Dr. Whitney Holden, an instructor at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts (ASMSA), received the Innovative STEM Teacher Award from the National Consortium of Secondary STEM Schools (NCSS).
The Innovative STEM Teacher Award honors teachers who work for members of the NCSS that promote the mission of the institution and STEM education. The winner has to show NCSS how they incorporate innovative STEM-strategies in the classroom and how they connect STEM to careers. Holden was one of three finalists for the award and was announced as the winner on Saturday, Nov. 7.
“I’m very honored by this recognition,” Holden said in a statement. “I love what I do. I also couldn’t do it alone. This school provides a fantastic environment that really encourages innovation in so many ways. Our students are tremendous. They are always willing to try new things and go the extra mile. My colleagues always bring their A game, particularly ASMSA’s Dr. (Patrycja) Krakowiak who I work with closely and the many teachers who are enrolled in our biology outreach program.”
Holden is a life science specialist at ASMSA, teaching both residential students at ASMSA and students and educators virtually across the state. Holden leads an independent research class at ASMSA that focuses on statistical analysis and peer-reviewed literature so students become well-rounded and scientifically literate.
Holden is also co-director for the Advanced Biology Plus program, which prepares Arkansas educators to teach Advanced Placement Biology. She also serves as co-director of the Arkansas Summer Research Institute (ASRI). The Institute teaches underrepresented students technical and professional skills including networking, entrepreneurship and resume writing.
Corey Alderdice, director of ASMSA, nominated Holden for the award.
“Dr. Holden is a sterling example of what is possible when faculty embrace the mission of ASMSA to ignite the potential of students and educators across our state,” Alderdice said in a statement. “In the classroom, in research, and in teacher empowerment, she leads the way for both her colleagues on campus as well as all who wish to inspire the next generation of STEM innovators.”