Watson Chronicle


Programs for P-12 Students

WCE Hosts Conference for Aspiring Teachers

Wednesday, May 04, 2022

On April 6, Dean Van Dempsey and Associate Dean Angela Housand joined WCE Recruiter Dean Heath in welcoming high school and community college students to a Future Teacher Conference at the Watson College. Sixty students from 15 area schools participated in the event.

The full-day conference featured workshops and presentations by faculty members Jerry Zinner (elementary education), Jeremy Hilburn (middle grades education), Alex Chambers (special education), Maggie Guggenheimer (mathematics) and Daniel Johnson (music education).

In additional sessions, Dean Heath provided an overview of opportunities at the Watson College, Courtney Townsend introduced students to WCE’s Education Lab, Kathryn Batten and Tonya McKoy shared the benefits of creating a makerspace environment in the classroom, Michelle Hafey demonstrated CESTEM’s Pro-Bot robot and Cindy Wiseman engaged students in an exploration of the importance of teachers of color in the classroom.

The students and their teachers also enjoyed a panel discussion with Watson Student Leaders Meredith Howson, Madeleine Franco and Blythe Morris, and a complimentary lunch at Wagoner Hall.

Participants said the conference very informational. “I am very ready to apply to and attend UNCW in the spring,” one student said.

“My students loved it,” a teacher wrote on the exit survey. “They said the sessions were fun, engaging and interesting. My upperclassmen said the session on UNCW/WCE was great; it helped answer a lot of the questions they had about campus opportunities and programs. Those that attended the virtual sessions over the past two years were very happy to be able to come back to campus. Thanks for all you do to make these opportunities available to our students and future teachers.” 

Dean Heath, recruitment specialist for the Watson College, planned and coordinated the conference. Students from Heide Trask,  EA Laney, East Duplin, North Duplin, James Kenan, New Hanover, Topsail, Wallace Rose Hill and White Oak high schools; Brunswick, Duplin, Onslow, Pender and Wilmington early college high schools; and Sampson Community College participated in the event.

The Watson College hosts Future Teacher Conference events each semester. The next event is scheduled for Friday, October 28, 2022. Teachers interested in participating are invited to contact Dean Heath at heatht@uncw.edu.