Amazing Students Profiles

Anna Scott

Anna Scott

One of the favorite parts of Anna Scott’s job is working with the college students and watching them come to new understandings of what teaching and learning science really means. She works with students in a service-learning program for UGA science majors called FOCUS. She says FOCUS students leave the program with a deep respect for public school teachers and a refreshed view of why we learn science. Additionally, since she has been at UGA, she has received two grants. One is from the Corporation for National and Community Service and the one is from the Board of Regents. Both are used to make program improvements in an after school tutoring program at Pinewood Estates, a largely Spanish-speaking mobile home community north of campus.


Conyers, Georgia

High School:

Heritage High School

Degree objective:

Ph.D. in science education

Other degrees:

B.S., Biology, Berry College, 1999
M.Ed., Science Education, University of Georgia, 2003

Expected graduation:

December 2006

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

In the spring of 2005 I was awarded both the Outstanding Teaching Award and the Excellence in Teaching Award for my teaching efforts on campus. My teaching has involved two service learning initiatives. I previously coordinated and handled instruction for the UGA students involved in after school tutoring at Pinewood Estates, a largely Spanish-speaking mobile home community north of campus. Currently, I teach science majors who spend 3 hours a week helping with science instruction in elementary schools in a program entitled FOCUS (Fostering our Community’s Understanding of Science) which is supported by both the College of Agriculture and Environmental Services and PRISM (Partnership for Reform in Science and Math, a large National Science Foundation grant aimed at improving math and science teaching and learning in Georgia).

I have also successfully written two grants in my time at UGA, both aimed at fostering appreciation for diversity. The first grant was from the Corporation for National and Community Service, and it was used to defray costs of providing tutoring services to the children of Pinewood Estates. The second grant was from the Board of Regents and was specifically awarded to aid in efforts to increase the number of minority students involved in the program at Pinewood Estates.

I also had my first paper, as first author, accepted for publication in Academic Exchange Quarterly’s Spring 2005 issue. The paper, entitled Service-Learning and Science: A Successful Model, attempts to make available to other institutions the skeleton of FOCUS–which I believe is a great program and should be expanded!

Current Employment:

I am a graduate assistant at UGA and my responsibilities include coordinating FOCUS, a service learning experience for UGA science majors. I work with both the partner teachers in the schools and also with the UGA students in a classroom setting. I am charged with helping them understand how to take their content knowledge and make it accessible to children.

I chose to attend UGA because…

…the science education program at UGA is one of the best in the country. Athens is a great place to live and work, and it doesn’t hurt that my extended family is just an hour away!

My favorite things to do on campus are…

…to find a quiet place on campus and read, and I love to walk on the campus. It just feels like a university is supposed to. Sometimes I walk from Aderhold all the way downtown for lunch, and I just soak up the academic feeling, especially on north campus.

When I have free time, I like…

What free time? If I’m not at school, I can be found doing something with my husband and 3 year old son—usually involving a playground! I also love taking my 2 dogs out for jaunts at the off-leash dog park. In November, I’ll be busy having my second child, a girl!

The craziest thing I’ve done is…

…writing my first grant to the Corporation of National and Community Service, because I had no grant writing experience. I really just wanted to try it out, and then it got funded! I learned the work of carrying out the grant is almost as hard as writing it.

My favorite place to study is…

…in the science library. I just feel smarter in there! I always go there to write too, now that I’m working on my prospectus.

My favorite professor is…

…Steve Oliver in Science Education. He is my major professor and is the reason that I believe I can complete my degree. He is an amazing mentor. He has done wonderful things for my writing skills, and he never complains that I take up too much of his time!

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…

…my husband, Trey. We have learned since starting a family that stolen moments together—just us—are really special and absolutely priceless.

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

…scuba dive! The truth is I’m too scared that something will be wrong with my equipment, or that I’ll get down on the ocean floor and forget what I’m supposed to do. I have always thought it must be amazing to look at the sea like that though. Snorkeling will have to do for now.

After graduation, I plan to…

…be a professor, and I want to work at an institution that values diversity and service learning. I love academia, but I know I will never be happy if I don’t feel like I can immediately see the results of my work in my community.

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

I really hope it is a successful dissertation defense!