Clark Atlanta University Graduate Selected as Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellow


Sam D. Burston

ATLANTA, GA -- August 19, 2019— Clark Atlanta University (CAU) today announced that Brianna Harris, a Clark Atlanta University master’s graduate ('18, M.S., physics), has been selected as a Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellow. The most-recent class of Woodrow Wilson Georgia Teaching Fellows were recognized at the State Capitol at an event led by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.

The highly competitive program recruits both recent graduates and career changers with strong backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and math—the STEM fields—and prepares them specifically to teach in high-need secondary schools. Each Fellow receives $20,000 to complete a specially designed, cutting-edge master’s degree program based on a yearlong classroom experience. In return, Fellows commit to teach for three years in the high-need Georgia schools. Throughout the three-year commitment as a teacher of record at a public school, Fellows receive ongoing support and mentoring. 

Fellows in this class, including Harris, have recently begun their programs at the Mercer University.

For the fifth straight year, the State of Georgia and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation have strengthened the state’s ongoing commitment to close the achievement gap and provide all students with high-quality teachers.

“As Governor, I am committed to providing a world-class education to Georgia students, regardless of their zip code, and we need the best and brightest educators to reach this objective,” Governor Kemp said. “I am deeply grateful for the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation’s efforts to improve our teacher pipeline, and I applaud the incoming class of fellows for accepting the call to public service.”

The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship focuses on preparing top-quality educators for many of Georgia’s most underserved public schools. Each 2019-20 Fellow receives $20,000 to complete a specially designed, cutting-edge master’s degree program based on a yearlong classroom experience. In return, Fellows commit to teach for three years in the urban and rural Georgia schools that most need strong STEM teachers. Throughout the three-year commitment, Fellows receive ongoing support and mentoring. 

“Five years ago, the Georgia Teaching Fellowship began its work to help close the state’s achievement gap and ensure the best STEM educators possible for all learners,” WW Foundation President Rajiv Vinnakota said. “We are proud of the nearly 200 educators who have been part of this program to date and applaud Governor Kemp, our university and K-12 partners, and the Woodruff Foundation for their collective commitment to improve the quality and size of Georgia’s teacher pipeline.” 

Through the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship program, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation has contributed to former Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal’s and the University System of Georgia’s initiative to produce 20,000 new teachers by 2020. The Woodrow Wilson Foundation is administering the program, with in-state coordination by the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education (GPEE) and support from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation. Current project funding is $13.7 million.

All university partners, initially selected in a statewide review by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, spent years tailoring their teacher preparation programs to meet the Fellowship’s standards for intensive clinical work and rigorous related coursework. All five participating universities received $400,000 matching grants to develop their teacher preparation programs based on standards set by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. 

The Woodrow Wilson Foundation has also partnering with a wide range of school districts across the state on this effort, including Atlanta Public Schools, Banks County School System, Bibb County School District, Chattahoochee County School District, Clarke County School District, Cobb County School District, Dodge County Schools, Franklin County Schools, Fulton County Schools, Gwinnett County Public Schools, Habersham County Schools, Hall County Schools, Houston County Schools, Marietta City Schools, Marion County School System, Monroe County Schools, Muscogee County Schools, Paulding County School District, Stephens County School System, Union County Schools, Walton County Public Schools, and White County School District. 

The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship has also helped transform teacher preparation in Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The Georgia program brings the Woodrow Wilson Foundation’s total commitment to the Fellowship to more than $100 million nationally. More information on the national program can be found at


About the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation

Founded in 1945, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation ( identifies and develops the nation’s best minds to meet its most critical challenges. The Foundation supports its Fellows as the next generation of leaders shaping American society.

About Clark Atlanta University

Clark Atlanta University (CAU) is a leading research institution of higher education, offering 38 exciting areas of study at bachelor’s, master’s, specialists, and doctoral levels.  Established in 1988 by the historic consolidation of Atlanta University (1865) and Clark College (1869), CAU continues a 150-year legacy rooted in the African-American tradition and focused on the future. Through global innovation, transformative educational experiences, and high-value engagement, CAU cultivates lifted lives that transform the world.

Learn more at .