Finishing Strong: 2014 Graduate Jennifer Golphin

Jennifer Golphin has always envisioned herself as a teacher. Even when she was utilizing her Biology degree and working as a lab analyst, she sought opportunities to teach others through volunteer work and her church.

“Teaching was very natural for me, and I saw myself doing it long term,” she explains.

In 2003, Jennifer left the lab and decided to teach third grade at Haven Elementary School in Savannah.

“I worked with a colleague at Haven who was in the Early Childhood Education - Master of Art program at Armstrong,” she says. “I was so impressed with the knowledge she had, the best practices and theories she knew, and her overall professionalism, that I decided to go to Armstrong and obtain my master’s degree as well.”

In Spring, 2013, Jennifer began pursuing a M.A.T. in Early Childhood Education. While enrolled in the graduate program, she was able to get hands-on experience to refine her skills and become a better professional.

“At first, I really was not equipped to speak in front of my peers, and now I feel comfortable and confident speaking with and presenting to my colleagues,” she explains. “In this respect, Armstrong not only made a difference in my career, but also in my life.”

As a teacher, Jennifer learned how to plan for success in the classroom and to be authentically engaged with her students. She was able to put these new skills into practice as a student teacher in a third grade classroom at Diamond Elementary School on Fort Stewart, a role that is particularly dear to her heart as the daughter and wife of a disabled Army veteran.

“I really see myself making a difference in the lives of all children,” she says.

However, even with all she has learned, Jennifer credits her professors as being the best part of her Armstrong experience.

“My professors were the best I have ever had in my college career, I just love them”, she says. “They were so much more than teachers; they were mentors who were genuinely concerned with my growth as a person and teacher.”

After graduation, Jennifer will teach, serve children, and hopes to find teacher leadership opportunities.

“I’m looking forward and have high expectations for my future” she says.