Ejiroghene Ogaga, an Assistant Professor of Biology at Georgia Highlands College (GHC), was recently recognized as a “Teacher of the Year” during the annual Cobb Chamber of Commerce Give our Schools a Hand (GOSH) program celebration breakfast.
As a graduate of Georgia State University, Ogaga earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry, as well as a Master of Science in Biology with a research focus in Neuroendocrinology. She began working at GHC in 2014 as a part-time biology instructor at the Marietta site and served as the sole biology faculty at the Douglasville site from 2018 to its closure in 2022.
She’s now back to teaching at Marietta.
“My passion for learning about the intricacies of the human body and ways to treat illnesses led me to the field of biology. This is why Human Anatomy and Physiology is my favorite subject to teach in the field of biology,” Ogaga said. “My students are the reason I am still working at GHC. Knowing that I am making a positive long-lasting impact in the lives of my students and seeing them graduate and transition into their desired career paths gives me immense joy.”
She says early intervention has been key to helping students reach their goals in classes where they may find the subject matter difficult to comprehend or have not learned proper study skills. Beyond her office hours, Ogaga offers supplemental instructional sessions to assist students with challenging topics in the course and bi-weekly check-ins to discuss and evaluate their progress.
Early in the semester, she works to establish a positive rapport with students and to set a welcoming environment in her classroom.
“Yes, I am the teacher, but I also let them know that I am learning from them, too,” Ogaga said. “During my lectures, I use questions to assess how well students understand the topics, then I spend time addressing them. I require every student to meet with me to review their exams and discuss ways to improve.”
She said serving the population at the former Douglasville site and helping students transition to the next steps in higher education has been one of the most rewarding aspects of her career. In addition, she is proud to have represented GHC as a University System of Georgia (USG) Chancellor’s Learning Scholar from 2020 to 2022 and has led a GHC Faculty Learning Community (FLC) focused on service learning.
“The FLC opportunity enabled me to implement service-learning experiences in my Anatomy and Physiology (A&P) courses at the Douglasville site,” Ogaga said. “In the A&P courses, my students used what they learned in class to serve a need in the Douglasville community. They developed lesson plans and activities and taught the lab component of a Human Anatomy course at an underserved High School in Douglasville.”
In addition to being an educator, Ogaga is a singer who has sung in church choirs and multiple music ministries.
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