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H. Justin Ballenger

Assistant Professor of STEM Education

H. Justin Ballenger

Education

B.S. – Clemson University, 2004 – Biological Sciences
M.A.T. – Clemson University, 2006 – Middle Grade Science and Mathematics
A.A. – North Carolina College of Theology, 2007 – Biblical Studies
Ph.D. – Clemson University, 2015 – Curriculum and Instruction for STEM Education

Biography

Dr. H. Justin Ballenger is an Assistant Professor of STEM Education in the Tift College of Education.  He has extensive experience with the implementation of programming that supports the academic development of youth from underserved populations.  Dr. Ballenger is the Director of the STEM Education Innovation (S.E.I.) Lab on Mercer’s Atlanta Campus.  He also serves as a team member on Mercer University’s Education Initiative in the Dominican Republic where he directs the AgSTEM Project. 

Teaching

Dr. Ballenger has taught or developed a number of courses in Mercer’s Tift College of Education.  His areas of focus in teaching include Science/STEM Methods, Curriculum Planning, Teacher Field Supervision, and Culturally Responsive Pedagogy.  In addition to his work at Mercer University, he has worked with the National Dropout Prevention Center to develop web-based courses for pre-service educators who are preparing to teach students from underserved populations. 
Prior to his appointment at Mercer University, Dr. Ballenger was a public school STEM educator for 11 years, teaching in South Carolina and Georgia. 
Dr. Ballenger holds National Board Certification in the area of Early Adolescent Science and has been recognized by Clemson University’s Call Me MISTER Program® as a “Master Teacher”.

Scholarship

Dr. Ballenger’s research agenda is focused on the academic achievement of underserved populations and pathways for students from underserved backgrounds to pursue STEM careers both in the United States and abroad.  As a component of this research he also investigates teaching practices and teacher preparation programs for STEM educators.  He serves as a peer reviewer for Teacher’s College at Columbia University’s, Teacher College Record.  He also serves as a grant reviewer for the National Science Foundation and the United Stated Department of Education.
Dr. Ballenger is the Executive Director of Mercer’s STEM Education Innovation (SEI) Lab and manages the AgSTEM Project, a cooperative initiative with the Gwinnett Soil and Water Conservation District and school districts in the Metro-Atlanta area. He is also a team member on Mercer’s Education Initiative in the Dominican Republic where he directs the AgSTEM Project (DR).

Dr. Ballenger’s research agenda is focused on the academic achievement of systemically marginalized groups and pathways for students from systemically marginalized groups backgrounds to pursue STEM careers both in the United States and abroad.  As a component of this research he also investigates teaching practices and teacher preparation programs for STEM educators.
Dr. Ballenger is a published author and regularly presents at national and international conferences on issues related to STEM Education, Access and Equity, Teacher Preparation, and Community Engagement. Dr. Ballenger is engaged with a number of STEM outreach and teacher preparation programs locally, nationally, and internationally. Dr. Ballenger is a fellow with the Urban Leadership Fellowship, a Southern Region Education Board (SREB) fellow, and an African Scientific Institute Fellow.

Publications

Ballenger, H. J., Walthall, S. & Ekong, D. (2019, in press). Effects of an Interdisciplinary STEM
Enrichment Intervention on STEM Career Affinity for Girls Living in Central Georgia. Journal of Education and Learning.
Pough, N. O., Ballenger, H. J. (2019). Mentorships Work Wonders for New Teachers. ASCD Express,
14(33)
Ekong, D., & Walthall, S., Ballenger, H. J. (2018). Lessons Learned Using Mobile APP Development to
Foster Female Students Interest In STEM Majors and Careers. Transactions on Techniques in STEM Education, 4(1), 29-34.
Ballenger, H.J., McGrane, G., & Duckenfield, M., (2018) Building Authentic Relationships,
Revised Electronic Course 2nd Edition, National Drop-out Prevention Center, Clemson University, Clemson, SC.
Gilmore, J. A., Ballenger, H. J., & Burg, K. (2016). Bone Tissue Engineering: An Interactive Design
    Module. Science Scope, 39(9), 26-34.
Gilmore, J.A., Ballenger, H.J., & Burg, K. (2014) Engaging Middle Grades Students in
Bioengineering Modules to Increase STEM Career Choice Indication, Institute for Biological Interfaces of  Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC
Ballenger, H.J., McGrane, G., & Duckenfield, M., (2013) Building Authentic Relationships,
Revised Electronic Course, National Drop-out Prevention Center, Clemson University, Clemson, SC.

Service

Dr. Ballenger is engaged with a number of STEM outreach and teacher preparations programs locally, nationally, and abroad.  He is a current executive board member for Real I.M.P.A.C.T., a STEM outreach organization in middle Georgia.  Dr. Ballenger serves as the chair of STEM Education Initiatives for Africa Diaspora Nation.  He is a member of the graduate advisory council for the Call Me MISTER Program, assisting with the preparation and development of educators.  Dr. Ballenger also supports international STEM outreach programs in Ghana, Kenya, and the Caribbean.