With a Focus on Excellent STEM Teachers for All New Jersey Schools, State Continues Efforts to Strengthen Educator Pipeline
Governor Christie, Woodrow Wilson Foundation Announce
2016-17 Class of WW New Jersey Teaching Fellows PRINCETON, NJ (June 15, 2016)—As further demonstration of the state’s commitment to ensuring both strong schools and a strong New Jersey economy, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie joined with the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation today at a State Capitol event to announce the 2016-17 class of Woodrow Wilson New Jersey Teaching Fellows.
The Woodrow Wilson New Jersey Teaching Fellows program is part of a statewide effort to prepare excellent science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers for careers in New Jersey’s high-need schools.
Sixty-two individuals will be part of the third cohort of the Woodrow Wilson New Jersey Teaching Fellowship program, which is offered at The College of New Jersey, Montclair State University, Rowan University, Rutgers University–Camden, and William Paterson University. Launched in New Jersey in 2014, the highly competitive program recruits both recent graduates and career changers with strong backgrounds in the STEM fields and prepares them specifically to teach in high-need secondary schools. “Strengthening our educators with high expectations and strong support and training systems can make a life-changing difference for our children,” said Governor Christie. “Through the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship, we are transforming the way teacher candidates are prepared so they can equip our students with the STEM skills required to succeed in the knowledge-based, global digital economy.”
The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship focuses on preparing top-quality educators for many of New Jersey’s most underserved public schools. Each Fellow receives $30,000 to complete a specially designed, cutting-edge master’s degree program based on a yearlong classroom experience. In return, Fellows commit to teach for three years in the urban and rural New Jersey schools that most need strong STEM teachers. Throughout the three-year commitment, Fellows receive ongoing support and mentoring.
“As the New Jersey economy continues to evolve, we must ensure that the state has the teachers today to prepare our students for the careers of tomorrow,” Woodrow Wilson Foundation President Arthur Levine said. “Because of Governor Christie, legislative leaders, university partners, and school districts across the country, New Jersey now stands as a model for how to transform teacher education and ensure a strong pipeline of effective beginning teachers for all schools, particularly our hard-to-staff ones. New Jersey Teaching Fellows are the future of teaching in New Jersey, and we are proud to welcome these 62 teachers into this important effort.”
The New Jersey Teaching Fellowship is funded through the generous support of donors such as the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, M. Brian and Sandy Maher, Overdeck Family Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, PSEG Foundation, JP Morgan Chase Foundation, Schumann Fund for New Jersey, Educational Testing Service, William E. Simon Foundation, Drug, Chemical & Associated Technologies Association, and Jennifer A. Chalsty, with additional funding from a number of other foundations and philanthropists.
This is the third year of the New Jersey program. Before officially launching in 2014, the five selected universities spent more than a year tailoring their teacher preparation programs to meet the Fellowship’s standards for intensive clinical work and rigorous related coursework.
As part of the effort, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation partners with a wide range of school districts across the state, including Bridgeton Public Schools, Burlington City Public Schools, Camden City School District, Clifton Public Schools, Ewing Township Public Schools, Glassboro Public Schools, Haledon Public Schools, Hamilton Public Schools, Millville Public Schools, Newark Public Schools, New Brunswick Public Schools, Orange Public Schools, Passaic City Public Schools, Paterson Public Schools, Pemberton Township Schools, Pennsauken Public Schools, Trenton Public Schools, Union City Public Schools, and Vineland Public Schools.
New Jersey is one of five states offering the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship program, joining Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio in the effort. More information on the national program can be found at: http://woodrow.org/fellowships/ww-teaching-fellowships/.
About the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
Founded in 1945, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (www.woodrow.org) identifies and develops the nation’s best minds to meet its most critical challenges. The Foundation supports its Fellows as the next generation of leaders shaping American society.
The 2016-17 Class of Woodrow Wilson New Jersey Teaching Fellows includes:
Andrea Henry | Dixon, IL
- Undergraduate college, class, and major: Saint Louis University, 2014, biomedical engineering
- Graduate institution and degree: Saint Louis University, 2016, M.S., biology
Teaching assistant/instructor, biology and genetics; volunteer tutor, GED, math, and science; graduate researcher, population genetics and microsatellite evolution; undergraduate research assistant; recipient, scholarships and graduate assistantship; participant, culturally responsive teaching academy.
Craig Adelhardt | Wood-Ridge, NJ
- Undergraduate college, class, and major: Marist College, 2000, computer science
- Graduate institution and degree: Stevens Institute of Technology, 2004, M.S., information systems in information management
Software developer and manager, financial services industry, 15+ years; summer school teacher, elementary mathematics, urban schools; volunteer committee, undergraduate college; community volunteer; enthusiastic lifelong learner; bowler and volleyball player.
Elijah Miller | Lancaster, PA
- Undergraduate college, class, and major: The Pennsylvania State University, 2016, astronomy and astrophysics
Undergraduate researcher, young dwarf stars; secretary, undergraduate physics student society; participant, physics outreach programs, including Physics Day demonstrations, physics demos, and a multi-night astronomy showcase for all ages; member, applied physics club, juggling club.
Elizabeth Burger | Oakland, NJ *ALUM*
- Undergraduate college, class, and major: Montclair State University, 2016, biochemistry
Teacher’s assistant, viral lab techniques; secretary, vice president, college biology club; environmental and sustainability activist; bird watcher and crocheter.
Ella Viola | Brooklyn, NY
- Undergraduate college, class, and major: CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies, 2012, zoology
- Graduate institution and degree: CUNY College of Staten Island, 2015, M.S., biology
Substitute teacher; biology tutor; director of education, Staten Island Zoo; veterinary technician/instructor, community college; undergraduate and graduate researcher, songbirds, moths, painted turtles; mentor; volunteer, organization for religious converts; recipient, scholarships and awards.
Gregory Bellino | Tinton Falls, NJ
- Undergraduate college, class, and major: Rutgers University–Newark, 2015, mathematics
Honors college student; chancellor’s scholarship recipient; member, National Science Foundation program to increase minority completion of STEM programs; recipient, scholarship for pre-health students; mathematics tutor; pianist; fluent speaker of several languages; painter; singer.
Jeannabel Reyes | Passaic, NJ *ALUM*
- Undergraduate college, class, and major: Montclair State University, 2015, applied mathematics
Resident assistant, university college of science and mathematics; math tutor; substitute teacher; recipient, multiple scholarships; community service volunteer; marching band and indoor color guard instructor/technician; resident and peer leader, NJ Educational Opportunity Fund.
Jenna Chirico | Rockaway, NJ
- Undergraduate college, class, and major: Washington College, 2016, chemistry
Chemistry peer tutor and lab assistant; volunteer, Habitat for Humanity; past chapter vice president, national chemical society; chapter president, Greek letter sorority; member, academic and leadership honor societies; student award, national chemical society; STEM lab volunteer; basketball enthusiast.
Melissa Pressley | Brooklyn, NY
- Undergraduate college, class, and major: CUNY Brooklyn College, 2000, computational mathematics
- Graduate institution and degree: CUNY School of Law, 2003, J.D.
Litigating attorney; owner, law firm; court examiner; undergraduate youth tutor; recipient, study abroad scholarship, Peru; author, research paper on racial and social divisions among Latinos; guest speaker, woman’s day celebrations, community religious institution; award-winning chocolate cake baker.
Nam Kim | Paramus, NJ
- Undergraduate college, class, and major: Yonsei University, 1997, physics
- Graduate institution and degree: Yonsei University, 1999, M.S., physics; Rutgers University–New
Brunswick, 2004, M.S., biomedical engineering; Rutgers University–New Brunswick, 2007, Ph.D., biomedical engineering Teacher; researcher; engineer, academic and industrial environments dealing with medical devices, traumatic brain injury, and stroke patients; puzzle solver, from GRE, SAT, and IQ problems to analytic and math puzzles; sports enthusiast; tennis player, rock climber, boxer, and martial artist.
Robert Sasso | Wayne, NJ
- Undergraduate college, class, and major: Richard Stockton College, 2014, marine science
Environmental instructor; sea turtle conservationist; aquaculture nursery technician; research assistant.
Satarupa Das | Kolkata, India
- Undergraduate college, class, and major: Boston University, 2002, mathematics and economics
- Graduate institution and degree: Rutgers University–New Brunswick, 2016, M.A., linguistics
Graduate teaching fellow, linguistics; undergraduate tutor, math and economics; volunteer, Peace Corps, math education in Ghana; meditation practitioner, Thai Forest tradition.
Shanel Wu | Las Vegas, NV
- Undergraduate college, class, and major: Harvey Mudd College, 2016, physics, computers
Undergraduate peer academic liaison; physics department grader; undergraduate researcher, atomic physics (Rice University) and electrical engineering (Stanford University); tutor; self-advocate, mental health, intersectional feminism, disability justice, and worker’s rights; multimedia artist.