Athens, Ga. – University of Georgia science education professor Mary M. Atwater has been named an inaugural Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in recognition of her outstanding accomplishments in education research.
Atwater, a professor in the College of Education’s department of mathematics and science education, will be officially inducted into the inaugural class of AERA Fellows at the association’s annual meeting in San Diego in April 2009.
“It was a surprise that an invitation to be an AERA inaugural Fellow was extended to me,” Atwater said. “Of course, as an educational researcher, I was honored to be recognized for my work.
Atwater cited her research participants, students, colleagues at UGA and other universities as well as staff members who have supported her work and assisted her in a commitment to research excellence and the advancement of educational research.
Atwater has been recognized for her work before. She was named among 1999’s African-American Phenomenal Women by the African-American Professional Women of the Athens Area and was named to the National Technical Association’s Academy of Top Minority Women in Science and Engineering in 1997 and 1998. She was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1995.
Atwater, who joined the UGA faculty in 1987, was the first African-American female to earn a doctorate in science education at North Carolina State University in 1980. She was the first African-American female to serve as a department head at UGA when she headed the department of mathematics and science education in 2005. She received her M.A. in organic chemistry from the University of North Carolina and her B.S. in chemistry, magna cum laude, from Methodist College in Fayetteville, N.C.