Sabrina Jones, a 2004 graduate of Augusta University, has been awarded a 2016 Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Georgia Teaching Fellowship.
The fellowship was designed to address a shortage of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) teachers in Georgia.
“I have chosen to focus on middle school science, because this is the age where students develop a love for biological sciences or decide they don’t like science and focus their interests elsewhere. I’m going to be the teacher that shows them science is fun,” Jones said.
Until recently, Jones was a science and math teacher in San Diego, Calif., focusing on AP biology, anatomy, and life Science, along with algebra, trigonometry and geometry. As a former Junior Olympian and NCAA basketball player, she also coached girls’ basketball. Currently, she is finishing a graduate degree at Georgia State University, with an eye on her Ph.D.
“I’m looking forward to learning a variety of new was to present difficult science concepts and how to develop interesting and engaging lesson plans for those difficult concepts,” she said.
The fellowship will bring her back to her home state of Georgia, where she graduated high school from Dunwoody High School in the top 10 percent of her class, to help address the declining availability of highly qualified science and math instruction. And she has plans to address that.
“My long-term goal is to complete a Ph.D. in science education and transition from the classroom to a district leadership role, where I can establish secondary STE programs in urban schools and couple it with internship opportunities,” Jones said.
The value of a quality education is always present in her mind, and she said she owes it to her undergraduate experience in Augusta.
“My degree from Augusta University prepared me immensely,” she said. “My professors were great; the courses were challenging; and I was afforded the opportunity to a variety of science courses that have helped me to answer all of the off-the-wall questions students ask at times. The classes were tough, but the rigor has helped me to get where I am today.”