Engineering student receives NAGT Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award

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MACON – Mercer University School of Engineering student Sara Binet recently received the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award.

NAGT recognizes outstanding teaching assistants in geoscience education with as many as 30 awards annually to both undergraduate and graduate students. Award recipients receive a one-year membership in NAGT, which includes an online subscription to the Journal of Geoscience Education and In The Trenches quarterly magazine.

Binet, from Birmingham, Alabama, is a junior environmental engineering major with minors in engineering for development, French and chemistry. She was recognized for her support of Mercer On Mission’s groundwater program in the Dominican Republic, as well as her preceptor-level work involving the development and teaching of a three-dimensional groundwater flow project.

“Sara’s work helping to advance the teaching of groundwater hydrology and related subjects at Mercer has been very significant, including leading the design and teaching of innovative groundwater classroom and field activities,” said Dr. Michael MacCarthy, associate professor of environmental and civil engineering, who nominated Binet for the award.

Binet also serves as a research assistant with the Cecil Day Family Center for International Groundwater Innovation at Mercer, established in June 2020 to accelerate efforts in the Mercer On Mission program and the School of Engineering to provide access to clean water to the world’s most water-poor communities.

“I was lucky to find research I really care about early on at Mercer through the Mercer On Mission program in the Dominican Republic. Learning from the community in the Dominican Republic and seeing the benefits of groundwater development research firsthand was extremely impactful to me as a first-year student. I am thankful to have been involved in groundwater research and teaching through Dr. MacCarthy’s research group since summer 2019. I have truly enjoyed growing in my research and education as I’ve grown as a student, and being recognized for this work is a huge honor for me,” said Binet.

Binet is Goldwater Scholar, participant in the Engineering Honors Program and member of Phi Eta Sigma, Tau Beta Phi and Phi Sigma Iota honor societies.

The National Association of Geoscience Teachers works to raise the quality of and emphasis on teaching the geosciences at all levels. Members include K-12 teachers and college and university faculty, as well as educators working with the general public through outlets such as museums and science centers.

About the School of Engineering

Mercer University’s School of Engineering, founded in 1985, offers innovative and academically challenging programs that provide students with a comprehensive education, featuring a solid foundation in mathematics and sciences, a core engineering curriculum, a range of courses in engineering specialties and a strong emphasis on communication technologies. The School is consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top three master’s-degree-level engineering schools in the Southeast. Known for its breadth of instruction in its undergraduate program and its five-year joint bachelor’s and master’s degree program, the School combines technical education with hands-on laboratory experience. Mercer engineers can look forward to joining fellow alumni in companies such as Robins Air Force Base, Mercer Engineering Research Center, Northrop Grumman, Georgia Power, Manhattan Associates and Gulfstream Aerospace.

Kyle Sears
Kyle is the director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he coordinates hometown and university news releases and serves as editor of the News@Mercer e-newsletter and Reach magazine.​