Dr. Jennifer Borgo Raia is Coker College’s 2019 recipient of the SCICU Excellence In Teaching award. She holds a Ph.D. and Master of Science in wildlife biology, both conferred by Utah State University. Her undergraduate degree in zoology and animal biology is from Auburn University.
As associate professor of biology, Dr. Raia’s course responsibilities include general biology, environmental science, ecology, and zoology. Beyond the traditional classroom, Dr. Raia involves students in field research and has collaborated with them in presentations at regional, national, and international conferences on topics that include coyote diet, antimicrobial properties of passerine uropygial glands, biodiversity assessments of Kalmia Gardens, and behavioral patterns in a variety of mammals.
Dr. Raia is active in editing, reviewing, and writing scholarly publications. She edits and reviews for six journals, has served on several national and regional committees, and has published articles on animal behavior and interspecific interactions to include research on upland nesting waterfowl, sage grouse, red-cockaded woodpeckers, and flying squirrels.
Dr. Raia was instrumental in creating the Honors Program at Coker in 2012 and has served as the program’s director since its creation. Over seven years, Dr. Raia has supported this program to grow to its maximum number of students and has fulfilled the 20 basic characteristics of a fully-developed honors program as detailed by the National Collegiate Honors Council.
Dr. Raia is an advocate for student success and for making the STEM subjects more accessible for all students. She is involved in collaborative efforts to recruit, retain, and graduate STEM students from underrepresented and at-risk populations.