Campus News Faculty Spotlight

Lecturer, coach helps students navigate academia

Megan Brock is a lecturer and academic coach in the Division of Academic Enhancement. (Dorothy Kozlowski/UGA)

Megan Brock’s teaching serves to keep students on their academic course

After spending just a few minutes with Megan Brock, it is evident that student equity and wellness is at the center of her teaching philosophy.

“My goal as a lecturer and academic coach is to empower students to stabilize themselves when waves of life threaten their trajectory,” she said. “If you imagine students as boats on a sea, there are always going to be waves—challenges—that could move them off course. Our goal is to help them know what their anchor in life is, to equip them with skills needed to navigate rough waters of academia, so they’ll be in control of their own journey.”

Brock began her work as a lecturer and academic coach in the Division of Academic Enhancement in January 2019. In the short time she has been part of the division, Brock has transformed the lives of the students inside and outside her classrooms.

“Working in the DAE affords me the opportunity to effectively convey translational research as an applied psychologist. I enjoy working with an interdisciplinary, diverse faculty and staff to serve students of all walks of life,” she said. “Every day I have the privilege of saying that I work with others who facilitate classes, coaching, programming and initiatives that collectively support the retention and graduation of the scholars of tomorrow.”

“Dr. Brock’s commitment to student success is both unwavering and inspiring. Since her arrival in the division, she has made significant contributions as a faculty member, colleague and advocate for students,” said T. Chase Hagood, director of the division. “From innovative, inclusive approaches to teaching within the UNIV (university orientation course) curriculum to her concern and compassion for students expressed through academic coaching, Brock’s work reflects the division’s commitment to empowering students to learn—differently.

Brock’s main role in the DAE is serving as a lecturer for several UNIV courses including Becoming Active Learners, First-Generation Student Success and Preparing for Peer Learning.

“I truly enjoy the small-group community that UNIV courses allow for. Even this past semester with many of our classes in an online or hybrid setting, I made sure to include a community building or mindfulness activity as the beginning of each class period,” she said. “This allowed students to be intentional with their time in class and to also acknowledge what they want to keep and what they want to let go from the week.”

This spring semester, Brock is joining efforts with Wendy Biddle to co-instruct a new UNIV course called Diverse Community Psychological Wellbeing.

“We created this course with the hope that students would have a safe space to talk about tough subjects, challenge their current ideologies, and develop a better understanding of community wellness,” she said.

Although planning for this new course pre-dates COVID-19, Brock and Biddle understand the significance of this course during the COVID-19 pandemic and current social climate. The class will adopt a unique structure with the first half of the semester being dedicated to learning terminology, building community and creating a safe space to share, while the latter half of the semester will be dedicated to an immersive experience called Reacting to the Past. Students will engage in a several-weeks-long game where they will develop and debate about equity in Title IX policies at a fictional university.

In addition to supporting students across campus, Brock also facilitates the faculty learning community on “Culturally Relevant Pedagogy.” This group of faculty members from across campus meets every few weeks to understand how to make their teaching practices more equitable.

“Currently, we are reviewing terminology and understanding how that translates into what we can do to make our classroom experience more equitable for all students,” she said.

She also serves on the Campus Wellness Committee, which seeks to develop wellness initiatives for students, staff and faculty across the institution.

When asked where she would like to be in five years, Brock said, “I’m here to educate. In five years, I want to be sitting at more tables so that I can increase my instructional impact and advocacy for students.”