Recent Grad Named Woodrow Wilson National Fellow
A 2017 graduate of Michigan Technological University has been named a Georgia Teaching Fellow by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Ben Manning (Pictured at left) is one of 63 Teaching Fellows announced June 29 by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and Arthur Levin, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.
The highly competitive program recruits recent graduates, and those interested in changing careers, with strong backgrounds in the STEM fields, and prepares them specifically to teach in high-need secondary schools.
Manning, a physics major from De Pere, Wisconsin, will attend Piedmont College, a liberal arts college in Demorrest, Georgia. Piedmont is one of the five Georgia educational institutions hosting the program for the third year.
Manning says knew he wanted to be a teacher early on and found out about the Woodrow Wilson fellowship while he was working on his teaching certification at Michigan Tech. “The faculty in the physics department knew about my choice to become a teacher and were very supportive of that decision.” He says Physics Department Chair Ravi Pandey and other faculty in the department introduced him to the fellowship. “Teaching has always been a passion of mine, and the fellowship seemed like a good and unique way to continue making what I enjoy into a passion.”
While at Michigan Tech, Manning was a tutor in physics and computer science. a teaching assistant and lab manager in physics and an outreach specialist in the science lab. An Eagle Scout, he served as a training coordinator and volunteer for the Michigan Tech Search and Rescue and treasurer of the campus Physics organization.
Manning says the best way he can help in the progress of science and technology in society is by pursuing the teaching profession in his chosen field, physics.
“I am very passionate about sharing my enjoyment for learning and discovery with future generations, and I hope this passion will spread to my students. We need to develop new scientists and engineers who will be able to address issues and questions of our future society.”
Manning will receive $30,000 to complete a specially designed, cutting-edge master’s program based on a yearlong classroom experience. In return he is committed to teach for three years in urban and rural Georgia schools that most need strong STEM teachers.
Manning says the master’s program he is undertaking is “pretty unique when compared to most teaching certification programs.”
“The program requires the students to be co-teaching in a high school for an entire academic year, including pre-planning and post-planning processes,” he explains. “On top of this, there is still course work that needs to be done. This helps simulate how teachers are constantly taking new content courses and furthering their own education while helping their students do the same.”
Manning will conduct his co-teaching at Sims Academy of Innovation and Technology in Winder, Georgia.
Through the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship program, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation will contribute to the University System of Georgia’s initiative to produce 20,000 new teachers by 2020.