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Stephanie Titzel

July 11, 2016

When Stephanie Titzel ’13M applied for the Kenan Fellowship Program for Teacher Leadership, she saw it as an opportunity to grow as an educator and to learn new ways to make science fun for her students. 

For two weeks this summer, she worked with scientists with UNCW’s Center for Marine Science, learning about cutting-edge research that is helping to advance aquaculture in NC. 

"The Kenan Fellowship is an amazing opportunity for teachers to explore real science and STEM-related careers, and apply that to their classrooms," Titzel said. "I think knowing what scientists do on a daily basis is really cool to talk to kids about. I believe in a hands-on, student-centered classroom, and this project will help me to actively engage all students. I also have a personal passion for getting girls more involved in the sciences. I would like to see them thrive and feel successful in a science field."

Titzel, an eighth grade science teacher at Roland-Grise Middle School in Wilmington, was selected for the fellowship’s project called "Surf and Turf: Oysters, Finfish and Horticultural Research," sponsored by the New Hanover County Farm Bureau. She will create lessons that will expand the Farm Bureau’s existing "Ag in the Classroom" curriculum, which helps students understand the various career pathways in the field of agriculture. 

The fellowship addresses the need for high-quality professional development for education in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Titzel is among the 41 North Carolina educators selected for this year’s fellowship.

UNCW professors Wade Watanabe, Ami Wilbur and Lisa Brown Buchanan served as Titzel’s mentors. She also interned with John Garner of the NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services’ Castle Hayne Research Station on horticulture research.

Titzel learned everything from fish nutrition to grading oysters during her time at the university’s aquaculture facility and shellfish research hatchery. At the end of each day, she jotted down ideas about how to incorporate her experience into her lessons.

"It has enriched my science curriculum," noted Titzel, who received her Master’s of Education in curriculum instruction supervision from the Watson College of Education. "I felt like I knew my content well, but talking and working with experts in their field is amazing."

--Venita Jenkins