UH organization receives $100K in scholarships
The National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program awarded $100,000 in scholarships to the UH teachHouston program, which focuses on attracting aspiring math and science teachers to public classrooms.
Mathematics majors Maria Gonzales and Maria Martinez, biology student Maria Villegas, and biochemistry major Keri King received the Noyce scholarships, each for $10,000.
King also received the award in 2009.
“TeachHouston has been a wonderful experience. It’s benefitted me in preparing me for a classroom right from the start,” King said. “Being able to enter the classroom and learn the ins and outs of lesson planning, classroom management and seeing learning theory come to life in the classrooms (has) been the best part.”
The teachHouston program is modeled after the University of Texas at Austin’s UTeach program. One of its goals is to provide urban-area schools with secondary teaching personnel while giving its students in-classroom teaching experience.
Martinez said the program keeps her focused as she finishes her final semester.
“After graduation, my choice was to work in a high-needs school, even if I wasn’t awarded the Noyce scholarship,” Martinez said. “Education, for me, means everything, and because this is my last full semester, I wanted to put more focus on my studies.”
Over the past two years, teachHouston students have received more than $100,000 in scholarships from the Noyce program.
Scholarship recipients are selected based on grades and professional performance. Recipients are expected to major in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics field and work towards a teaching certification.
The program is headed by UH professors Jeff Morgan and Susan Williams. Students raved about their inspirational teaching methods that motivate them to develop a love for teaching.
“My professor, Susan Williams, has been a role model for me,” Martinez said. “(She) inspired and motivated me through her teaching. At that moment, I felt that my dream of becoming a teacher was possible and that the barriers that prevent me from fulfilling my goals and dreams were not barriers anymore.
“She has helped me as person and as a student to learn about myself, to take challenges that I wouldn’t have before and to always believe in myself. I believe that because of her, I am ready to face new challenges and to make a difference in students’ lives just as she has in my life.”