University of West Ga. gets $284K to help school teachers

The University of West Georgia has received $284,326 in teacher quality grants to enhance the teaching of science, mathematics, language arts, reading and social studies at public and private elementary, middle and high schools.

A total of 13 UWG professors in the College of Education and College of Science and Mathematics will use the funds, provided by Georgia’s Improving Teacher Quality Higher Education program, to strengthen and extend teachers’ content knowledge in their academic subjects with an emphasis on how deepened content knowledge has an impact on student learning and teaching practices.

“The Teacher Quality grant program is critical for bringing deeper content knowledge to elementary, middle and high school teachers in the state of Georgia,” said Dr. Charles Maris, associate vice president for research and sponsored projects. “The actual workshops the UWG faculty are providing may enhance knowledge within a specific discipline or may target technology, assessment or innovative teaching strategies. We are thrilled to once again play a key role in strengthening the quality of Georgia teachers in 2014.”

A total of seven grants were awarded to the 13 collaborating professors from the College of Education and the College of Science and Mathematics. The grants also address teachers’ use of technology alternative assessment strategies or innovative teaching strategies.  

“I am ecstatic with the successful, collaborative endeavors between the faculty members in the College of Science and Mathematics and the College of Education, which promotes continued interaction with school teachers in the region,” said Dr. Farooq Khan, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics. 

Professors awarded from the College of Education include Dr. Deborah Jenkins, Alison Ayers, Dr. Jason Huett, Dr. Kim Huett, Dr. Gail Marshal, Judy Cox and Dr. Francis Stonier. College of Science and Mathematics professors include Dr. Andy Walter, Dr. Sharmistha Basu-Dutt, Dr. Barbara Ballentine, Dr. Timothy Chowns, Dr. Anne Gaquere-Parker and Dr. Jung Eun Hong. 

“Teacher Quality grants improve public education statewide because they are an investment in teachers,” said Dr. Dianne Hoff, dean of the College of Education. “I am thrilled that UWG is a leader in these efforts.”

The University of Georgia manages Georgia’s Improving Teacher Quality Higher Education Program for the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. In 2006 and 2007 UWG received one award each year compared to seven sub-awards in 2014. Since 2006, UWG has received 41 teacher quality sub-awards totaling approximately $1.7 million. 

“UWG has always been a leader in teacher education in the state of Georgia,” said Dr. Donadrian Rice, interim provost and vice president of academic affairs and UWG professor of psychology.

“Receiving these grants is a confirmation of the commitment our faculty have to high quality instruction and improving educational delivery to the citizens of Georgia.”

“As we strive to differentiate UWG as a leading comprehensive university, professional development opportunities, such as the Teacher Quality grants, allow us to further invest in our outstanding faculty,” said Dr. Kyle Marrero, president of UWG.  “We are committed to developing innovative instructional modes of delivery, high-quality faculty trained in these instructional models, and scholarship and research activities that move academic and research programs to greater levels of quality, relevance and distinction.”

Complete List of UWG Grant Recipients:

Dr. Kim Huett, Instructor of Educational Technology and Foundations, College of Education 

Dr. Andy Walter, Assistant Professor of Geosciences, College of Science and Mathematics

Dr. Jason Huett, Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Online Development and USG eCore, College of Education

Improving Secondary Science Teachers’ Online and Blended Teaching Using TOOL - $36,252

Dr. Sharmistha Basu-Dutt, Professor of Chemistry, College of Science and Mathematics

Dr. Gail Marshal, Lecturer of STEM Education, College of Education

Enhancing the Nature of Science and Problem Solving in Elementary Science Instruction - $37,192

Dr. Deborah Jenkins, Professor and Coordinator of EDUC Sequence, College of Education

Flying Together: Connecting with Science Through Birds - $51,034

Dr. Deborah Jenkins, Professor and Coordinator of EDUC Sequence, College of Education

Dr. Barbara Ballentine, Assistant Professor of Biology, College of Science and Mathematics

Taking Wing: Engaging Students in Science through Birds - $45,863

Judy Cox, Lecturer of STEM Education, College of Education

Dr. Timothy Chowns, Retired Professor of Geosciences, College of Science and Mathematics 

Earth System for Middle and Secondary Teachers - $41,820

Dr. Anne Gaquere-Parker, Associate Professor of Chemistry, College of Science and Mathematics

Alison Ayers, STEM Master Teacher, College of Education

Chemistry and Art - $36,770

Dr. Jung Eun Jong, Assistant Professor of Geosciences, College of Science and Mathematics

Dr. Francis Stonier, Assistant Professor of Learning and Teaching Department, College of Education

Designing Technology Enhanced, Inquiry Based Lessons Using GIS - $35,395

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