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Middle grades teacher candidates attend state conference


Victoria Ramirez, Tiana Gordon, keynote speaker Dave Burgess, and Jillian Arnold.

Pictured (l-r) are middle grades majors Jillian Arnold, Rachel Allen, Tiana Gordon and Amanda Ellis.

In February, five middle grades teacher candidates from Georgia Southern University attended the Georgia Middle School Association (GMSA) Annual Conference held in Valdosta. Georgia.

Rachel Allen, Jillian Arnold, Amanda Ellis, Tiana Gordon and Victoria Ramirez learned strategies, methods, applications and other ideas from educators from across Georgia.

Students also heard from keynote speaker Dave Burgess, author of Teach Like a Pirate, a inspirational book that offers practical and innovative ideas to increase student engagement, boost creativity and transform educators. Burgess encouraged attendees to strive to create “LCLs,” or life-changing lessons, for their students.

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Undergraduate students present at NYAR Conference

Megan Fromme

Abigail Slattery

Elise Rustine

Three undergraduate College of Education students presented at the 29th Annual National Youth-At-Risk Conference held in Savannah, March 4-6. Megan Fromme, Abigail Slattery and Elise Rustine participated in the poster presentations featuring research conducted for their honors thesis projects. All three students are enrolled in the Georgia Southern University Honors Program.

Professor Meca Williams-Johnson, Ph.D. serves as the faculty mentor for the honors students in the COE, guiding their research interests and assisting with research methodologies.

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Register for EdCamp at Georgia Southern today

Registration is open for Georgia Southern University’s third annual EdCamp, which will take place on Saturday, April 21 at the University’s College of Education (COE) on the Statesboro Campus, from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. EdCamp is a free, participant-driven professional development program for K-12 educators.

Often referred to as an “unconference” because of the lack of traditional conference structure, EdCamp is a fun, unique learning experience built on principles of connected and participatory learning. Attendees are asked to present current classroom practices, learn what others are doing, gain support for employing best practices in the classroom and actively participate in a host of sessions related to teaching and learning. Attendees help decide the sessions for the day based on a consensus of what they would like to learn or discuss.

According to EdCamp Co-Coordinator Michelle Reidel, Ph.D., EdCamp has established a new partnership with with Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) Education.

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College of Education professor receives national lifetime mentor award

Brandon Hunt, Ph.D.

Georgia Southern University College of Education (COE) Professor Brandon Hunt, Ph.D., has been awarded the Jane E. Myers Lifetime Mentor Award and will be recognized at the 2018 American Counseling Association Conference in April for her significant contribution to the counseling profession.

With more than 26 years of experience instructing counselors, Hunt has served as a professor in the COE since 2014.

Prior to earning her doctorate and moving into higher education, Hunt worked as a full-time counselor for three years and also facilitated long-term counseling groups. The opportunity to supervise counselors during that time drove her to become a counselor educator.

“In my master’s program, my mentor Dr. William Van Hoose, told me I should be faculty someday,” she said. “At the time, I couldn’t even talk in front of groups of people, so I told him he was crazy. Now, I’m faculty.”

Hunt says the best part of her job is working with the students.

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Georgia Southern is helping high school students GEAR UP

Science and mathematics teachers participating in the GEAR UP Georgia grant completed a professional development with Georgia Southern faculty in summer 2017. An additional training is scheduled for this coming summer.

Georgia Southern University’s College of Education (COE) faculty are making a difference for at-risk high school students by participating in the
Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program (GEAR UP) Georgia. The statewide project provides supportive services to help students complete their high school diplomas and prepare them for post-secondary education.

First funded in 2016, the grant is being issued by the U.S. Department of Education to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia by and on behalf of Georgia Institute of Technology. The award, administered over seven years, will total $21 million dollars and serves more than 12,000 high-need students in more than 40 schools throughout Georgia.

Georgia Southern Professor of Middle Grades and Secondary Education Robert Mayes, Ph.D., and members of the COE’s Institute for Interdisciplinary STEM Education (i2STEMe) worked with the University System of Georgia starting in 2015 to submit the proposal.

The COE is now taking an active role in the project by offering professional development for 8th and 9th grade teachers. The training provides teachers with engaging curriculum and activities for teaching interdisciplinary STEM within science and mathematics classes as well as strategies to enrich curriculum so it is culturally relevant to their students.

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