Dr. Kimberly Hunt, assistant professor of biology and genetics at South Georgia State College, was selected as a 2017 Governor's Teaching Fellow. As one of 16 faculty members from institutions of higher education across the state, Dr. Hunt was selected after a highly competitive application and selection process.
Hunt earned an associate of science degree from Chipola College; a bachelor of science in botany and a minor in plant molecular and cellular biology from the University of Florida; and a Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Georgia. After graduate school, she was a postdoctoral scholar at the BioEnergy Science Center in Dr. Debra Monhen's lab. She became a full-time faculty member at South Georgia State College (SGSC) in 2012. In addition to teaching science courses, she serves as the coordinator of the Bachelor of biological sciences program and advisor for the SGSC pre-med club.
"A teacher is like a performer on stage who strives to maintain interest while telling a story," Hunt says. "For science teachers, the story is full of facts, needed skills, and scientific principles; however, the story has to be interesting or the students' focus is lost and their minds drift. Therefore, to facilitate learning and to inspire students requires a fine balancing act between presenting important concepts and holding the interest of the students. I want to be able to present information in a way that engages students with different learning styles and allows them to develop problem-solving skills while using scientific principles and class-specific knowledge." She continues, "The Governor's Teaching Fellows Program will provide an opportunity to expand the pedagogy toolkit I use to reach students. This will help these students take charge of their learning and develop critical skills and knowledge needed for success in STEM field and the workforce. I am also hoping to have the opportunity to share what I learn with my colleagues as we all strive to produce students who are lifelong learners able to handle a wide variety of challenges."
Dr. Ingrid Thompson-Sellers, president of South Georgia State College states, "Dr. Hunt has a significant impact on the SGSC community. She provides a positive learning environment where her students are able to comprehend and navigate through a complex subject matter. Her expertise and commitment to undergraduate teaching and research causes her to be highly respected amongst her peers and students. I am pleased she was selected for this honor and know she will be a wonderful addition to the Governor's Teaching Fellows Program."
The Governor's Teaching Fellows Program was established in 1995 by Zell Miller, governor of Georgia, 1991-1999, to provide Georgia's higher education faculty with expanded opportunities for developing important teaching skills. Governor Miller envisioned that this program would address faculty members' pressing need to use emerging technologies and instructional tools that are becoming increasingly important for learning in today's society.
The Governor's Teaching Fellows Program is an outreach program of the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia. To improve the quality of instruction in Georgia's colleges and universities, the Governor's Teaching Fellows Program assumes the complex challenge of moving college faculty members to the leading edge of instructional practice. This effort to enhance instruction in public and private higher education statewide is very much in keeping with the University of Georgia's traditional mission as a land-grant institution committed to diversified outreach and public service.
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