Fellowship supports young alum teacher

First-generation alum Enya Granados did it all during her four years at Heidelberg: internships, student organizations, student research, faculty collaboration. Now, just three months after graduating with her bachelor’s degree in biology and education, she’s realized the first step in her dream to be a high school science teacher, and she’s getting a boost to get her career off on the right foot.

As Enya began her teaching career at Russell County High School in Seale, Alabama, she was chosen by the Knowles Teacher Initiative as a member of its 2018 cohort of Teaching Fellows. She’s among just 34 promising high school and mathematics and science teachers just beginning their careers who were awarded Knowles Teaching Fellowships.

The Knowles Teacher Initiative supports a national network of math and science teachers who are collaborative, innovative leaders improving education for all students in the U.S. It is an intensive and cohesive, five-year program that supports early-career teachers in their efforts to develop teaching expertise and lead from the classroom.

At Russell County High School, a rural district near the Georgia border, Enya is teaching biology to ninth graders and environmental science to a variety of upperclass students. She feels well prepared for the challenges based on her Heidelberg foundation and external opportunities during her undergrad years. And she’s looking forward to networking with other Knowles Fellows who are in the same boat.

“I’m most looking forward to the community building and betterment of my practice,” Enya said, who’s already met a lot of amazing people in her cohort. “When I see them, I just feel love for them and can feel that we are all really invested in one another.”

“It’s helpful to have other invested teachers who like to challenge and progress the field in innovative ways, right from the front lines themselves.”

She’ll have a lot to build upon. As a student, Enya completed an internship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Summer Education Research, where she assisted an exploratory qualitative study with Dr. Melissa Braaten and observed preservice teachers engaging in practitioner inquiry. She also attended the University of Georgia’s Undergraduate Biology Education Research program, where she studied metacognition in college biology classes with Dr. Julie Stanton.

At Heidelberg, she collaborated with her biology professor, Dr. Justin Pruneski, and classmate Kaylee Wilburn to develop, present and publish case studies for introductory undergrad biology classes about food labels and HIV.

Enya will draw upon all this expertise as she launches into her career and she’ll have access to grants for classroom materials, professional development and leadership activities through the Knowles program. And should she get stuck at any time, she will have access to mentoring and coaching from experienced teachers and teacher educators and membership in a nationwide community of more than 300 teachers who are committed to improving education.

She’s already got her foot firmly entrenched in that door!


Published in Alumni, Outcomes, The Sciences

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