A Berry College graduate has been selected as a Woodrow Wilson Georgia Teaching Fellow for 2017.
Hannah Grice Tompkins, a 2015 grad from Woodstock, Ga., is one of 63 teaching fellows chosen. The highly competitive national program recruits both recent graduates and career changers with strong backgrounds in STEM fields; science, technology, engineering and math, in order to prepare them specifically to teach in high-need secondary schools.
Each fellow receives $30,000 to pay for a specially d esigned, cutting-edge master’s degree program based on a year-long classroom experience. In return, fellows commit to teach for three years in the urban and rural Georgia schools that most need strong STEM teachers. Throughout the three-year commitment, fellows receive ongoing support and mentoring.
After graduating from Berry with a B.S. in environmental science with a biology concentration, Tompkins pursued a master’s degree in integrative biology at Kennesaw State University. She accepted a teaching assistantship at Kennesaw State where she taught Biology II labs through Spring 2017.
Tompkins focused her master’s thesis research in aquatic ecology, specifically looking at differences in digestive morphology and gut microbiota in a species of minnow native to Northwest Georgia. She presented her research at two regional conferences and received awards for both her poster and oral presentations.
“While I greatly enjoy doing research, I found teaching and mentoring young people to be even more rewarding,” Tompkins said. “I am now pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching at Georgia State in Secondary Science Education through the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship in the hopes of teaching high school biology at a high needs school in Georgia.”
More information about the fellowship can be found on their website: http://woodrow.org/news/.