Supporting Their Students: Going Above and Beyond

TC and its students benefit from a growing number of professors and staff who go all out to provide financial aid

As a research scientist who has parsed the ecological impact of microorganisms, O. Roger Anderson is not given to overstatement. But when it comes to supporting good causes, Anderson – Professor of Natural Sciences and a 52-year member of Teachers College’s faculty – is unequivocal.

A Faculty for Giving:
A Gallery of Those Who Care >>

“At this point in my life, I’m in interested in making the best investment for the future of the nation -- and I know that the best investment I can make is in our students.”

Anderson, who belongs to TC’s Grace Dodge Society (members provide for the College in their wills) has backed those words with a $1 million bequest, established through his Individual Retirement Account (IRA), that will support TC doctoral students.

“It’s important to understand that TC is unique in the various professions it serves, all of which enhance some aspect of human potential and service to humanity,” he says “Our students work in professions that improve our future; that’s why I wanted to invest in them.”

O. Roger Anderson, Professor of Natural Sciences
O. Roger Anderson, Professor of Natural Sciences

Anderson is just one of many faculty members and staff at TC who support students in need through currently endowed scholarships, estate planning or a combination of both. The funding ensures that the College can attract the best and brightest students. The support also helps students to graduate with as little debt as possible so that they can pursue careers that aren’t always the highest-paying, but serve those most in need.  

“TC is immensely grateful to the faculty for their generous support,” says Louis Lo Ré, Director of Planned Giving at Teachers College. “Professor Anderson exemplifies the generosity of the TC faculty present and past, many of whom have graciously made provisions in their estate plans in support of student scholarships. Their support shows how committed they are to the current and future success of the college and its students. I would hope that other faculty will be inspired by their generous example.”  

Professors and staff give to TC for myriad reasons, but all share a wholehearted belief in what TC’s Janice Robinson calls the College’s “decades-long mission of social justice and its unwavering commitment to issues of social justice across so many disciplines.” 

Robinson, who has donated a percentage of her Individual Retirement Account (IRA) to fund scholarships for underrepresented students, is TC’s Vice President for Diversity & Community Affairs. She is proud that TC is doing all it can, academically and culturally, to create a diverse campus devoted to social justice. And that commitment makes her feel a strong kinship with the college, and inclined to support it in every way she can.

Janice Robinson, Vice President for Diversity and Community Affairs; Associate Professor in Higher Education; TC Title IX Coordinator

Robinson is also a TC alumna (she earned her Ed.M. in Educational Administration in 1976) and an Associate Professor of Higher Education, She says she received a great education here that has enabled her to have a successful career in education, including the 16 years she has worked at TC. She credits advice she received as a TC student from then President Lawrence Cremin with setting her on that path. After she earned her master’s, she wasn’t sure what to do next; Cremin took the time to talk to her and advised her to apply to law school. She listened to him, and before entering higher education, she worked successfully as a lawyer.

“President Cremin gave me the best advice I’ve ever received,” recalls Robinson. “Teachers College launched both my educational career and my legal career. I’m very grateful to TC for helping me with both careers, so I wanted to give back to the college, which is also why I wish to support scholarship assistance, especially for underserved populations.”

Others say they support the college because they’ve had rewarding careers here and because they themselves had financial aid when they were students, whether at TC or elsewhere.

Ann Boehm began teaching at Teachers College in 1966, the year she completed her TC doctorate, and soon established herself as an expert in the field of early childhood psychology. Her Boehm Test of Basic Concepts, an assessment of young children, became the gold standard in school psychology and continues to help millions of students succeed academically and socially.

Boehm attributes her career success to her TC professors, including Miriam Goldberg, who was known nationally for her studies of gifted and talented children, and the prominent school psychologists Mary Alice White, Millie Almy and Robert Thorndike.  

“I had excellent mentors who treated me like a colleague and opened doors for me,” says Boehm, now Professor Emerita of Psychology & Education at TC. “I was so excited to do research with them. I also had funding when I was a student – I didn’t graduate with debt – so I wanted to do something to support the next generation of students.”

Ann Boehm, Professor Emerita, Psychology and Education

Boehm’s “something” is a lifetime bequest to TC that could ultimately exceed $5 million. The gift, made in 2014, establishes the Ann E. Boehm & Neville Kaplan (her late husband) School Psychology Fund, which will provide scholarships for doctoral students who study the educational and psychological needs of children. She is funding the bequest by donating a portion of the royalties from the Boehm Test. 

W. Warner Burke began teaching at TC in 1979, and is now one of the nation’s leading experts in the field of organizational psychology. Burke, E.L. Thorndike Professor of Psychology & Education, says he feels privileged to have taught at TC for most of his life, and in gratitude he intends to create the W. Warner Burke Endowed Scholarship Fund, which will support students in social-organizational psychology program. He will also designate a portion of his future royalties to create the scholarship fund.

“My being at TC for such a long time makes me want to give back,” says Burke. “I feel fortunate to work with the high-quality students here. That was my motivation in setting up the fund: To repay my program and the college for allowing me to teach here for so long, but also to support our great students.”

Over the decades, Burke, who coordinates the graduate programs in social-organizational psychology in the Department of Organization & Leadership, has taught thousands of students and advised hundreds of masters’ and doctoral students, a role that has given him immense joy. And he has seen many of his students go on to help major companies and nonprofits change their organizational structures and become more efficient and more humane to workers. Nonetheless, some of his TC students struggle financially, having to work full-time jobs while talking a full complement of classes. 

W. Warner Burke, Edward Lee Thorndike Professorship of Psychology & Education

“One of my biggest regrets over the years has been that we couldn’t afford to sufficiently support some of our graduate students,” says Burke. “We get some of the best students from around the world, and they deserve the chance to focus on their studies and their research. That’s why I will create a scholarship fund to help them.”

Professor Emerita Celia Genishi knows just what Burke is talking about. She grew up in a working-class, immigrant family, and her parents couldn’t afford to send her to college. Fortunately she did receive financial support that enabled her to attend Barnard College and, later, graduate school at both Harvard and the University of California at Berkeley. And that is why she has established a TC fund that provides scholarships for master's students enrolled in the Early Childhood Education or Early Childhood Special Education teacher certification program.

“I would not have been able to do what I’ve done in my teaching career without scholarships and financial aid, so creating a fund is truly a way of giving back,” says Genishi, who is nationally known in her field.

Celia Genishi, Professor Emerita of Education
Celia Genishi, Professor Emerita of Education

She also created the Genishi Family Endowed Scholarship Fund to honor her late parents: Her father was a carpenter and her mother a housewife, and neither had been to college. They were “traditional Asian parents” who thought education was the avenue to social mobility, she says. They encouraged her and her siblings to get good grades but also showered them with affection and instilled in them a love for family and a capacity for gratitude.

“They were such great parents, so loving,” says Genishi. “They instilled a love of family, a respect for education, and giving back and being thankful and grateful was very important to them.”

Lo Ré cites her as a definitive example of a professor who is doing good work now while establishing a legacy for the future.

“Professor Genishi’s approach to scholarship aid is exemplary,” he says. “Not only has she planned to assist our students in the future, but she’s helping out students now with her operational endowed fund.  She gets to meet her scholarship recipients, and last year at convocation she even walked her scholarship student across the stage to receive her diploma!”

Suzanne Murphy, TC's Vice President for Development & External Affairs, says she and her husband, Jeffrey Barker, made their gift to the College to "support students big and little" and to help Murphy's TC colleagues. The Barker family gift created The Rita W. Gold Scholarship for Children of Teachers College Employees, which supports the tuition at TC's Rita Gold Early Childhood Education Center for one or more children whose family is employed by TC and demonstrates financial need. Murphy and Barker's 11-year-old sons, Timmy and Michael, attended Rita Gold and loved its approach of learning by doing.

Suzanne Murphy, Vice President for Development & External Affairs
Suzanne Murphy, Vice President for Development & External Affairs

"The Rita Gold Center is such a tremendous resource, not only for kids, but for parents who need to be able to bring their young children to school and have them nearby," says Murphy. "And it supports the learning of TC students, in part by having a diverse mix of children, which enriches their student teaching experience. But the cost is prohibitive for many employees. So we wanted to do something to help make that resource more accessible to everyone."

Family is also deeply important to Katie Embree, Vice Provost at Teachers College, who, like Celia Genishi, created a gift to the College in honor of her parents. Embree earned her TC doctorate in 2001. She has created two funds to support TC students: one to commemorate her late father and another to honor her mother. The gift that honors her mother, called the Wendy M. Dressel Student Emergency Fund, has an interesting genesis: Previously, Embree worked with TC students who, due to emergencies, were in dire financial straits.

These are but a few of the planned gifts from the TC faculty which will be used to create scholarship funds to help our students.

What better testament to the quality and reputation of Teachers College then to have our own give back.

If you would like to create an endowed scholarship fund in your name or perhaps to honor a loved one or a faculty member, please contact Louis Lo Ré, Director of Planned Giving at 212-678-3037, lore@tc.edu

“Students would come into my office and make me cry,” recalls Embree. “Bad stuff had happened to them; fires where they had to move out of their houses, or theft. Sometimes, the students didn’t even have lunch money or train fare to get home.”

But back then, the College didn’t have a formal procedure through which to help the students. Now, thanks to the Wendy M. Dressel Fund,a student dealing with a documented emergency is eligible to receive a gift of $250. The student will get cash quickly, without bureaucracy slowing the payment, Embree says. “My mother is very compassionate and caring, which is why I made this fund in her honor.”

The fund she created for her father, the Morton S. Embree Award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning, rewards a Teaching Assistant or Course Assistant who has done outstanding work in helping other students. Faculty or students can nominate a student for the award, and twice a year two winners will each receive a cash award of $250.

“I wanted this award to honor my dad, who was a ridiculously smart man -- valedictorian of his class – and I know that he would appreciate an award that recognizes excellence,” she says

Katie Embree, Ed.D. Vice Provost

Embree feels a deep kinship with the college, and refers to it often and offhandedly as “family.” And for good reason: For on the same day she earned her doctorate here in Higher & Postsecondary Education, she began working at the College as an administrative assistant. She worked in a variety of jobs before joining TC’s senior administration. As a senior staff member, she has “seen the impact that TC has had in producing great teachers and professionals in the fields of health, psychology and public policy.”

To further support TC, she plans to create the Embree Scholarship Fund, by way of an IRA bequest, that will help endow student scholarships.

“We get great students internationally,” she says, “because TC is such a highly regarded college that does so much good in the world.” – Robert Florida

* * * *

Crowd Power

Two recent gifts to Teachers College powerfully demonstrate the impact that a determined group of donors can have when they pool their resources.

Donna Shalala
Donna Shalala

The Donna E. Shalala Scholarship Fund, named for the former TC faculty member who served in two presidential administrations and now heads the Clinton Foundation, supports students in education policy. The Shalala Scholarship is endowed by Dr. Shalala’s former students, including TC President Susan Fuhrman (Ph.D. ’77), and by the faculty of TC’s Department of Education Policy & Social Analysis (EPSA). It was created in honor of Jeffrey Henig, Professor of Political Science & Education, who recently completed service as EPSA’s inaugural chairman.

Alumni of TC’s Executive Master’s Program in Change Leadership
Alumni of TC’s Executive Master’s Program in Change Leadership

The Debra A. Noumair Endowed Fellowship is a need-based scholarship created in Spring 2016 at the five-year anniversary of TC’s Executive Master’s Program in Change Leadership. Alumni of the program created the Noumair Fellowship in honor of the program’s guiding spirit, Debra Noumair, Associate Professor of Psychology & Education. 

To learn more about creating crowd-sourced scholarships at TC, contact Linda Colquhoun at 212 678-3679 or lbc2118@tc.columbia.edu

Published Monday, Jan. 30, 2017

Supporting Their Students: Going Above and Beyond

TC and its students benefit from a growing number of professors and staff who go all out to provide financial aid

As a research scientist who has parsed the ecological impact of microorganisms, O. Roger Anderson is not given to overstatement. But when it comes to supporting good causes, Anderson – Professor of Natural Sciences and a 52-year member of Teachers College’s faculty – is unequivocal.

A Faculty for Giving:
A Gallery of Those Who Care >>

“At this point in my life, I’m in interested in making the best investment for the future of the nation -- and I know that the best investment I can make is in our students.”

Anderson, who belongs to TC’s Grace Dodge Society (members provide for the College in their wills) has backed those words with a $1 million bequest, established through his Individual Retirement Account (IRA), that will support TC doctoral students.

“It’s important to understand that TC is unique in the various professions it serves, all of which enhance some aspect of human potential and service to humanity,” he says “Our students work in professions that improve our future; that’s why I wanted to invest in them.”

O. Roger Anderson, Professor of Natural Sciences
O. Roger Anderson, Professor of Natural Sciences

Anderson is just one of many faculty members and staff at TC who support students in need through currently endowed scholarships, estate planning or a combination of both. The funding ensures that the College can attract the best and brightest students. The support also helps students to graduate with as little debt as possible so that they can pursue careers that aren’t always the highest-paying, but serve those most in need.  

“TC is immensely grateful to the faculty for their generous support,” says Louis Lo Ré, Director of Planned Giving at Teachers College. “Professor Anderson exemplifies the generosity of the TC faculty present and past, many of whom have graciously made provisions in their estate plans in support of student scholarships. Their support shows how committed they are to the current and future success of the college and its students. I would hope that other faculty will be inspired by their generous example.”  

Professors and staff give to TC for myriad reasons, but all share a wholehearted belief in what TC’s Janice Robinson calls the College’s “decades-long mission of social justice and its unwavering commitment to issues of social justice across so many disciplines.” 

Robinson, who has donated a percentage of her Individual Retirement Account (IRA) to fund scholarships for underrepresented students, is TC’s Vice President for Diversity & Community Affairs. She is proud that TC is doing all it can, academically and culturally, to create a diverse campus devoted to social justice. And that commitment makes her feel a strong kinship with the college, and inclined to support it in every way she can.

Janice Robinson, Vice President for Diversity and Community Affairs; Associate Professor in Higher Education; TC Title IX Coordinator

Robinson is also a TC alumna (she earned her Ed.M. in Educational Administration in 1976) and an Associate Professor of Higher Education, She says she received a great education here that has enabled her to have a successful career in education, including the 16 years she has worked at TC. She credits advice she received as a TC student from then President Lawrence Cremin with setting her on that path. After she earned her master’s, she wasn’t sure what to do next; Cremin took the time to talk to her and advised her to apply to law school. She listened to him, and before entering higher education, she worked successfully as a lawyer.

“President Cremin gave me the best advice I’ve ever received,” recalls Robinson. “Teachers College launched both my educational career and my legal career. I’m very grateful to TC for helping me with both careers, so I wanted to give back to the college, which is also why I wish to support scholarship assistance, especially for underserved populations.”

Others say they support the college because they’ve had rewarding careers here and because they themselves had financial aid when they were students, whether at TC or elsewhere.

Ann Boehm began teaching at Teachers College in 1966, the year she completed her TC doctorate, and soon established herself as an expert in the field of early childhood psychology. Her Boehm Test of Basic Concepts, an assessment of young children, became the gold standard in school psychology and continues to help millions of students succeed academically and socially.

Boehm attributes her career success to her TC professors, including Miriam Goldberg, who was known nationally for her studies of gifted and talented children, and the prominent school psychologists Mary Alice White, Millie Almy and Robert Thorndike.  

“I had excellent mentors who treated me like a colleague and opened doors for me,” says Boehm, now Professor Emerita of Psychology & Education at TC. “I was so excited to do research with them. I also had funding when I was a student – I didn’t graduate with debt – so I wanted to do something to support the next generation of students.”

Ann Boehm, Professor Emerita, Psychology and Education

Boehm’s “something” is a lifetime bequest to TC that could ultimately exceed $5 million. The gift, made in 2014, establishes the Ann E. Boehm & Neville Kaplan (her late husband) School Psychology Fund, which will provide scholarships for doctoral students who study the educational and psychological needs of children. She is funding the bequest by donating a portion of the royalties from the Boehm Test. 

W. Warner Burke began teaching at TC in 1979, and is now one of the nation’s leading experts in the field of organizational psychology. Burke, E.L. Thorndike Professor of Psychology & Education, says he feels privileged to have taught at TC for most of his life, and in gratitude he intends to create the W. Warner Burke Endowed Scholarship Fund, which will support students in social-organizational psychology program. He will also designate a portion of his future royalties to create the scholarship fund.

“My being at TC for such a long time makes me want to give back,” says Burke. “I feel fortunate to work with the high-quality students here. That was my motivation in setting up the fund: To repay my program and the college for allowing me to teach here for so long, but also to support our great students.”

Over the decades, Burke, who coordinates the graduate programs in social-organizational psychology in the Department of Organization & Leadership, has taught thousands of students and advised hundreds of masters’ and doctoral students, a role that has given him immense joy. And he has seen many of his students go on to help major companies and nonprofits change their organizational structures and become more efficient and more humane to workers. Nonetheless, some of his TC students struggle financially, having to work full-time jobs while talking a full complement of classes. 

W. Warner Burke, Edward Lee Thorndike Professorship of Psychology & Education

“One of my biggest regrets over the years has been that we couldn’t afford to sufficiently support some of our graduate students,” says Burke. “We get some of the best students from around the world, and they deserve the chance to focus on their studies and their research. That’s why I will create a scholarship fund to help them.”

Professor Emerita Celia Genishi knows just what Burke is talking about. She grew up in a working-class, immigrant family, and her parents couldn’t afford to send her to college. Fortunately she did receive financial support that enabled her to attend Barnard College and, later, graduate school at both Harvard and the University of California at Berkeley. And that is why she has established a TC fund that provides scholarships for master's students enrolled in the Early Childhood Education or Early Childhood Special Education teacher certification program.

“I would not have been able to do what I’ve done in my teaching career without scholarships and financial aid, so creating a fund is truly a way of giving back,” says Genishi, who is nationally known in her field.

Celia Genishi, Professor Emerita of Education
Celia Genishi, Professor Emerita of Education

She also created the Genishi Family Endowed Scholarship Fund to honor her late parents: Her father was a carpenter and her mother a housewife, and neither had been to college. They were “traditional Asian parents” who thought education was the avenue to social mobility, she says. They encouraged her and her siblings to get good grades but also showered them with affection and instilled in them a love for family and a capacity for gratitude.

“They were such great parents, so loving,” says Genishi. “They instilled a love of family, a respect for education, and giving back and being thankful and grateful was very important to them.”

Lo Ré cites her as a definitive example of a professor who is doing good work now while establishing a legacy for the future.

“Professor Genishi’s approach to scholarship aid is exemplary,” he says. “Not only has she planned to assist our students in the future, but she’s helping out students now with her operational endowed fund.  She gets to meet her scholarship recipients, and last year at convocation she even walked her scholarship student across the stage to receive her diploma!”

Suzanne Murphy, TC's Vice President for Development & External Affairs, says she and her husband, Jeffrey Barker, made their gift to the College to "support students big and little" and to help Murphy's TC colleagues. The Barker family gift created The Rita W. Gold Scholarship for Children of Teachers College Employees, which supports the tuition at TC's Rita Gold Early Childhood Education Center for one or more children whose family is employed by TC and demonstrates financial need. Murphy and Barker's 11-year-old sons, Timmy and Michael, attended Rita Gold and loved its approach of learning by doing.

Suzanne Murphy, Vice President for Development & External Affairs
Suzanne Murphy, Vice President for Development & External Affairs

"The Rita Gold Center is such a tremendous resource, not only for kids, but for parents who need to be able to bring their young children to school and have them nearby," says Murphy. "And it supports the learning of TC students, in part by having a diverse mix of children, which enriches their student teaching experience. But the cost is prohibitive for many employees. So we wanted to do something to help make that resource more accessible to everyone."

Family is also deeply important to Katie Embree, Vice Provost at Teachers College, who, like Celia Genishi, created a gift to the College in honor of her parents. Embree earned her TC doctorate in 2001. She has created two funds to support TC students: one to commemorate her late father and another to honor her mother. The gift that honors her mother, called the Wendy M. Dressel Student Emergency Fund, has an interesting genesis: Previously, Embree worked with TC students who, due to emergencies, were in dire financial straits.

These are but a few of the planned gifts from the TC faculty which will be used to create scholarship funds to help our students.

What better testament to the quality and reputation of Teachers College then to have our own give back.

If you would like to create an endowed scholarship fund in your name or perhaps to honor a loved one or a faculty member, please contact Louis Lo Ré, Director of Planned Giving at 212-678-3037, lore@tc.edu

“Students would come into my office and make me cry,” recalls Embree. “Bad stuff had happened to them; fires where they had to move out of their houses, or theft. Sometimes, the students didn’t even have lunch money or train fare to get home.”

But back then, the College didn’t have a formal procedure through which to help the students. Now, thanks to the Wendy M. Dressel Fund,a student dealing with a documented emergency is eligible to receive a gift of $250. The student will get cash quickly, without bureaucracy slowing the payment, Embree says. “My mother is very compassionate and caring, which is why I made this fund in her honor.”

The fund she created for her father, the Morton S. Embree Award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning, rewards a Teaching Assistant or Course Assistant who has done outstanding work in helping other students. Faculty or students can nominate a student for the award, and twice a year two winners will each receive a cash award of $250.

“I wanted this award to honor my dad, who was a ridiculously smart man -- valedictorian of his class – and I know that he would appreciate an award that recognizes excellence,” she says

Katie Embree, Ed.D. Vice Provost

Embree feels a deep kinship with the college, and refers to it often and offhandedly as “family.” And for good reason: For on the same day she earned her doctorate here in Higher & Postsecondary Education, she began working at the College as an administrative assistant. She worked in a variety of jobs before joining TC’s senior administration. As a senior staff member, she has “seen the impact that TC has had in producing great teachers and professionals in the fields of health, psychology and public policy.”

To further support TC, she plans to create the Embree Scholarship Fund, by way of an IRA bequest, that will help endow student scholarships.

“We get great students internationally,” she says, “because TC is such a highly regarded college that does so much good in the world.” – Robert Florida

* * * *

Crowd Power

Two recent gifts to Teachers College powerfully demonstrate the impact that a determined group of donors can have when they pool their resources.

Donna Shalala
Donna Shalala

The Donna E. Shalala Scholarship Fund, named for the former TC faculty member who served in two presidential administrations and now heads the Clinton Foundation, supports students in education policy. The Shalala Scholarship is endowed by Dr. Shalala’s former students, including TC President Susan Fuhrman (Ph.D. ’77), and by the faculty of TC’s Department of Education Policy & Social Analysis (EPSA). It was created in honor of Jeffrey Henig, Professor of Political Science & Education, who recently completed service as EPSA’s inaugural chairman.

Alumni of TC’s Executive Master’s Program in Change Leadership
Alumni of TC’s Executive Master’s Program in Change Leadership

The Debra A. Noumair Endowed Fellowship is a need-based scholarship created in Spring 2016 at the five-year anniversary of TC’s Executive Master’s Program in Change Leadership. Alumni of the program created the Noumair Fellowship in honor of the program’s guiding spirit, Debra Noumair, Associate Professor of Psychology & Education. 

To learn more about creating crowd-sourced scholarships at TC, contact Linda Colquhoun at 212 678-3679 or lbc2118@tc.columbia.edu

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