Teaching and Learning Abroad

Monday, June 15, 2009

In retirement, Dr. Nancy Griffin Mims went shopping in a rickshaw and received salutes from officers as she walked along the avenues on the Fravashi International Academy campus.

In retirement, Dr. Nancy Griffin Mims went shopping in a rickshaw and received salutes from officers as she walked along the avenues on the Fravashi International Academy campus. Retired as a professor of education at West Georgia since 2002, Mims’ latest educator position was as a Director of Academics for the academy, which is located in the heart of India’s Nashik City.

The first female Fulbright Scholar from West Georgia and one of the first female professors in the Education Leadership program, her vitae in and out of the classroom is a long list of accolades that includes two doctorates in education, honorary faculty status in St. Petersburg and Mumbai, and the prestigious Jack Greer Lifetime Achievement Award in Educational Administration.

It was the opportunity to see the fruit of her labors in a classroom that prompted her to shed retirement and travel to Northern Maharashtra, a stone’s throw from Mumbai.

A passionate proponent of student and faculty exchange programs, Mims speaks French, Spanish, Russian and is learning to speak Hindi. A professional educator, she hopes to see a student teacher program develop that makes it possible for UWG education students to teach in classrooms abroad.

Mims and Dr. William Schaniel, director of International Programs, are planning a new exchange opportunity for student teachers.

“Nancy Mims's  work in India is opening doors for the College of Education in pioneering short-term overseas student teaching opportunities,” said Schaniel. “As with many retired faculty, Nancy continues to contribute to the educational environment of UWG students.”

Because of the political unrest in India and the downturn in the global economy, Mims was not able to serve as academic director at the academy for the entire three-year agreement.

However, Mims has not given up and recently returned to India to pursue more international possibilities for student teachers at UWG and in India.

“There is so much to do,” said Mims, who celebrated her 68th birthday in March. “Now, I get to practice what I’ve been teaching all those years.”