indicator of How Teachers Respond to Student Thinking. Journal of the Learning Sciences. 24(3): 419-460. DOI: 10.1080/10508406.2014.930707.
  • Maskiewicz, A. C. & Lineback, J. E. (2013). Misconceptions Are Ao ‘Yesterday’! CBE – Journal of Life Science Education, 12, 352-356.
  • Lineback, J. E. (2012). Mrs. Miller’s Evolution in Teaching Science as Inquiry: A Case Study of Teacher Change. Unpublished Dissertation.
  • Fisher, K. M., Williams, K. S., & Lineback, J. E. (2011). Osmosis and Diffusion Conceptual Assessment. CBE – Journal of Life Science Education, 10, 418-429.
  • Lineback, J.E. & Lardy, C. (March 2011). Using Authentic Activities in the Classroom. Paper presented at the National Science Teachers of America National Conference on Science Education, San Francisco, Calif.
  • Lineback, J. E. & Goldberg, F. (June 2010). Using Changes in Framing to Account for Differences in a Teacher’s Classroom Behavior.  In K. Gomez, L. Lyons, & J. Radinsky (eds.), Learning in the Disciplines: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2010) – Volume 1, Full Papers (pp. 145-152). International Society of the Learning Sciences: Chicago Ill.
  • Williams, K.S., Fisher, K.M., Anderson, D.L., Smith, M.U., & Lineback, J.E. (January 2008). Using Diagnostic Test Items to Assess Conceptual Understanding of Basic Biology Ideas: A Plan for Programmatic Assessment. Paper presented at the Second Conceptual Assessment in Biology (CAB II) meeting, Asilomar, Calif.
  • Nowlin, W. H., Evarts, J. L. & Vanni, M. (2005). Release Rates and Potential Fates of Nitrogen and Phosphorus from Sediments in a Eutrophic Reservoir. Freshwater Biology, 50, 301-322.
  • Evarts, J. L., Rasweiler, J. J., Behringer,R. R., Hennighausen, L. & Robinson, G.W. (2004). A Morphological and Immunohistochemical Comparison of Mammary Tissues from the Short-Tailed Fruit Bat (Carollia Perspicillata) and the Mouse. Biology of Reproduction, 70, 1573–1579.