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Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Indiana Teacher of the Year Gives Nod to IUPUI

March 5, 2019

Tamara Markey

Tamara Markey

Alumna Tamara Markey, who recently was named 2019 Indiana Teacher of the Year, credited her success in part to her education from the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI. She teaches Project Lead the Way (PLTW) pre-engineering at the McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology in Lawrence Township.

Markey received her master's degree through the Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship program. The program prepares individuals with professional STEM backgrounds to teach in urban middle or high schools. Recognizing that teacher preparation must align theory and practice and interweave content and pedagogy, the STEM-focused program partners with IUPUI to support teacher training in science, engineering/technology and math.

"The master of technology program perfectly complimented the master's of education program courses," said Markey. "These two programs presented rigorous disciplinary and pedagogical preparation necessary to successfully enter any secondary education program."

Markey noted that Dr. Charles Feldhaus, Chair of Technical Leadership and Communication and Professor of Organizational Leadership and Supervision; and Dr. David Nickolich provided her with a wealth of support in completing the required coursework and intensive field-based residency requirements.

According to Markey, the flexibility and efficiency of her IUPUI experience suited her needs as a “career changer.”  "As a wife, mother of three and a full-time student completing a full-time residency, time was never a luxury," she said. "Flexible and convenient course offerings were instrumental in my successful completion. I would definitely recommend this program to others."

She also indicated that her work and undergraduate degree in industrial engineering gave her a strong professional and personal engineering experiences from which to draw upon in the classroom.

"Academically, I remember sitting in Purdue's freshman engineering classes like it was yesterday," she said. "I remember feeling ill-prepared and scared to fail. Those memories shape my lesson plans, instructional approach, and growth mindset."

For those in the workforce and contemplating a career change, Markey said, "If the opportunity presents itself, take the plunge. It may seem like a daunting task. However, I am proof that it is worthwhile in order to fulfill life’s purpose."