Burrage is excited about being a professor at UNG because he enjoys working with students to encourage them, motivate them, and be a positive influence on their growth and development.
As assistant dean in the College of Education, a professor in the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, and as departmental program coordinator for the Oconee Campus, he coordinates class scheduling for the department, hires and mentors part-time faculty, and serves as a liaison for the university in the local community while building and maintaining a working relationship with local businesses.
"I get to be a part of my students' learning and training processes, which plays a huge role in their success in their chosen profession," Burrage says. "Most importantly, I get to be a big part of their lives for the time they are with me. I get to encourage them, motivate them, and be a positive influence on their growth and development. These are very meaningful experiences for me as their teacher, and for the students as well. What we do actually helps people today, and gives them the tools to live longer and healthier lives. Their families benefit from this as well, and that is very rewarding."
Burrage says the health and wellness discipline is so vast that it challenges him to learn everything he can, and that he loves to learn new things and immediately apply them in his teaching.
"It's very energizing and motivating to learn about new innovations in the areas of health, wellness, and sports performance while attending conferences and completing self-study courses, which I immediately share in my classroom," he says. "This communicates passion to my students. I love being able to perform my own applied research in my courses, track the results, and use that information to improve future class formats, instructional methods, and student outcomes. This is constant, but necessary, and is something that motivates and inspires me to grow as a professional."
His goal is to help all students gain an appreciation for health and wellness and the many benefits of living a healthy life, and he wants to pass on to them a vision and passion to change their lives no matter which careers they ultimately chose.
"It's been said that the greatest wealth is good health," he says. "I want to show everyone that we have a personal responsibility to take good care of our bodies. It is important for us to take time to ensure that we're healthy through good nutritional practices, regular exercise, and a commitment to pursuing healthy relationships and activities that encourage and stimulate us to be our best, so we can give our best to others. This is part of my commitment to helping this institution grow and become the best it can be, and my commitment to being a valuable member of the campus community."