MACON – Mercer University faculty members Dr. Dina Schwam and Dr. Bremen Vance were recently selected as 2022 Governor’s Teaching Fellows.
Dr. Schwam and Dr. Vance will represent Mercer among a select group of faculty from institutions of higher education across the state during the fellows program’s academic-year symposia and intensive two-week summer symposium, respectively.
“Dr. Schwam and Dr. Vance are ideal candidates for this prestigious program with their effective pedagogy and commitment to professional learning,” said Vice Provost Dr. Kelly Reffitt. “I am confident that they will contribute in important ways to the program’s discussions and in turn will enhance the learning experiences of Mercer students.”
Dr. Schwam serves as assistant professor of psychology and human services and coordinator of the B.S. in Human Services program in the College of Professional Advancement.
Her current research centers around the psychology of teaching and learning, including the study of individual differences in self-regulated learning in college students attending online classes, literacy, and research associated with the APA Introductory Psychology Initiative, with prior research also exploring executive function and symptom severity in children with Tourette Syndrome.
She has an ongoing interest in exploring individual differences in learning, with a concentration in cognition and motivation in various populations to increase successful opportunities for all individuals. Completed research in these areas has resulted in multiple publications in reputable international journals and presentations at regional and national conferences.
“I am so appreciative for this incredible opportunity,” said Dr. Schwam. “I am looking forward to gaining new knowledge and skills to share, in addition to the experience of being a part of this valuable program.”
Prior to coming to Mercer, Dr. Schwam was project director of the Center for the Study of Adult Literacy (CSAL) at Georgia State University (GSU), where she received the Outstanding Professional Service in Educational Psychology award from GSU’s College of Education and Human Development in 2017.
She earned her Ph.D. and Master of Science in educational psychology from Georgia State University and her Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland University College, now the University of Maryland Global Campus.
Dr. Vance serves as assistant professor of technical communication in the School of Engineering.
His research interests involve the ways technologies enable and shape human communication. He teaches a variety of courses on technical communication, content strategy, web development and user experience.
“I am excited to represent Mercer as a Governor’s Teaching Fellow,” said Dr. Vance. “I will be developing plans for supporting the use of extended reality (AR/VR) tools in communication projects. Experience working with immersive and interactive media will be another feature of Mercer’s Department of Technical Communication and will help students develop new skills. This teaching fellowship will be a great opportunity to connect with invested and talented educators and to bring new ideas back.”
Prior to coming to Mercer, Dr. Vance served as assistant director of Iowa State University’s communication-across-the-curriculum (ISUComm) initiative Foundation Courses and a member of the ISUComm Online Learning Team while earning his Ph.D. in rhetoric and professional communication from the University. He previously taught at Metropolitan State University of Denver, the University of Northern Colorado and Disney English in Nanjing, China.
In addition to his Ph.D., he earned his Master of Arts in English from the University of Northern Colorado and Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Additionally, Dr. John Carroll, associate professor of organizational development and leadership and coordinator of the M.S. in Organizational Leadership program in the College of Professional Advancement, was selected as an alternate for the summer symposium.
The Governor’s Teaching Fellows Program was established by the late Zell Miller, governor of Georgia from 1991-1999, to provide Georgia’s higher education faculty with expanded opportunities for developing important teaching skills. The program is offered through the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia.