SSU Alumna awarded Teaching Fellowship

June 8, 2013

On Tuesday, May 28, the Ohio Board of Regents, the Ohio Department of Education and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation jointly announced the 2013 Woodrow Wilson Ohio Teaching Fellows in an event at the Ohio Statehouse.

Shawnee State University alumna Vanessa Sowards (’95, plastics engineering technology), of Waverly, has been awarded a teaching fellowship through the program.

Sowards is a substitute teacher and educational aide with five years’ experience. She is also a Girl Scout leader and a member and former chapter secretary of the Society of Plastics Engineers. At SSU, she was on the Dean’s List and graduated magna cum laude.

The Woodrow Wilson Ohio Teaching Fellowship Foundation recruits accomplished career changers and outstanding recent college graduates in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (the STEMM fields).

“These students represent the best and brightest teachers in Ohio, and are reflective of the advances that Ohio is making in the STEMM fields,” Board of Regents Chancellor John Carey said. “Their efforts as Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows will impact not only their own futures, but also the futures of thousands of students in our high-need schools.”

Since the inception of the program in 2010, 219 Fellows have been named in Ohio. After their preparation, Fellows commit to teach for at least three years in a high-need Ohio school, with ongoing support and mentoring.

As a Woodrow Wilson Ohio Teaching Fellow, Sowards will receive a $30,000 stipend to complete a special intensive master’s program at Ohio University that will prepare her to teach math and/or science in a high-need Ohio school.

Ohio University is one of seven institutions where the Fellows can enroll and includes John Carroll University, The Ohio State University, Ohio University, the University of Akron, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Dayton and the University of Toledo.

The program is made possible with federal Race to the Top funds as well as commitments from six Ohio funders, including The Cleveland Foundation, George Gund Foundation, Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, GAR Foundation, Battelle Memorial Institute and The Battelle Fund at the Columbus Foundation, plus matching funds provided by the campuses.

A rigorous year-long application and selection process was administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation of Princeton, N.J.

This year’s class includes 77 new Woodrow Wilson Ohio Teaching Fellows, 71 of whom will start their Fellowships this summer. These new Fellows will be ready to enter their own classrooms in fall 2014.

Find more information about the Woodrow Wilson Ohio Teaching Fellowship at www.wwteachingfellowship.org/about_the_program/ohio.php.

Source: Shawnee State University