Initial Publication Date: June 5, 2019

Team Members

Adrianne Leinbach

Adrianne teaches introductory geology in all modes seated, online and hybrid. She has been at Wake Tech since 1999 and teaching online since 2002. She works with other geology Wake Tech faculty on a GEOpaths grant which allows students from Wake Tech to participate in research at NC State and our local museum. Adrianne also serves on several committees who work to improve online learning by both focusing on student readiness and faculty knowledge specific to online teaching. She is always interested in improving student success and will try new things in both her seated and online classes.


Adrianne teaches Intro Physical Geology (online).

Gretchen Miller

Gretchen is a Professor and served as the Geology Lead at Wake Tech from 2014 to 2016. She and Adrianne have developed a collaborative working relationship with faculty at North Carolina State University to increase the number and diversity of students pursuing geoscience degrees. Prior to teaching, she was a hydrogeologist at an environmental consulting firm and is a North Carolina Licensed Geologist.


Gretchen teaches face-to-face Intro Physical Geology and Environmental Geology (lecture and lab for both) as well as online sections of Intro Physical Geology (lecture and lab).

Administrative Involvement

  • John Bakken, Dean of Curriculum Support (2017-2019)
  • Tonya Forbes, Associate Vice President, Effectiveness and Innovation (2016-2017)

Institutional Context

Wake Tech Community College

Institution: Wake Tech is the largest two-year college in North Carolina. It has over 70,000 students - 56% of whom are women and 24% of whom are African American or Black. Wake Tech serves the greater Raleigh, NC region in Wake County from five campuses and other sites.

Geoscience program: The geoscience program at Wake Tech is made up of 7 full-time faculty. It offers courses in Physical, Historical, and Environmental Geology. Intro Physical Geology and Environmental Geology are both offered as face-to-face and fully online courses. The Geology program is part of the Department of Natural Sciences at Wake Tech, which also includes Biology and Chemistry. The Department of Natural Sciences is in the Mathematics, Sciences, and Engineering Division at Wake Tech.

Approximately 1,300 students per year complete Intro Physical Geology at Wake Tech. The majority of these students are college transfer students intending to transfer to a four-year college and take the course to meet their science requirements. Enrollment in the course is very diverse, more than 25% identify themselves as belonging to minority groups. A few students each semester will decide to major in geoscience after taking the course. Intro Physical Geology is a prerequisite for Historical Geology and Environmental Geology; approximately 40 students per year take each of these courses.

Institutional demographic data is from IPEDS, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, U.S. Department of Education, typically for the 2014-15 year as available.