The University of Texas at Austin announces $1 million teacher training endowment for UTeach

Feb. 12, 2002

AUSTIN, Texas—Officials with The University of Texas at Austin College of Natural Sciences Tuesday (Feb. 12) announced the establishment of a $1 million endowment to fund teacher training in science and math by Mrs. Kitty King Powell of Houston. The Kitty King Corbett Powell Endowment for Teacher Training in Science and Mathematics will be established as a permanent endowment for the UTeach program.

Mrs. Kitty King Powell

Photo by Bob Nagy

Mrs. Kitty King Powell

The UTeach program was conceived by educators at the College of Natural Sciences and the College of Education to encourage students to graduate with science and math degrees, while at the same time qualifying for teaching certificates. The aim is to meet critical shortages in math and science teachers for the nation’s classrooms.

College of Natural Sciences Dean Mary Ann Rankin said: “I can’t say enough about this wonderful program. I believe that it will make a significant difference in the way future math and science teachers are educated and I hope it will become a model for other universities to follow. Mrs. Powell’s generous gift will help us make a difference in the kind of education and leadership training we provide our students.”

Powell and student

Photo by Bob Nagy

Mrs. Powell of Houston meets Pamela
Powell, UTeach student teaching
program coordinator.


Mrs. Powell graduated in 1938 from The University of Texas with a degree in bacteriology. She is a director of the Powell Foundation, which was established in December 1967 by Mrs. Powell and her late husband, Ben Powell, Jr., as a public, charitable, scientific and education trust. The Powell Foundation supports community service projects focusing on the needs of children, the elderly and the disadvantaged, as well as the visual and performing arts. The Foundation currently provides 63 percent of its funding for educational purposes and has provided seed grants to UTeach since its inception.

There are 247 students enrolled in the pioneering UTeach program. A unique feature of the program is that UTeach students gain immediate experience working under supervision in public schools when they enter the program.

“In this way they find out quickly whether or not they are called to a teaching career,” Rankin said.


Photo by Bob Nagy

Mrs. Powell with Assistant Dean for
Development Christine Fleming.


The students are supervised in this field experience by mentor teachers who give them comprehensive evaluation and feedback. The program also offers paid internships in educational settings for students who need to work. The program emphasizes discovery learning, use of technology in instruction and connection with the UT Austin research community.

For more information, contact: Dr Michael Marder at (512) 471-3612 or Christine Fleming at (512) 471-3299. For the UTeach Web site, see: <>.