Professors Selected as Governor’s Teaching Fellows


MACON — Mercer University faculty members Catherine M. Gardner, Ph.D., Colleen Stapleton, Ph.D., and J. Grady Strom, Jr., Ph.D., were among 12 educators from across the state selected to participate in the prestigious Governor’s Teaching Fellows Program for the 2006-2007 academic year.

            The elite program was established in 1995 by then Gov. Zell Miller to provide Georgia’s higher education faculty with expanded opportunities for developing important teaching skills, particularly those addressing how to use emerging technologies in the classroom. As Fellows, the three Mercer faculty members will attend three-day symposia six times during the 2006-2007 academic year. They will also participate in instructional projects on the Mercer campus.

            Faculty members from colleges and universities throughout the state apply to become one of the 12 Fellows chosen for the highly competitive program. It is unusual for three faculty members from one institution to be selected as Governor’s Teaching Fellows.

“The selection of these faculty members underscores the commitment of Mercer faculty to the creation of excellent and innovative teaching environments that encourage active engagement and deep learning,” said Horace W. Fleming, Mercer’s executive vice president and provost.

             Gardner is professor of education and science at Tift College of Education; Stapleton is assistant professor of science in the College of Continuing and Professional Studies; and Strom is vice chair and associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning in the Southern School of Pharmacy.

            Some of the criteria for selection in the Program include excellence in teaching, interest in continuing to improve instruction, ability to have an impact on the home campus, and the strong commitment of the home institution to the faculty member’s participation. The Governor’s Teaching Fellows Program is jointly sponsored by the Institute of Higher Education and the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Georgia. Governor’s Teaching Fellows may participate in academic year symposia; an intensive summer symposium; or an academic-year residency at the University of Georgia. Past symposia have addressed numerous topics in using technology in the classroom and other pedagogical innovations.

About Mercer University:

Founded in 1833, Mercer University has campuses in Macon and Atlanta as well as three regional academic centers. With 10 schools and colleges, the University offers programs in liberal arts, business, engineering, education, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, law and theology. In July 2006, an eleventh academic unit, a School of Music, will be introduced. For 16 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Mercer University as one of the leading universities in the South.