MACON/ATLANTA – Two Mercer University faculty members were selected as Governor's Teaching Fellows, a highly selective program sponsored by the Institute of Higher Education and the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Georgia. Dr. Bridget Trogden, associate professor of chemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and director of First-Year Integrative Studies, and Dr. Wynnetta Scott-Simmons, associate professor in the Tift College of Education's Department of Graduate Studies, have been involved in the prestigious program designed to encourage higher education faculty to develop important teaching skills through emerging technologies and instructional tools.
Faculty at public and private schools alike can participate. One faculty member per university can be nominated for the program's academic year fellowship, and one per university for its two-week summer symposium. Participation is limited to 12 faculty members for each.
Dr. Trogden is participating in the academic year fellowship, which meets three times per month.
“I knew that I wanted to participate in the academic year fellowship so that I could be exposed to many ideas and bring up teaching matters over a longer time span,” she said. “I am in my ninth year at Mercer, and will have my first sabbatical in spring 2014, so this year was a great time to participate.”
Dr. Trogden said she hopes that, through the program, she will become an ambassador to Mercer's campus by disseminating what she learns.
“I find that being able to attend seminars and programs outside of Mercer assists with my creativity and ability to establish innovative pedagogical practices,” she said.
Dr. Scott-Simmons participated in the intensive two-week summer symposium, which she said provided her with the opportunity “to broaden my pedagogical skills while establishing special professional relationships with faculty who teach in a variety of disciplines from all over the state.”
Dr. Scott-Simmons has over 20 years of teaching and administrative experience. She taught English as a second language and preschool in Singapore; Bangkok, Thailand; and Mbabane, Swaziland. She has been on the Tift College of Education faculty since 2005, and earned her Ph.D. in curriculum studies from Georgia Southern University in 2007.
Dr. Trogden received her Ph.D. in organic chemistry and graduate teaching certificate from the University of Illinois in 2005. She received her Bachelor of Arts with honors from Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky., in 2000.
The Governor's Teaching Fellows began in 1995 thanks to then-Gov. Zell Miller. Criteria for selection into the program include excellence in teaching, interest in continuing to improve instruction, ability to have an impact on campus and the strong commitments of the home institution to the faculty member's participation.
About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,300 students in 12 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing, health professions, and continuing and professional studies – on campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah – and four regional academic centers across the state. The Mercer Health Sciences Center, launched July 1, 2012, includes the University's medical, nursing, health sciences and pharmacy schools. Mercer is affiliated with four teaching hospitals – Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and The Medical Center and St. Francis Hospital in Columbus. The University also has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. It operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program.