Two Professors Selected for Governor’s Teaching Fellows Program


ATLANTA/MACON – 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. Karen Weller Swanson, associate professor of education and director of doctoral studies in curriculum and instruction in the Tift College of Education, and Dr. James Hunt, professor of law and business in the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics and the Walter F. George School of Law, have been involved in the prestigious program designed to encourage higher education faculty to develop important teaching skills through emerging technologies and instructional tools.

Dr. Swanson participated in the program's intensive two-week summer symposium, while Dr. Hunt is participating in the 2015-2016 academic year fellowship consisting of six three-day symposia.

Dr. Swanson teaches qualitative research courses at the master's and doctoral levels and serves on the STEM Committee at Mercer.

Dr. Swanson is the former chair of the Research Advisory Board for the Association for Middle Level Education and president of the school council and STEM Committee at Sagamore Hills Elementary School in Atlanta. She previously served as editor of the journal Research in Middle Level Education Online.

Her research interests include transformative education, teacher professional development, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. She earned her Doctor of Education, Master of Education and Bachelor of Science degrees from Northern Arizona University.

“It was an honor to participate in the Governor's Teaching Fellows program,” said Dr. Swanson. “It is invigorating to collaborate with colleagues from around the state and from across the disciplines. The program provides necessary time to be reflective about teaching and learning, as well as providing new pedagogical ideas.”

Dr. Hunt came to Mercer in 1995 and has been teaching in the University's law and business schools since 1998. 

He practiced corporate law with the international firm Hunton & Williams and worked as a judicial clerk with the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He also served as a Fulbright Scholar in Law in Kiev, Ukraine, in 2005-2006.

His research interests include American legal and business history. He has published two books, Marion Butler and American Populism (2003) and Relationship Banker: Eugene W. Stetson, Wall Street, and American Business, 1916-1959 (2009). He earned his Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Arts from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and Master of Laws from Harvard University.

“The Governor's Teaching Fellows program provides a great opportunity to learn about new ideas and methods in university teaching,” said Dr. Hunt. “I'm excited about meeting other professors from Georgia, discussing current challenges and innovative solutions, and bringing benefits from the experience back to Mercer.”

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.