Campus and community
Devesh Ranjan selected as 2021 Governor’s Lecturer
July 16, 2021
• Atlanta, Georgia
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Devesh Ranjan, Associate Research Chair, Ring Family Chair and Professor at the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, was recently appointed 2021 Governor’s Lecturer for the Summer Symposium program.
Ranjan, whose research disciplines include propulsion and combustion, aerodynamics, and fluid mechanics, is the fifth Georgia Tech faculty member to be named a governor’s teacher. Established by former Governor Zell Miller in 1995, the program is offered by the University of Georgia Institute of Higher Education to provide opportunities, skills and networking with the goal of improving the quality of teaching in higher education.
“I look forward to learning from other educators from different campuses in Georgia and from different disciplines,” said Ranjan. “I see the program as a great opportunity to enhance my teaching expertise and influence the learning experiences of our students. “
Ranjan said he was particularly interested in using the program to inform the delivery of education regarding student well-being, which he describes as a crisis – a crisis that has only been exacerbated. than by the pandemic.
Long before Covid-19, higher education administrators and researchers voiced concerns about student mental health, with a nationwide study of 155,000 students from nearly 200 campuses showing that seven in 10 were in struggling with emotional or mental difficulties that affected academic performance. Ranjan is optimistic that these concerns can be addressed through the choices teachers make about classroom culture, course design, and homework.
In fact, the 13 members of the current Governor’s Teaching Fellows program who come from universities and technical colleges across the state have focused on the concept of how to foster student well-being in the aftermath of a crisis. global health.
“I firmly believe that the challenge of the 21st century in higher education is to meet our students where they are,” said Ranjan, who recently completed a stint as Acting Vice President for Interdisciplinary Research. He expects student feedback and performance to “ultimately lead the way.”
Ranjan’s participation in the program aligns well with Georgia Tech’s strategic focus on strengthening the wellness culture of the Institute and creating a holistic learning environment where all members of the community on campus can grow and learn to lead healthy and meaningful lives.
Ranjan was selected as a member of the Summer 2020 cohort before the coronavirus pandemic hit, postponing the program. He was appointed by the technical president Ángel Cabrera. In a highly competitive process, the Institute selects a limited number of fellows each year for a one-year academic program and a separate summer program.
Participants are selected based on their interest in continuing educational and professional development, their ability to have a positive impact on their own campus, and a strong commitment from their home institution to release time and other forms of support. for the duration of their participation in the program. program.
“Devesh Ranjan exemplifies Georgia Tech’s commitment to educational innovation and academic well-being,” Cabrera said in naming him. “Whether he uses high-tech or low-tech teaching methods, his commitment to improving the learning experiences of his students drives him to continually refine his approach to teaching.
As a senior teaching and learning professor at Tech, Ranjan also coordinated a group of engineering professors working on the integration of augmented and virtual reality platforms into some courses, all as part of his commitment to the Governor’s Education Fellowship program and his long-term goals as an educator.
“This is an ongoing and ongoing process to engage students and improve their well-being,” he said. “And the symposium was a great opportunity to have dedicated time and space to reflect on innovation in teaching and education, and to meet and learn from other educators.”
He is also a member of Georgia Tech Diversity and Inclusion, a program in which he aims to help, for example, first-generation students and other students beyond the classroom by improving faculty connections with students. through mentoring and spending a few hours in university residences to support students and their course.
Georgia State Representative Jasmine Clark, Senior Nursing Lecturer at Emory University, who was part of the teaching fellowship cohort with Ranjan, said, “The program challenged my whole way of thinking. think about the way I teach in the classroom. Every facet of my teaching experience was mentioned in the most meaningful way.
“It was unlike anything I’ve been through before,” Clark said. “It was fun, educational and stimulating. I also left feeling that I had made incredible connections with faculty members that I might never have had the opportunity to meet in any other case. “
Since its inception, more than 675 fellows from around 80 disciplines have participated in the program. This year’s summer cohort includes expert professors in a wide range of fields including psychology, dental hygiene, chemistry, nursing, political science, feminist studies, classical languages, theater and mechanical engineering.
To learn more about the Institute of Higher Education and the Governor’s Teaching Fellows Program, including information on how to apply, visit ihe.uga.edu/programs/governors-teaching-fellows.