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Student Feature: Megan Messer

Education programs provide nurturing experiences critical to classroom success.

A successful career in education requires tremendous dedication to the profession and a desire for continuous improvement. For aspiring educators, programs in MSU’s Department of Early Childhood, Elementary and Special Education provide high-quality preparation and strong support in an environment that facilitates and fosters student learning.
Megan Messer, a senior elementary education major from West Liberty, Kentucky, said her experiences participating in MSU’s Professional Partnership Network (PPN) and an Undergraduate Research Fellowship have been invaluable and have prepared her to make her dream classroom into a reality.
“Graduating with 610 hours of field experience has provided me with insights that can only be learned through this kind of hands-on interaction,” Messer said. “I am proud to have been part of the PPN for three semesters and have created long-lasting relationships with my participating school district.”
MSU’s PPN is uniquely designed to give future educators extended field experiences prior to entering their own classrooms. Candidates partner with a mentor teacher and spend significantly more time in the same classroom each semester, learning professional skills through engagement in authentic classroom settings.
Messer’s immersion in an elementary school classroom through the PPN and conversations with second and third grade students inspired her to participate in an Undergraduate Research Fellowship at MSU.  She said her students often complained about the bright fluorescent lighting in their classroom. Her research examined the use of blue light filters (placed over fluorescent lighting) to determine if usage had a positive effect on student concentration and behavior during reading instruction.
“My students expressed a need and following the placement of the filters, the data I collected supported an obvious change in focus and behavior in the classroom,” she said. “I plan to continue to conduct research on this topic in my own elementary school classroom someday. Even small changes can make a large difference in a student’s ability to learn.”
Messer believes the skills she has learned through conducting research will continue to guide her classroom management practices throughout her teaching career, and she is thankful for supportive faculty members who encouraged her to reach outside her comfort zone.
“Dr. Kim Nettleton was a fantastic fellowship mentor who always found the answers to any question I threw at her,” she said. “Her support and encouragement throughout the fellowship created a strong professional relationship that will last for years to come.”
To learn more about academic programs available in MSU’s Department of Early Childhood, Elementary and Special Education, visit