Source: UGA TODAY
Four University of Georgia faculty received a First-Year Odyssey Teaching Award in recognition of their success in teaching an FYO Seminar.
The FYO Teaching Award recognizes outstanding instructors who have demonstrated creativity or innovation in instruction, connection to the instructor’s research, and incorporation of FYOS program goals into the seminar. This year’s recipients have been fully engaged with their students, provided them with a strong connection to the university through their research and other activities, and tied their curriculum directly to FYOS program goals.
Students that attend Paul Schroeder’s First Year Odyssey class, “White Gold—Georgia’s billion-dollar kaolin industry,” often do not know what kaolin is when they sign up for the class. But Schroeder’s enthusiasm for clay science helps transform students into kaolin experts by the end of the 12-week class. The class starts with students being given kaolin, a white clay, and asked to taste it. From there, the class introduces students to the history and uses of kaolin. The course highlight might be four out-of-class experiences: a campus tour of Tanyard Creek, a trip to the Georgia Electron Microscopy lab, a trip to the X-ray Diffraction Lab to X-ray objects that might have kaolin in them, and a full-day trip to Georgia’s kaolin district to talk to people who work there. In the end, students write a paper with their new-found and enthusiastic kaolin expertise. Schroeder is a professor and head of the Geology Department in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.