The Mississippi Geographic Alliance at the University of Mississippi has named Steven R. White as its 2017 Travel Fellow. White teaches Advanced World Geography and Honors World Geography at Pearl High School in Pearl.
White, a National Geographic Certified Educator and MGA teacher consultant, has held numerous education leadership positions in the state, including officer positions in the Mississippi Council for the Social Studies and the Mississippi Geographic Alliance. He was Rosa Scott High School’s Teacher of the Year 2012-13, the Mississippi Council for the Social Studies Teacher of the Year for 2003-04 and winner of the Jesse Palmer Award for Mississippi Social Studies Educator of the Year in 2015.
“We are thrilled that Steven is the 2017 MGA Travel Fellow,” said Carley Lovorn, assistant director of the Mississippi Geographic Alliance. “This is a very competitive fellowship, and Steven now joins a cohort of fellows who are dedicated to improving global awareness in the state.”
The MGA Travel Fellowship is awarded to Mississippi educators who are dedicated to bringing the world to Mississippi students and teachers. Students look to their teachers to help them understand the world, and yet Mississippi has the lowest number of passport holders and teacher salaries near the bottom in the country.
Mississippi’s top geography educators often cite a travel experience as integral to igniting their passion to teach others about our world. Fellowship recipients participate in educator-focused travel programs and then bring their experiences back to the state by sharing the education materials they create with all Mississippi teachers.
White will participate in the National Council for Geographic Education’s GeoCamp Iceland Institute. The institute is a graduate-level equivalent short course in geographic inquiry and field methods for educators who conduct professional development activities for teachers.
Participants will explore important geographic themes, including natural hazards and disaster prevention, human settlement and environmental adaptation, changing geopolitical spheres of influence, sense of place, and global environmental change.
“Years ago, as a high school student I dreamed of being able to travel to the Arctic Circle region to see the breathtaking views and natural wonders of Iceland,” White said. “In my upcoming trip I am excited about the awesome opportunity to hike to explore the amazing natural wonders that will challenge my teaching perspective and inspire my approach to creating classroom lessons about the human and physical geography of this amazing nation.”
White said he intends to share his research with students and colleagues.
“My goal is to create, engage and inspire students to become the effective global citizens of tomorrow,” he said.
In recent years, White has served on staff for the Pre-Service Geography Conference, a geography education conference for education students around the state. He also has served as a judge and scorekeeper for the state-level National Geographic Bee and is a three-time winner of educational and technology grants for enhancing classroom geography education.
He is past president and assistant director of the Mississippi Council for the Social Studies and team leader for public policy for the Mississippi Geographic Alliance. In 2013 he was one of eight in the nation to receive the Distinguished Teaching Award for K-12 educators at the National Conference on Geographic Education.
The Mississippi Geographic Alliance works to strengthen geographic literacy throughout the state. A member of the nationwide network of state alliances sponsored by the National Geographic Society, MGA uses workshops, online resources and other programs to help educators prepare students to embrace a diverse world, succeed in the global economy and steward the planet’s resources.
For more information on the GeoCamp Iceland Institute, go to http://www.ncge.org/geocamp.
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