KSU grad students commit to teach STEM subjects in Georgia schools

A building on the KSU campus -- photo by Larry Felton Johnson

Twelve students have been chosen to enter Kennesaw State University graduate degree programs on Woodrow Wilson fellowships.  In exchange for $30,000 to complete their master’s degrees, they are committed to three-year terms after graduation, teaching STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math) at those urban or rural schools with the most need. The master’s programs include coursework and a year of classroom teaching experience.

There are 63 students statewide in the program for the academic year 2017-2018.  The host universities are Columbus State University, Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, Mercer University and Piedmont College.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said,

The Woodrow Wilson Fellowship is about putting well-trained, committed educators in not only the fields of highest demand in our technology-driven age but in the schools of highest need here in Georgia. STEM education plays a critical role in our state’s competitiveness and future economic prosperity, and the most important thing we can do for our students in this field is ensure they have effective teachers. This opportunity for teachers is leading to a brighter future for students as they prepare for the 21st-century workforce.

The Wilson Fellows entering the program at KSU are:

  • Darby Bagwell, Grayson, Ga., a 2017 Georgia College grad in mathematics;
  • Mars Berwanger, Houston, Texas, ’16, Georgia Institute of Technology, electrical engineering;
  • Carol Bowe, Hyde Park, Mass., ’17, Bryn Mawr College, physics;
  • Sara Brumbaugh, Kenova, W. Va., ’17, Marshall University, applied mathematics and education;
  • Jennifer Callison-Bliss, Littleton, Colo.,’16, Montana State University, biology;
  • Luke Green, Calhoun, Ga.,’17, Shorter University, ecology and field biology;
  • Rena Ingram, Augusta, Ga., ’14, Fort Valley State University, chemistry;
  • Nidhi Loomba, Kennesaw, Ga., ’97, Georgia State University, biology, and M.S. ’99, organic chemistry;
  • Diane Overton, Smyrna, Ga., ’94, University of Notre Dame, mathematics;
  • Katherine Thornton, Suwanee, Ga., ’14, University of North Georgia, biology;
  • Starrissa Winters, Atlanta, Ga., ’09, Spelman College, biology and biochemistry; and
  • Jessica Wise, Marietta, Ga., ’05, Kennesaw State University, English, and M.A., ’09, University of West Georgia, English.

According to a press release from Kennesaw State University:

The fellowship program, administered by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation with in-state coordination by the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education (GPEE) and support from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, is part of the University System of Georgia’s initiative to produce 20,000 new teachers by 2020. Current project funding is $13.7 million, with the five university partners each receiving $400,000 in matching grants to develop their teacher preparation programs based on standards set by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. The participating Georgia colleges and universities have each enrolled approximately 12 fellows annually over the three-year period.