UGA has appointed Timothy Burg, an engineer whose work bridges academia and industry, to direct its Office of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education.
Burg, previously a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Kansas State University, will lead efforts to enhance instruction and learning outcomes in the STEM fields at UGA as well as throughout the state, with partners in K-12 education and at other universities.
“Student interest in STEM has been on an upward trajectory for the past several years, and these fields play a critical role in the economic competitiveness of our state and nation,” said Provost Pamela Whitten. “Dr. Burg brings an extraordinary set of qualifications to UGA, and he will play a significant leadership role in advancing STEM education across the university and across Georgia.”
The Office of Stem Education was founded in 2007 and represents UGA in the University System of Georgia Board of Regents STEM Initiative. The percentage of undergraduate students receiving degrees in STEM majors has increased dramatically at UGA, rising from 15 to 21 percent over the past decade. At the doctoral level, 29 percent of UGA degrees awarded last year were in STEM fields.
“Dr. Burg brings a unique set of experiences and insight from both industry and education, and will serve to increase UGA’s efforts to prepare the next generation of professionals who can make a global impact in STEM areas,” said Vice President for Instruction Rahul Shrivastav.
Burg has served as an investigator in a National Science Foundation-funded program to train graduate students in mentoring undergraduates at risk of dropping out and recently completed the NSF I-Corps-L program, which teaches participants how to disseminate evidence-based instructional approaches. He is a professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine, and his recent research focuses on designing and testing a robotic system that stacks living cells to make tissues and ultimately build new organs.
“It is an exciting time to be involved in STEM education at UGA,” Burg said. “Research over the past decade has revealed so much about learning styles, teaching techniques, and motivation. UGA and the University System of Georgia have created an environment where this knowledge can be used to enhance our teaching, mentoring and outreach programs. I am honored to join the faculty and staff in these efforts.”