University of South Alabama Noyce Buddy Program

Robert Noyce Logo

June 15 - 17, 2021 | Virtual Conference


Welcome to the University of South Alabama Noyce Buddy Program! We are so happy that you're interested in becoming a Noyce Buddy.  Please review the information below about the program.  If you are interested in becoming a buddy, complete the 'Interested Buddy' form.  If you are interested but have questions before committing, please contact Katie Guffey.


What is the Noyce Buddy Program?

The goal of the Noyce Buddy Program is to provide opportunities for Noyce Scholars from different project across the southeastern region to stay connected. Scholars are placed in groups of 3 to 4 who will initially meet during the annual Southeastern Regional Robert Noyce Conference. These small groups are intentionally structured to include scholars who are early career educators (within their first couple of years) with those who are first year teachers or those who will be first year teachers in the upcoming school year.


What are the requirements to be a Noyce Buddy?

  1. You must be Noyce Scholar either enrolled or graduated from  any university in the southeastern region.
  2. You must attend the annual Southeastern Regional Robert Noyce Conference.


How do I sign up?

The Buddy Program will be announced via email the week prior to the conference (you must be registered for the conference to receive this email). In the email, interested scholars will indicate whether or not they want to participate by completed the 'Interested Buddy' form as well as their current status within the Noyce community (e.g. current teacher X number of years; pre-service teacher; etc.).


When will I be placed in a Buddy group / When will I meet my Buddy group?

This year, the Southeastern Regional Robert Noyce Conference is virtual because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  Scholars interested in the Buddy Program will attend an informational zoom meeting with Co-PIs Drs.  Ferguson and Guffey to ask questions and "meet" their Buddies.


What can I expect?

Is it expected that the collaboration between the participants will be personally beneficial as those who are also Noyce scholars are going through the same victories and struggles and can best relate to each other. Participants in the Buddy Program will be supported by primarily Co-PIs Ferguson and Guffey, with support from the other investigators, as they are prompted with monthly topics for discussion.  While the group may connect with each other in a medium of their choice, we will ask that they meet at least monthly for an hour in some collaborative capacity. While Co-PIs Ferguson and Guffey will come up with topics for Noyce participants to discuss, over time we expect it to grow organically and aim for it to become a true collegial support group that will continue. Topics discussed will primarily be dictated by the participants.  There is a private Facebook group that you will be able to join once admitted into the program.  On this Facebook page, you can engage with other Noyce Buddies outside of your group to discuss teaching strategies, share resources, ask for support with challenges that you're facing, and highlight successes in your classroom!


What will I learn?

Noyce Buddies will be able to attend webinars that are tailored to their interests and needs.  Buddies will be surveyed during the 2021 Southeastern Regional Robert Noyce Conference for topics of need or perceived need that would best benefit them during the first quarter of the upcoming school year. Experts in the areas of greatest need will be recruited to conduct webinars geared particularly toward participants.  In response to concerns indicated through the needs assessments over several years, initial topics will likely include: teaching students who are culturally different from oneself, implementing STEM lessons in mathematics and science classrooms, pedagogy supportive of learning needs, teaching engaging lessons and labs with limited resources and limited access to technology, and maintaining healthy physical and mental well being as an early career educator, to name a few.  As needs become apparent, groups will also be supplied with texts to supplement their conversation and practice so that can possibly engage in book studies.


Are there any incentives for joining the Noyce Buddy Program?

Participants will receive support from content faculty PIs or consultants, authorship on a collaborative paper to be submitted to an academic journal and automatic acceptance to be part of a collaborative panel presentation and/or present an aspect of this mentorship as a poster or presentation at an upcoming Southeastern Regional Robert Noyce Conference.  Participants will potentially be sent to participate in the Space Camp educator program at the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center at Red Stone Arsenal, Alabama (mathematics may be at a different location). This experience will bring them together with not only other educators in STEM disciplines but also with each other to participate in a shared experience to further strengthen their network and to network with other Noyce Buddy groups.  Participants will also be provided with a $1,000 stipend to assist in offsetting expenses while at space camp or other location during the summer.  Participants will sign contracts and be held to a professional standard to receive the trip and stipend.