LANCASTER, Pa. — The POGIL Project has named two educators winners of its 2021 POGIL Early Achievement (PEACH) Award – Ashley Hill of Fullerton Union High School (Fullerton, CA), and Melissa Reeves of Tuskegee University (Tuskegee, AL).
The award, given annually to one post-secondary and one secondary winner, honors POGIL practitioners who are new to The Project, who have distinguished themselves by advancing the goals of The Project, and who have an exceptional level of enthusiasm for active learning. Other criteria include leadership in The Project, active participation in disseminating the POGIL pedagogy, and other service to The Project, such as workshop facilitation, authorship of activities, and participation in grant proposals.
Hill and Reeves will be honored at The POGIL Project's upcoming virtual National Meeting in June 2021. Each will be presented with a plaque and a cash award.
"I am excited to honor these two outstanding educators with the POGIL Early Achievement Award," said Project Executive Director Rick Moog. "Both Ashley and Melissa have had a strong impact on the POGIL community and have contributed greatly to the growth and success of The Project."
Hill earned her B.S. in Biology from Cal State University-Fullerton, and her M.A. in Biology from Miami University (Ohio.) A native of Huntington Beach, CA, she worked briefly in environmental engineering before switching to education at the suggestion of one of her professors. She spent her first three years as an educator teaching specially designed academic instruction in English (SDAIE) and life science at a Title 1 high school in Orange CA. She eventually moved to Fullerton Union in 2012, where she has been for the past nine years.
Hill was introduced to POGIL when a school administrator left a POGIL book of classroom materials on her desk. “After doing it totally wrong for a year, I was able to attend a workshop in San Jose and I was hooked!” she remembers.
Since then Hill has honed her facilitation skills and become more involved with The POGIL Project , especially trying to bring POGIL to the campuses of high schools in Orange County, CA. She has been a key member of The Project’s National Conference to Advance POGIL Practice biennial planning committee as well as an active member of The Project’s high school activities revisions working group which is in the process of updating its catalog of high school classroom materials.
Reeves received her B.S. in chemistry at University of Florida and her Ph.D. in chemistry at Indiana University at Bloomington. She is a professor of chemistry at Tuskegee University where she specializes in physical chemistry and computational chemistry. Her research interests have ranged from calculating transition states of small molecule reactions in solution to molecular dynamics of polymers.
Reeves was part of the Physical Chemistry Online (PCOL) group in the early 2000s, has worked on two American Chemical Society Physical Chemistry Exam Committees, and works as part of the Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning Physical Chemistry Laboratory (POGIL-PCL) community. As part of The POGIL Project, she has served on the POGIL Activity Clearinghouse (PAC) working group since 2016, including chairing the group this past year.
"I am honored and grateful to be recognized with a PEACH Award,” says Reeves. “My involvement with The POGIL Project has been a deeply rewarding part of my career, for both the work accomplished and the people I have met."