Dr. Hasitha Mahabaduge, assistant professor of physics, is one of 18 educators statewide to be named a 2019-20 Governor’s Teaching Fellow (GTF) – a selective program that helps professors increase their knowledge of new technologies and innovative instruction for the classroom.
“As one of its goals indicate, the Fellows program helped me to become fascinated by the complexity of the art and science in teaching and obsessed with developing into one of the top 5 percent of instructors nationwide, who see themselves on a constantly-stimulating journey with exciting challenges and endless opportunities,” Mahabaduge said.
The Governor’s Teaching Fellows Program was established in 1995 by former Georgia Governor Zell Miller to give higher-education faculty more opportunities to develop important teaching skills. GTF is designed to bring professors up-to-speed, so Georgia students are taught tech-savvy skills and can compete for jobs in an ever-changing, global job market.
The yearlong program kicked off in early September with a three-day symposium at the University of Georgia (UGA). Mahabaduge participated by exploring issues designed to improve course objectives, educational technology, assessment, conflict management, law and ethics and the future of education. He will attend five more symposiums throughout the year.
At Georgia College, Mahabaduge teaches introductory and upper level physics courses, including thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, solid state physics and special topics on Physical Principles of Renewable Energy and Idea to Product. He’s also one of the University System of Georgia Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Fellows, 2017-18. His research interests include theoretical and experimental studies of solar cells. Mahabaduge’s an ardent supporter of undergraduate research and GC MURACE activities, including Research Circle.
An outreach program of the Institute of Higher Education at UGA for 25 years, GTF has represented more than 75 different disciplines, professions and teaching areas with over 600 fellows from more than 70 public and private statewide institutions.
“During the fellows program,” Mahabaduge said, “we work together as a cohort, creating engaging and meaningful courses designed to help students understand the course content as deeply as possible, to allow students to remember and apply key concepts even years later and to guide students into becoming agile thinkers with broadly-transferable, essential skills.”