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QUIERE (Quality Universally Inclusive Early Responsive Education)
Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College
Columbia University

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Meet the Scholars > 2012-2013 Scholars

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Meet the Scholars

2012-2013 Scholars

   Karen Hu

Hi everyone! My name is Karen Hu and I will be entering my second year as a QUIERE scholar in TC's Early Elementary Education Dual Certification Program. Prior to this, I graduated from CUNY Queens College in three years with my degree in English Literature and Psychology. At the same time, I worked for two non-profit organizations that helped inner-city students receive after-school attention and summer camp activities. The experiences I gained from working at these two organizations helped me recognize my commitment toward young children, especially within diverse and inclusive settings. I believe that all students deserve an equitable opportunity for education, and I know that being a part of QUIERE teaches me the necessary steps to advocate for this philosophy. To better myself as a bilingual, I've started taking cooking lessons from my grandma to learn all of her Chinese recipes, practice my language and spend time with her all at the same time!

  Jeanny Jorge

Hello, my name is Jeanny Jorge, I am self-motivated, determined and a passionate person who feels very strongly about children’s education and the work teachers do as we guide and support them throughout their lives. I believe every child should have access to an equitable education. I was born and raised in New York City and attended the public school educational system. I myself was that child that came from a low-income, immigrant family, who was an English language learner that needed the resources and help to succeed in my education. I am thankful for the passionate and dedicated teachers that crossed my path in my educational journey and helped me reach my fullest potential. I am proud to be part of this unique project in which I truly believe in. I cannot wait to graduate from Teacher’s College to become an early childhood special education teacher, to work with young children with disabilities from low- income, immigrant, and bilingual families to help the children reach their fullest potential.  Prior to Teachers College, I studied at City College of New York and majored in Early Childhood Education. In the past 7 years, I have worked with toddlers and pre-school children in different school settings. In my spare time, I enjoy doing yoga, painting and spending time with my daughter.

   Peter Kim

Hello, my name is Peter Kim, a 2012-2013 QUIERE scholar. I have been involved with education and social justice since I joined a 4H organization during the fourth grade. I believe access to education is crucial to empowering students and families, especially marginalized communities and communities of color. Within early childhood education, I am interested in emergent bilingualism and assistive technology as a child of immigrant parents and an avid technology user. Currently I am a bookkeeper part-time and continue to develop my skill in accounting. I hope to synthesize my passion for education and affinity for numbers as a principal. In my spare time, I enjoy sketching, playing board games, and reading graphic novels. I also play the Baroque recorder and the colonial fife.

    Stephanie Kott

My name is Stephanie Kott, and I am a member of the first QUIERE cohort (2012 – 2013).  For the first two years after graduating with a B.S. from Stonehill College, I taught pre-school and kindergarten at a bilingual school in Honduras. My experience living and teaching in this rural, third-world community not only led me to a passion for teaching, but also to Teachers College and QUIERE, where I saw myself and my professional goals reflected in its mission to provide an equitable and quality education to every student. In my professional teaching career, I hope to work in some type of bilingual setting and to teach not only meaningfully, but also collaboratively with families.  My school in Honduras worked closely with the community and with local families, and I hope to replicate this same model in my own work as an educator. I aspire to embrace diversity within the classroom and to commit myself to working with all children in a variety of inclusive settings. While as a hobby I love to travel, I also hope to live, work, and impact students here in the U.S.

   Jennifer Lopez

My name is Jennifer Lopez and am a member of the 2012-2013 cohort. I believe early childhood is the foundation in which students build their natural curiosities into a love for learning. QUIERE, for me, signifies opportunity for equitable education. As a QUIERE scholar, I look forward to creating a safe, trusting, and inclusive community which engages students in learning. Having the potential to provide all students access to a quality education is what motivates me to fulfill my own education. I graduated from Cornell University in 2012 and am thrilled to join TC Alumni this December. This past year I have taken up yoga for fitness and relaxation. I love Latin dancing and choreograph in my spare time. One day I hope to take up ballet.

   Karina Malik

Hola, my name is Karina Malik and I was chosen as a 2012-2013 QUIERE scholar. This is an incredibly amazing experience for me because of my commitment to social justice within the public school system. I look forward to working in inclusive bilingual settings because I believe that inclusive classrooms have the ability to recognize the range of human differences and similarities. Before attending Teachers College I received my Bachelors in Speech Pathology at Queens College. An interesting fact about me is that I enjoy brewing different types of teas during my free time. I find that tea usually has the ability to either soothe me or wake me up!

   Yandra Mordan

Hello my name is Yandra Mordan. I feel honored to have been chosen as a 2012-2013 QUIERE scholar. I applied to QUIERE because I have worked for many years with four year olds in an inclusive and culturally diverse setting. A setting in which most families are low income and 90 percent are bi-lingual. I felt the QUIERE project was the perfect match for me because of the population that QUIERE wants to address targets; the same population I have been working with and am also a part of. My professional goals are to further enhance my professional practice by developing the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively reach the needs of children by fostering children’s growth in all areas of development-intellectually, physically, and emotionally. I truly believe all children deserve a good education without social and economical differences. One of my hobbies is riding my bicycle. It helps me release stress and stay healthy. This helps bring the best of me to the children with whom I work.

   Elizabeth Reis

Hello! My name is Elizabeth Reis and I am honored to have been chosen as a 2012-2013 QUIERE scholar. Prior to Teachers College, I attended Eckerd College, a small Liberal Arts School in Saint Petersburg, Florida where I studied Environmental Studies and Communication. While in college, I was lucky enough to have had the opportunity to travel to over ten different countries, and begin forming a multicultural perspective that sees human differences as assets rather than deficits. I also spent my early childhood living in Indonesia where I saw first hand the reality of poverty at work which became a constant motivator for me to try and mitigate human inequities in some way during my formative and now adult years. I am a committed volunteer, although my time at Teacher College has really curtailed that in the short term! Ten years from now I would like to start my own inclusive Outdoor Experiential Learning school, where the child's interest drives the curriculum, learning is fun and approachable, and the ethic of lifelong learning is instilled in each and every student. In my free time I like to kick box, ride my bike down the Hudson River, and dream about my future classroom!