JC Educator of the Year
Georgia Military College 2020-2021 Educator of the Year
Dr. James Bland, GMC-Augusta
Georgia Military College has named Dr. James Bland Educator of the Year for the 2020-2021 school year. Bland has had an impactful career at Georgia Military College. He is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the GMC-Augusta campus, and he serves as the Department Chair for Business, Computer Information Systems, and Mathematics for the Eastern Region.
Bland joined the GMC-Augusta team in August of 2015 and since then, the Warner Robins native has consistently made a positive impact in the classroom and across the Augusta campus. In the submission for Educator of the Year, GMC-Augusta Academic Dean Brian Hendricks says, “Dr. Bland works very intentionally and thoughtfully in evaluating classroom results and methods for improvement. He has been diligent in experimenting with pedagogy and sharing possibilities with other faculty. Last year, he shifted from an emphasis on volume of homework to prepare students to increase quizzing, instead. This produced a significant grade increase over those from the previous year. Mr. Bland worked with Mr. Nathan Sweigart to implement team teaching strategies in MAT 225. This did have an effect of increasing student participation and engagement in the classroom and they plan to try the strategy in other classes. That MAT 225 was unbelievably lively for an 8:00 AM Math class. Currently, he is utilizing criterion referenced assessments to determine if this is more accurate and productive in attaining student success.”
Hendricks’ submission goes on to say, “Students repeatedly express their appreciation for how Dr. Bland conducts class and shows concern for their needs. As a MAT 112 student pointed out, ‘Professor Bland made me feel extremely comfortable to voice-fully participate without any negative feedback or feelings,’ and another shared, ‘Professor Bland is one the most intuitive instructors I have had at GMC so far and truly loves to teach which makes it easy to learn and retain the material. This was my second time taking Precalculus and it all finally made [sense] because of the way Professor Bland delivers the information.’ Two students in MAT 109 shared, ‘I liked how the instructor was able to convey the information in a way that made sense. He was also able to break down the way the problem actually worked, enabling us to figure it out more easily,’ and, ‘Literally, he is one of the nicest and smartest teachers I’ve had. I would tell every single person to take his class as he is truly a good teacher.’ One student sums it up, ‘Professor Bland, Thank you for being there for me. In the beginning things were a little challenging, but at the end, I was able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I sincerely thank you.’”
Despite a challenging and unprecedented academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bland remained focused on student success, and committed to the Mission & Vision of Georgia Military College. Congratulations to Dr. James Bland for being named GMC Educator of the Year!