Innovating, advocating for students’ health and wellness
Apr 9, 2018 | Atlanta, GA
Georgia Tech has selected Teresa Snow as a recipient of the 2018 Geoffrey G. Eichholz Faculty Teaching Award, administered by the Center for Teaching and Learning. A senior academic professional in the School of Biological Sciences, Snow oversees the required wellness courses APPH 1040, “Scientific Foundations of Health,” and APPH 1050, “Science of Physical Activity and Health”; teaches graduate-level applied statistics; and serves on curriculum-related committees.
The award recognizes faculty who provide outstanding teaching to students in core and general undergraduate courses and help students establish a solid foundation for their education at Georgia Tech. Colleagues say Snow empowers students to prioritize self-care and become critical health consumers.
Undeterred by the obstacles associated with teaching undergraduates in large lecture classes, Snow challenges students to think beyond the classroom and apply the knowledge in ways that will lead to healthier lifestyles and a healthier campus community. Innovation is the basis of her achievements.
For example, Snow transformed the required wellness course APPH 1040.
The course is unique because it directly touches students’ lives. It covers topics such as sleep, nutrition, and exercise, as well as sensitive issues facing students, such as mental health, sexual violence, and self-esteem.
To help students navigate these complicated matters, Snow provides a “safe and caring learning environment,” a colleague says. “She spends a great deal of time with students listening and recommending campus resources.”
“Teresa is highly respectful and honoring of all individuals… a rare and unique characteristic,” another colleague says. She goes out of her way to follow up and see how students are doing. In turn, students continue to contact Snow long after they have graduated to inform her of their accomplishments. A few of them are pursuing careers in health, crediting Snow for inspiring them.
Snow wanted the wellness requirement to provide students with additional opportunities to use practical knowledge to maintain a balanced, healthy lifestyle. So she partnered with members of the Student Government Association and the Campus Recreation Complex to create APPH 1050, which provides physical activity instruction. This course has been wildly successful, reaching maximum capacity ever since its inception. It is now also offered in the Pacific Study Abroad program.
Snow’s advocacy for health and well-being reaches beyond the classroom. She served on the executive committee for Georgia Tech’s first health and well-being coalition, Go T.E.C.H. (Teams Encouraging Campus Health). She currently is faculty advisor to Relay for Life at Georgia Tech, a year-long fundraising effort for the American Cancer Society.
“The most rewarding part of my job is working with Georgia Tech students,” Snow says. “They have a remarkable level of motivation, resourcefulness, and desire to make a difference. My role as a teacher is incredibly satisfying when I find ways to engage their enthusiasm and passion to learn.”