Dr. Jessica VanValkenburgh holds a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Gardner-Webb University as well as degrees in Math and Science Education and Middle Grades Education. Jessica currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Middle Grades Education and Accomplished Teaching for the College of Education and Health Professions at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia. She is also the Middle Grades Program Coordinator. Before moving into higher education Jessica taught middle school science in South Carolina for 10 years. Jessica’s research interests include family involvement in schools, science education best practices, and middle grades instruction. She has published multiple peer-reviewed journal articles in addition to presenting at local, regional, and national conferences. Jessica and her husband of nine years, Sean, have two daughters and they currently reside in Hamilton, GA. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling, baking, playing board games, and reading. Jessica is excited to join the 2023 Young Gamechangers Program and make a positive impact on the Columbus area.