VASG Educator Receives 2011 Non-Traditional Educator Award

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VASG Educator Receives 2011 Non-Traditional Educator Award

Carol Hopper Brill's work as an informal marine educator

Carol Hopper Brill teaches pre-school students about penguins. ©VIMS

Carol Hopper Brill, educator with Virginia Sea Grant’s Marine Extension Program at VIMS, was awarded the 2011 Non-Traditional Educator Award from the Mid-Atlantic Marine Education Association (MAMEA) this October. The Award is presented annually to a marine educator who teaches outside of the traditional classroom.

MAMEA President Ruth Gourley congratulates Carol Hopper Brill for receiving the 2011 MAMEA Non-Traditional Educator Award. ©Tami Lunsford

MAMEA President Ruth Gourley (right) congratulates Carol Hopper Brill (left) for receiving the 2011 MAMEA Non-Traditional Educator Award. ©Tami Lunsford

“(An) informal setting, whether it is an aquarium or out on a beach hike, is where Carol shines,” says MAMEA President-Elect Lisa Lawrence and one of Hopper Brill’s close colleagues with VASG at VIMS. “You cannot help but learn when you are around her… she truly loves what she does, and it is readily apparent!”

As Marine Education Specialist at VIMS, Hopper Brill coordinates and delivers educational outreach on marine science-related topics.  With her colleagues, she conducts educator professional development workshops, including a week-long summer course on coastal ecosystems held at VIMS Easter Shore Lab.  She also collaborates on projects which help develop the teaching and communications skills of VIMS graduate students, including: the VIMS GK-12 Fellows program; the Communicating Ocean Sciences seminar series; and a William & Mary course on teaching science to undergraduates.  Carol co-manages Virginia’s regional National Ocean Sciences Bowl, the Blue Crab Bowl, a high school academic competition focused on marine and applied ocean sciences.  And, each year at VIMS’ Marine Science Day community open house, she coordinates educational activities for young learners at the Virginia Sea Grant’s Kids’ Marine Science Pavilion.

Hopper Brill has been a MAMEA board member since 2007.  From her first position as Virginia state representative, she went on to serve in the organization’s 3-year rotation as President-Elect, President and Past-President from 2008 to 2010. During her tenure, she worked with other board members to help the organization move forward with updating and clarifying its procedures, standing rules, and by-laws. She now serves as the Chair of the Association’s Grants Committee.

Congratulations to Hopper Brill for her achievements and for recognition as the 2011 Non-Traditional Educator from MAMEA!