May 29, 2000
00-133

Jennifer Tanner
Communications Specialist

Valdosta State University News Now

Area students compete in VSU's 10th Annual Middle Grades Mathematics Tournament

About 500 students, parents and teachers from 29 schools recently competed in the 10th Annual Middle Grades Mathematics Tournament at Valdosta State University. The event was sponsored by VSU's Middle Grades Education Department and the College of Education and was held in the University Center.

The sixth, seventh and eighth graders competed against students in their age groups in both individual and team competition. Parents and teachers also got the chance to compete. The parents competed in teams and the teachers competed against each other individually.

Eisenhower Grant helps area science teachers

Dr. Catherine Price, professor and head of Valdosta State University's Curriculum and Instructional Technology Department, along with assistant professors Dr. Andrew Brovey and Dr. Brian Gerber, was recently awarded a grant from Georgia's Eisenhower Higher Education Program.

A federal program under the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and funded through the U.S. Department of Education, the program provides activities that familiarize science teachers with instructional technology, including computers, software and video equipment. The project begins this summer with 12-15 Cook County middle and high school teachers, according to Price.

"It is an intensive workshop in their schools," Price said. "We can influence change better at one site-helping each other and trying out new things together."

A unique aspect of the project is that the presentation team includes faculty from the Department of Middle Grades and Secondary Education, the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as several local science teachers, Gerber said. In addition, the team will include pre-service science education students from VSU that will be completing their student teaching requirements.

This is the third year for the project, according to Price. In the past the program has worked with teachers from Brooks and Thomas counties. These teachers then come back and work with a new group-sharing what they have learned, Price said.

Nursing students help local charity

Valdosta State University senior nursing students recently participated in the Lowndes/Echols County 7th Annual Relay for Life, held May 5-6 at the Valdosta Middle School track.

The two-day annual event is sponsored by the America Cancer Society to support research and other services.

According to Debra Baker, nursing instructor, the 21 students divided into two teams and the goal was to raise $100 each. "The two teams together raised $2,151 exceeding their goal," Baker said.

Grants awarded for teacher quality enhancement programs

The Valdosta State University College of Education was recently awarded approximately $550,000 for Teacher Quality Enhancement Program State Grants, to be used during a three-year period.

The grants, which focus on increased student learning through enhanced teacher quality, are part of the Georgia P-16 Council's goal of ensuring qualified teachers are available to teach in Georgia public school classrooms, according to Dr. Pamela Hertzog, professor and coordinator for the South Georgia Regional P-16 Council. The distribution of the funds have been divided into programs dealing with teacher selection, teacher preparation, school leadership, professional development and teacher induction, according to Hertzog.

Faculty member runs in Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon is known as the world's oldest annually contested marathon and runners from the entire world enter to compete. For the past two years Dr. Lars Leader, assistant professor of Curriculum and Instructional Technology, has been among those who have participated in this prestigious event.

"The Boston Marathon is special because you have to qualify for it, " Leader said. In December, Leader ran in a qualifying race in Kiawah Island, S.C., to secure a position for a coveted place in the 104th running of the Boston Marathon April 17.

This year's race was different from his inaugural run last year, mainly due to the 15 stitches required after a fall he took early in the race. "I was tripped from behind at mile marker 14," Leader said. With his face and hand bloody, Leader was able to complete the 12.2 miles left in the race and finished with a time of 3:19.42.

Leader began running three years ago and today continues for the health and stress relief benefits. "I enjoy it-it's great for mood enhancement," he said.