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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Karen Granger is UNCP’s new Teaching Fellows director

UNC Pembroke’s new Teaching Fellows Program Director Karen Granger knows what it’s like for new classroom teachers.

Teaching Fellows Director Karen Granger confers with Charlie Davis, president of the Teaching Fellows Leadership Council.

Teaching Fellows Director Karen Granger confers with Charlie Davis, president of the Teaching Fellows Leadership Council.

A middle school teacher for five years before joining the faculty at UNCP’s School of Education, Granger is utilizing her experience in the classroom as she creates programs for the University’s 45 Teaching Fellows and recruits students.

“The fun part of this job is meeting students and talking about the University and our Teaching Fellows programs,” Granger said. “I have spent a lot of time in the region’s high schools talking to seniors about the scholarship and what UNCP can offer Teaching Fellows.”

The North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program provides $26,000 in scholarships to talented students in return for a four-year commitment to teaching in the public schools. UNCP’s Teaching Fellows Program offers enriching experiences for its members, including special seminars, faculty mentoring, leadership and social opportunities and use of a laptop computer.

Dr. Warren Baker, dean of UNCP’s School of Education said Granger is well prepared to direct UNCP’s program.

“We’ve been fortunate in the past to have had outstanding leaders for our Teaching Fellows Program, and Ms. Granger certainly continues that trend,” Dr. Baker said. “She brings an excitement and enthusiasm to the program that will no doubt move the program forward.”

“Personally, I’m envious of her organization and planning skills. She pays attention to details and thoroughly plans for each aspect of the program’s success,” he said. “Karen interacts well with faculty and students, public school personnel, and prospective students and parents.”

Granger is currently planning a Distinguished Educator Series for the Teaching Fellows that will focus on core classroom issues.

“I plan monthly seminars for all Teaching Fellows that are relevant to new teachers, such as classroom management and working with parents,” she said. “I am also planning monthly seminars targeted to each class of Teaching Fellows on different aspects of teaching.”

Joining UNCP in July, Granger is teaching an art education course and a freshman seminar class for the 10 newest Teaching Fellows. Freshman Seminar is a mandatory course designed to assist students in their transition to college.

“Teaching Freshman Seminar has been a great way to meet our new members of the program,” she said. “The freshmen Teaching Fellows are a fun group. They are smart, energetic, with great ideas.”

Granger said her transition to higher education has been smooth.

“It’s been a big transition for me personally, but it’s going very well,” she said. “Everyone in the School of Education has been very, very helpful.”

As seniors in high school, Teaching Fellows designate five universities they would attend, so recruiting is an important part of the director’s job.

“We would like our program to grow,” Granger said. “My job is to make sure that the new Teaching Fellows know about UNCP and our strong education program.”

“UNCP was not always well known outside the region,” she said. “The University’s growth and diversity have created an exhilarating atmosphere on campus, and our education program is one of only three universities in North Carolina to earn exemplary status every year the Department of Public Instruction has conducted comprehensive evaluations.”

A native of Lumberton, N.C., Granger received a Bachelor of Arts in studio arts from Converse College and a Master of Arts in art education from the University of Georgia. While at UGA, she coordinated symposiums for gifted students for the Georgia Museum of Art.

She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Robeson County Communities in Schools and Special Events Chairperson for the Robeson Road Runners Rumba on the Lumber and Chevy to the Levee road races and festivals.

Granger taught art at Orrum Middle School, where she won a Bright Ideas grant from Lumbee River Electric Membership Corporation for a project that wove the threads of Robeson County history into a quilt. She also worked with the Public Schools of Robeson County’s Very Special Arts program.

For more information, contact Granger at karen.granger@uncp.edu or 910.521.6449.

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