teACher oF the YeAr
Barry Bates Demonstrating the Science of Student Success
t’s been stated that genius is the ability to give an adequate response to a great challenge. If this is true, then Barry Bates, program coordinator of ATC’s Bioscience Technology Program, has produced many a genius. How so? Because, for many students, the subject matter of science presents itself as a challenge. Bates witnessed this firsthand as department chair for Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Nevertheless, he set high standards for his students and quickly developed a reputation on campus as a motivator, helping students to meet those high standards and achieve more in math and science than they ever dreamed possible.
both financial and emotional. Nicole’s new-found confidence has led her to pursue a bachelor’s degree and set the long-term goal of obtaining a master’s degree in nursing. Because of his commitment to and success rate of student achievement, along with his ability to help students master complex scientific theory, Bates was named program coordinator of the Bioscience Technology program. In this role, he is charged with the task of developing a state-ofthe-art educational program that will prepare graduates to compete for and win jobs in the coveted field of bioscience. Bates fully understands the key role that he plays in providing tutelage to students who will eventually become the high quality employees that are needed in this industry. He states, “I have established a foundation of excellence within the department. We want the administrators of the more than 200 bioscience companies in the Atlanta metro area to recognize our students for their abilities and their competencies in a laboratory setting.”
Bates’ approach to student achievement is pretty practical. He encourages his students to NEVER say, “I can’t,” “I’ll try,” or, “I don’t know how to do this.” Instead, they are encouraged to say, “I can do this,” “I will do this,” and, “I do know how to do this.” An example is of this was a nontraditional student named Nicole, who attended Atlanta Technical College in the mid-2000s. Like many students who return to school after an extended break, Nicole had a fear of science and math and was uneasy about taking an Anatomy of Physiology course. With guidance and support from Bates, Nicole excelled in the course and went on to achieve more than she dreamed possible. “Not only did Nicole earn a B in my course, her success inspired her to take even more challenging science courses,” shares Bates.
Holding fast to words of wisdom from Albert Einstein—“a life lived for others is a life well-lived”—Bates embraces every day as an opportunity to help transform many students’ mindsets from fear and dislike of the subject matter to understanding and loving it by the end of the semester. He admirably connects with the students and helps them see the relevance of the subject matter, dispelling fear and ultimately creating a win-win for all. There have been many success stories to Bates’ credit during his four-year tenure at ATC, and there is the promise of many more to come.
A few years after graduating from the Atlanta Technical College (ATC) licensed Practical Nursing program, Nicole returned to campus to share with Bates that her ATC education had allowed her to make more money than she’d dreamed possible. Since graduation, her achievements have been