This year’s distinguished Nita Ganguly Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to Theory & Practice in Teacher Education undergraduate student, Courtney Drennen (’24). Courtney will receive a monetary award in the Fall and Spring toward her education.
Named after a former VolsTeach professor, Dr. Nita Ganguly, this scholarship is selected based on academic achievement, teaching commitment, and potential.
Ms. Drennen is a VolsTeach student and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology major at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is originally from Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and says, “I have always had a passion for education ever since I was a little girl! I had my own classroom in my mom’s office where I would teach to my imaginary students! I also had so many influential teachers in my education career that showed me what it looked like to not just educate, but to also care for students. My goal is to be a light and role model for my students for many years to come!”
Courtney specifically thanked the impactful teachers she had over the years, including her high school ACT preparatory teacher, John Terrell. “Teachers like him have paved the way for future teachers,” said Courtney. “Dr. Kirkpatrick with VolsTeach has also had an extreme impact on my life as a student and as a future teacher. She has believed in me, pushed me, and has continued to give me opportunities to gain experience in the field as I prepare for my first year of teaching. I am always so thankful for her constant help and support.”
Courtney will graduate with the class of 2024. Her current favorite teaching topics are cell division and anatomy. She shared her favorite life quote from Colossians 3:23: “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”
The Department of Theory & Practice in Teacher Education is very proud and honored to train incredible students and future teachers like Courtney Drennen.