Kennesaw State University conducts I-IMPACT Robert Noyce induction ceremony

noyce, atoms, rushton

Program recruits Teaching Fellows and Master Teaching Fellows in chemistry and physics Kennesaw…

Georgia (Feb 16, 2012)Program recruits Teaching Fellows and Master Teaching Fellows in chemistry and physics

Kennesaw State University has inducted its first cohort of experienced STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) professionals into the I-IMPACT Noyce II program, six as Master Teaching Fellows and three as Teaching Fellows.

The I-IMPACT program is shorthand for the Initiative to Inspire and Mentor Physics and Chemistry Teachers in the classroom. Designed to place highly qualified individuals as science teachers in grades 7-12, its emphasis is in the chemistry and physics disciplines.

“Kennesaw State has taken another step toward increasing the number of STEM teachers with the establishment of the I-IMPACT program,” said Greg Rushton, the director and principal investigator of the program.

The program recruits academically qualified career-changers into the MAT Science program at Kennesaw State, which provides a multi-year professional development program for these Teaching Fellows as well as Master Teaching Fellows from local partner school districts. It is funded by a $2.84 million grant from the National Science Foundation and $1.4 million from KSU. 

“Our goal is to find people who are working or have worked in the science professions, who have the academic qualifications to enter a teacher–prep program, and who want to teach,” said Rushton, who also is a KSU associate professor of chemistry.

The Robert Noyce Teaching Fellows and Master Teaching (MAT) Fellows Program in Chemistry and Physics is a partnership between Kennesaw State, the Georgia Institute of Technology, the American Chemical Society and MetroRESA (the Metropolitan Regional Educational Service Agency).

The program is one of just eight similar programs in the country. What makes Kennesaw State’s program unique is that it is the only one that focuses strictly on preparing chemistry and physics teachers.

Teaching Fellows are initially eligible to receive $10,000 toward the cost of the 14-month program, according to Rushton.

“The scholarship pays for the student to pursue a master’s degree, while simultaneously earning teacher certification,” said Rushton. “Then for the next four years, candidates earn an additional $10,000 a year as a stipend along with an additional $5,000 for supplies and travel expenditures while they work in high-needs school districts.”

Those participating in KSU’s I-IMPACT Noyce II program included the following individuals. They are listed along with their participating school districts, subject areas and hometowns.


Spring 2012 Master Teaching Fellow Inductees:                                        

Sarah Eales, Gwinnett County Schools, chemistry, Atlanta;

Jason Goodman, Paulding County Schools, physics, Dallas;

Philip Heier, Gwinnett County Schools, physics, Loganville;

Erica Peddi, Cobb County Schools, chemistry, Austell;

Lyric Portwood, Paulding County Schools, chemistry, Temple;

Jordan Tidrick, Cobb County Schools, chemistry, Marietta     


Spring 2012 Teaching Fellow Inductees:

Kevin Cameron, MAT chemistry, KSU, Class of 2013, Dunwoody;

Rebecca Mortensen, MAT chemistry, KSU, Class of 2013, Duluth;

Beth White, MAT physics, KSU, Class of 2013, Atlanta       

The induction ceremony took place at the A.T.O.M.S. (Advancing the Teaching of Mathematics and Science) Center on the KSU campus.

  # # #

Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 80 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a new Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of 24,100 from more than 130 countries.


By Robert S. Godlewski


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit