Haley Nagle, who graduated cum laude from the University of Georgia in May with a bachelor of science degree in ecology and entomology, has been named a Woodrow Wilson Georgia Teaching Fellow. Nagle, from Dacula, Ga., will attend Piedmont College in 2016-2017 to pursue a master’s degree in education focused on preparing educators in science, technology, engineering and math—the STEM disciplines—to teach in high-need secondary schools in Georgia.
The announcement was made by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, at the State Capitol on June 1.
The highly competitive fellowship attracts talented candidates with backgrounds in STEM fields for an innovative, year-long graduate program at one of five participating colleges and universities. Fellows receive a $30,000 stipend to complete the program, and commit to teaching for three years in one of the urban or rural Georgia schools most in need of strong STEM teachers. They receive ongoing support and mentoring during that time.
“The Woodrow Wilson Fellowship is about putting well-trained, committed educators in not only the fields of highest demand in our technology-driven age, but in the schools of highest need here in Georgia,” said Deal in announcing the 2016 Fellows. “STEM education plays a critical role in our state’s competitiveness and future economic prosperity and the most important thing we can do for our students in this field is ensure they have effective teachers. This opportunity for teachers is leading to a brighter future for students as they prepare for the 21st century workforce.”
This year’s cohort of 60 Fellows includes recent college graduates as well as established professionals changing careers, among them 15 with master’s degrees and three with doctorates.
Nagle’s experiences at UGA include conducting research on the effects of global climate change on Rocky Mountain plant life with Jill Anderson, an assistant professor of ecology and genetics.
“Haley has a very promising future as a science educator,” said Anderson.” She is an enthusiastic and dynamic student and researcher. She will bring energy, charisma and a solid foundation in ecology and evolutionary biology into the classroom.”
Nagle served as co-president of the Ecology Club and as an Odum School student ambassador and was a lab assistant in the entomology department. She gained teaching experience as a volunteer teaching assistant for the tropical ecology field course in Costa Rica.
“Haley Nagle is not only a good scientist but a pleasure to work with,” said Scott Connelly, an assistant professor in the Odum School of Ecology, her supervisor in Costa Rica. “She is well-respected by faculty and students, and her positive attitude motivates students to want to learn. She’ll be a real asset to STEM education in Georgia.”
The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation was originally established in 1945 to attract World War II veterans to pursue graduate degrees and enter academic and public service careers, later expanding its focus to help meet other critical needs.
The Georgia Teaching Fellowship program, which will run for three years, began in 2014 and accepted its first cohort in 2015. It is a collaboration between the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, with support from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation. Participating educational institutions are Columbus State University, Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, Mercer University and Piedmont College.
For more about the Woodrow Wilson Georgia Teaching Fellowship, see http://woodrow.org/fellowships/ww-teaching-fellowships/georgia/.