A Career Takes Wing
Published in Commencement
Children’s educational television made its mark on Corey Chapman. Now he’s ready to make his mark on it
Growing up in rural South Carolina, Corey Chapman was a big fan of children’s educational TV shows like Reading Rainbow. He also loved the movie Katy Caterpillar, in which the title character becomes a butterfly, “because it shows how we get everything we need and learn to fly on our own.”
That’s a good description of Chapman’s own professional evolution, a journey during which he has grown in new and unexpected directions while staying true to his core interests.
“I’ve always wanted to use media to positively impact communities, families and children,” says Chapman, who received his master’s degree in Communication and Education.
Chapman won a Young Journalist’s Award in middle school and interned at Fox News as an undergraduate at Erskine College. After college, he joined Pearson Education in Nashville, focusing on Pre-K—5 reading materials. He worked directly with reading coaches and state leaders to improve reading outcomes for this age group. Two years later, he came to New York to work in Pearson’s Higher Education division, developing manuscripts and e-books. He enrolled at Teachers College “to explore what my exact calling would be.”
At TC, Chapman has built particularly strong relationships with his advisor, Lalitha Vasudevan, and Shawna Bushell of TC’s Design Lab. With Vaseduvan’s guidance, Chapman wrote his thesis on integrating technology into the classroom, with a strong emphasis on educational entrepreneurship. He also interned with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, assisting in the production of news documentaries, and volunteered with New York City’s Department of Homeless Service. This year, he was also inducted into Kappa Delta Pi.
Chapman hopes to pursue an interdisciplinary doctorate at TC, with a combined focus on communications and international education development that would include a family/community concentration. Ultimately though, he wants to work as producer in children’s television.
“I’m a product of imagination that children’s television told me it was OK to have,” he says. His dream project? “To work on Reading Rainbow 2.0.”