by Emily Wurst

While many universities and institutions offer programs to expand STEM education, some stand a step above the rest. Lindsey Robinson '09 '11, alumna and staff member of the University of West Georgia, has recently been awarded for her work in the College of Education’s (COE) UTeach program, demonstrating its success in STEM education preparation.

Lindsey RobinsonUTeach is a program that focuses on preparing teachers for classroom instruction in the STEM fields. Currently, 45 institutions across the United States house UTeach programs, including UWG. The UTeach STEM Educators Association (USEA) unites UTeach institutions to promote STEM education and help advance UTeach programs. Each year, the association recognizes one staff member to receive the USEA Outstanding Staff Award. This year, that award went to Robinson.

Robinson was hired as the UTeach program coordinator at UWG in 2011. Since then, her work has helped make huge strides for the program. UTeach at UWG stands out from other UTeach programs partly because of its space and accommodations, which is largely owed to Robinson.

“As project director, I was able to create a unique center that houses the UTeach program, which provides a space of community and aligns with the vision of the UTeach model,” Robinson said. “UTeach Institute personnel have recognized the UWG space as ‘the best physical space of any UTeach Program.’ Due to this design, the institute has sought my expertise on space and materials management for use in the updated version of the operations manual in 2015.”

Robinson’s work with COE’s STEM education programs extends beyond UTeach. Robinson serves as director for the Fusion Center, which houses not only UTeach, but also numerous other resources for STEM education at UWG, like study abroad opportunities and TeachLive, a technology program that has been implemented throughout COE.

“As Fusion Center director, I oversee all activities related to STEM education, innovations and international programs for the College of Education,” explained Robinson. “For example, the Fusion Center host numerous STEM events for the community such as the STEM competition, our Hackathon and CyberCamp.”

In addition to serving in STEM education programs, Robinson’s time at UWG has included attending the university as both an undergraduate and graduate student. Her professional success has led to her being named one of UWG’s 30 Under 30 distinguished alumni. Her experiences as a student at UWG, such as serving as president of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and working as a graduate assistant in the marketing department, helped instill the confidence she needed to promote UTeach and the Fusion Center.

Robinson is proud to be chosen as recipient for the USEA Outstanding Staff Award and doesn’t hesitate to give credit to those who have helped her reach this point.

“Receiving this award is very humbling,” Robinson said. “It shows that hard work and determination pay off and that has been recognized by those who nominated me for this award. Ultimately, I could not have accomplished this award without all of the wonderful mentors and coworkers who have helped and supported me along the way.”

Regardless of the awards, Robinson enjoys leading the UTeach program at UWG. She is passionate about its values and benefits for both educators and their students.

“UTeach is important to me because I believe in the program and its students,” she said. “Too often students are not provided proper guidance, encouragement or challenges to help foster informed and knowledgeable graduates. UTeach embraces community and a family-oriented culture that cultivates mindful, engaging and well-rounded educators who are passionate about helping the youth of tomorrow.”

Posted on September 18, 2017