“I want all all my students to succeed. I don’t want to have F’s in my classroom. That doesn’t give me a sense of accomplishment. If I have F’s in my classroom, it means I am not doing my job.”
Dr. Jacqualine Grant, the 2018 Professor of the Year T-Bird Award winner, has traveled around the world studying everything from Black Rhinos in Zimbabwe to learning about different species of frogs up and down the eastern coast. Grant has brought her real-life experience in the field into the classroom to better educate her students to the best of her abilities.
Dr. Grant and her husband, Professor Weeg, Associate Professor of Biology and Director of Center of Excellence for Teaching and Learning, began teaching at SUU in 2011 and never looked back.
“If you combine the spectacular beauty of the surroundings and the size of the town and they type of university this is, this is exactly what we wanted,” said Grant.
Recently, Grant received the 2018 Professor of the Year.“It was a really big honor to know that students think that much of what I am doing in the classroom,” said Grant. “I really care about my students and I am glad they recognize that.”
Brenton Bushnell, a senior chemistry and biology major from St. George, had the opportunity to take Professor Grant’s genetics class two years ago.
“Dr. Grant is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met,” said Bushnell. “I know Dr. Grant cares about her students. Evidence of this is that even now, two years later, I will see Dr. Grant around campus and she still knows my name and addresses me by it. I don’t know how she does it. We’re lucky to have her here at SUU!”
Grant always knew from an early age that she wanted to be a teacher. In fact, when she was in elementary school, she would make tests to give to her friends–for fun!
But Grant knows that there is more to teaching than just giving people tests. In fact, she uses a variety of resources both an on off campus to help enhance the learning of her students.
“It’s about providing experiences for students in many different ways,” said Grant. “So we do fieldwork projects and we help collect seeds for restorations efforts throughout the entire Colorado Plateau. My students have done research on water and water conservation and lots of outreach activity.”
When Dr. Grant isn’t in the classroom, she is the Director of the Garth and Jerri Frehner Museum of Natural History which is located in the L. S. & Aline W. Skaggs Center for Health and Molecular Sciences building.
As the head of the Garth and Jerri Frehner Museum of Natural History, Grant is heavily involved with the Science Technology Engineering Art Math (STEAM) program. The STEAM program allows elementary aged students a unique opportunity of combining the arts with science in an innovative way.
“A lot of the kids are afraid of science or intimidated by it or think they don’t like it,” Grant said. “It doesn’t just have to be memorizing facts or doing mathematical equations. There are lots of ways you can learn about science.”
Between providing hands-on learning in the classroom and helping bridge the gap between art and science, it is safe to say Professor Grant is a wonderful addition to our staff here at SUU.
Story by:Cassidy Harmon
Photos by: Asher Swan