Dr. Nicholas Colvard

Assistant Head of Faculty

Dr. Nicholas Colvard





215 Milledge Hall

Dr. Colvard teaches UNIV1204: Preparing for Peer Learning, UNIV 2302: Success for Transfer Students, UNIV2800: Returning With Strength, and serves as an Academic Coach for OSSA.

Dr. Colvard is passionate about student success in higher education and wants to help support students achieve their highest potential by equipping them with the appropriate tools and confidence in pursuit of their dreams. He has a strong science background and can provide a unique perspective for students interested in or declared as a STEM major.

Outside of work, Nick enjoys spending time with his wife, two kids, and golden retriever exploring Athens and the surrounding area.

Curriculum Vitae

  • Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology — Northeastern University
  • M.S. in Biology — California State University Northridge
  • B.S. in Marine Biology — University of California Los Angeles
Awards & Honors
  • Scientist Engaged in Education Research (SEER) at University of Georgia – Affiliate Faculty Member
  • 2019 – 2020 Teaching Academy Fellows Program
  • 2021 University Task Force – Future of Teaching and Learning
  • 2022 Active Learning Summer Institute Participant
Areas of Expertise

Dr. Colvard is interested in evidence-based research focusing on Student Success and Metacognition for all student levels — first year students, transfer students, Peer Educators, and student scholars. Additionally, he has research experience in and continued interest in how Open Educational Resources (OERs) impact student performance, success, and persistence to degree completion.

Teaching Philosophy

I believe teaching is a process where students are actively engaged in the learning experience, garnering collaborative and independent skills for future synthesis of information. I like to see the classroom as an interactive atmosphere where students participate in class discussions, and my goal is to organize and foster those interactions so all students feel engaged. I have had the opportunity to teach in several learning settings – in a larger theater-style undergraduate classroom, in smaller, hands-on biology laboratory courses, and in a graduate-level course where the curriculum was critical-thinking and synthesis based. In each instance, my teaching style consisted of challenging students to elevate their understanding of course material through an enjoyable and interactive process, maintaining respect for all learning styles while upholding the academic standards of the University.

I believe in presenting material in diverse formats with the goal of capturing student attention and eliciting further interest in the subject matter. In my large undergraduate classroom, students may expect to see a combination of video and audio media to provide multiple points of view or expertise on a topic, as well as computer-based activities to engage students in the material. Students typically participate in interactive chalkboard writing exercises to visually describe a key concept, and in some instances students may be asked to volunteer to serve as the leader of an activity in order to further engage students in the lecture narrative. Finally, I often feature real world examples in lecture, which can serve to deepen students’ conceptual understanding of the material, and I hope may even promote students to extend and integrate lecture concepts within other learning opportunities and into the working world.

I strive to recognize each student as an individual with distinct talents, views, and potential, and I hope to nurture and encourage these attributes in positive ways. As much as my teaching is aimed at facilitating a positive learning process for the students, it is also a learning process for me; I believe there is always something to be gained from each teaching experience as I continually work to become a more effective teacher and mentor. The students I interact with inspire me to think creatively and accomplish more as I seek to provide transformative learning experiences. As a teacher, I am constantly evaluating my classroom objectives to gauge whether they are effectively translating to student outcomes. Continued incorporation of triangulated feedback from my students, colleagues, and self-reflection ultimately results in the refinement of my own classroom techniques and enriched scholarship of both student and teacher. It is a privilege to take part in the intellectually stimulating, challenging, and gratifying experience of teaching.

Inclusive Teaching Statement

Diversity and inclusion are at the cornerstone of my teaching. I believe that as a faculty member and an Academic Coach I am uniquely positioned to support students in their developmental growth in college, and I can therefore provide students with the framework toward success academically, as well as support them as they find maturity in interpersonal communication. I strive to develop a classroom that is inclusive and equitable. I feel all students have a voice, and that voice is to be shared and heard. I wish to foster a community of respect in the classroom, where all students know their contributions are welcomed and encouraged, while maintaining respect and collegiality. This journey will continue to develop and evolve over time, and I will continually strive for a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive experience for my student and my peers.

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Committed to students. Committed to success.

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