Meet some of the amazing students who earned degrees from Teachers College this year—talented and dedicated men and women who already are deeply involved in making the world a better place. Scroll down to read their inspirational stories -- and look for additional postings during the next two weeks.
Growing up in the Soundview section of the Bronx, Edmund Adjapong never imagined studying science, let alone teaching it. Then he met a teacher who used the motion of the medallion and chain around a rapper's neck to illuminate pendulums and kinetic and potential energy, and he was hooked.
Samantha Sikder grew up in poverty and became a teacher because she wanted to help others who are vulnerable. At Teachers College, she came to understand the stark differences among public schools in poor and wealthy neighborhoods, and learned to integrate a sense of social activism with her passion for education.
It was always obvious that Usama Mirza would become an educator. The only question was what he would teach. He's traveled a fascinating if sometimes bumpy road to learn the answer: just about everything, including teaching itself.
When Mack Exilus lost his mother, therapy helped him survive. The experience helped him understand the stigma that much of the African-American community attaches to seeking mental health care. He leaves TC with the goal of changing that picture.
Patricia Gonzalez's parents immigrated to Los Angeles from Mexico, and -- through the sacrifices of her older sisters -- she became the first in her family to attend college.
Hsu-Ping Tuan decided years ago to dedicate her career to improving Taiwan's methods for teaching English -- work that she considers essential to advancing the nation's fortunes on the world stage. Now she's heading home to launch a language school that will model a better approach, based on the knowledge and skills she learned in TC's TESOL program.
Cindy Wiltshire had already been teaching for years when she decided to return to school to learn about children's brain development. At TC, she's worked with groundbreaking neuroscience researcher Kim Noble on studies of how poverty can affect language, memory and learning.