Campus News

Teaching Academy Fellows Program connects new faculty with campus leaders

The TAFP fellows 2020-2021 are, from the top left, Alexa Bankert, Alli Injaian, Andrew Jackson, Catrin Tyl, Gulcan Saglam, Mattia Pistone, Jessica Fernandez, Jewon Lyu, Julie Campbell, Martin Hamel, Jean Mangan, Karim Jetha, Pedro Fontes, Robyn Ellerbrock, Xia Zhao and Maureen Flint. Not pictured are Ryon Cobb, Christian DeAngelis, Venessa Gonlin, Magdalena Matuskova, Hillary Palmer, Amanda Rugenski, Valerie Ryman, Abdul Sasay and Julie Van Weelden. (Submitted photo)

The UGA Teaching Academy launched the 10th cohort of early-career fellows program in August. Like previous years, the program brings together promising instructional faculty with experienced mentors across campus to promote excellence in the classroom. The only change is that this fall they have been meeting online rather than in person.

The welcome reception in August featured a presentation, Online-learning: Tips of the Trade by Craig Piercy, the director of the Master of Business and Technology program in the Terry College of Business.

President Jere W. Morehead participated in a virtual forum with fellows and their mentors in September. Morehead highlighted faculty and administrators who had built reputations for excellence in teaching as well as research, including several who serve as program mentors. He thanked the fellows for their resilience and determination.

Raye Rawls, senior public service associate at the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, led the October program on “Creating Brave Spaces in the Classroom.”

Vice President for Student Affairs Victor K. Wilson led a student-focused session in November.

In addition to workshops with campus leaders, fellows participate monthly in small group sessions, led by mentors from the Teaching Academy, throughout the academic year.

The Teaching Academy Fellows for 2020-2021 are Alexa Bankert, Julie Campbell, Ryon Cobb, Christian DeAngelis, Robyn Ellerbrock, Jessica Fernandez, Maureen Flint, Pedro Fontes, Venessa Gonlin, Martin Hamel, Alli Injaian, Andrew Jackson, Karim Jetha, Jewon Lyu, Jean Mangan, Magdalena Matuskova, Hillary Palmer, Mattia Pistone, Amanda Rugenski, Valerie Ryman, Gulcan Saglam, Abdul Sasay, Catrin Tyl, Julie Van Weelden and Xia Zhao.

The University of Georgia Teaching Academy executive board selects around two dozen fellows annually from nominations submitted by deans, directors and department heads.

Josef Broder, Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor, associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and chair of the Teaching Academy Executive Committee, said, “We’re pleased with the impact of the program over the past 10 years. This program continues to fill a vital role of creating a sense of community among and support for our early-career teachers across campus.”

Paige Carmichael, Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Pathology in the College of Veterinary Medicine; Mark Huber, senior lecturer in management information systems; and Andy Owsiak, Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of International Affairs, coordinate the Teaching Academy Fellows Program.

Carmichael noted the importance of continuing the group’s programming and mentoring this year even if they could not physically meet. “We decided that early career faculty at UGA needed this kind of mentoring more than ever during these unprecedented times,” she said. To provide additional individual support, the program increased the number of small groups from four to five.

This year’s mentors are Malcolm Adams, Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Mathematics; Peggy Brickman, Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor in Plant Biology; Carmichael; Sherry Clouser, director of instructional and curricular innovation in the College of Veterinary Medicine; Gaylen Edwards, head of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology and Georgia Athletic Association Professorship in Veterinary Medicine; William Finlay, Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor of Sociology and adjunct professor of International Affairs; Mark Huber; Owsiak; and Craig Piercy.

The program is coordinated by the UGA Teaching Academy with the assistance of Executive Secretary Michele Matthews and financial support from the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.