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Magsaysay Boxley Scholars Say Thank You TC

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Magsaysay Boxley Scholars Say Thank You TC

Paul Albert and Linda Yan

Most members of the TC community realize that attending the College requires a serious financial commitment.

Christine Persico, Executive Director of Enrollment Management, says, "even though we are an elite graduate school of education and in most cases the students' first choice school, our competitors are often in a position to make better scholarship offers to top students."

Thanks to the late Tess Magsaysay and Ken Boxley, who made an initial gift of $1 million in 1998 to Teachers College toward the creation of a $10 million scholarship endowment, TC is in a position to recruit the best students into the teaching profession-young people who can make a difference. Magsaysay and Boxley wanted to recruit the very best students to the field of teaching. Their intent was to make their scholarship the equivalent of the Rhodes and the National Merit scholarships.

One of this year's ten Tess Magsaysay and Ken Boxley recipients of the full-tuition scholarship is Paul Albert, who is looking forward to receiving his degree in Elementary Education. A graduate of Colgate University, Albert's immediate goal is to receive his Master's degree and to be instructing fourth graders in a public school in the fall of 2001.

He spoke to us about how his course work was coming along. Albert said, "what has really turned me on is learning about how to teach writing. Your first instinct is to discount the whole idea that writing can be taught. After all, it's like teaching how to be, how to think. But there are ways. And I'm learning how in Professor [Lucy] Calkins' class, "Learning and Teaching in the Reading and Writing Classroom," that you can teach writing without being condescending or heavy-handed. We've never talked about it explicitly, but in that class we think about writing as a window on a child's talents and interests. We're forever being discouraged from believing that some kids just don't have what it takes to be great writers."

Albert was candid about what the Magsaysay Boxley Scholarship meant to him.

"I definitely wouldn't be at TC without [this scholarship]. It frees me, on graduation, to teach almost anywhere I want without a sizable financial burden. Someone saw some vitality in me, and now all I have to do is prove it."

Another recipient is Linda Yan, who graduated NYU in 1998 with a B.S. in Applied Psychology. Yan briefly worked for an accounting firm in the Human Resources field but realized that the corporate world was not for her. "Teaching, however, was always in the back of my mind," she said.

In recalling how she decided on Elementary Education, Yan talked about how her tutoring work at the Grand Street Settlement impacted her life. "When I was an undergraduate," Yan continued, "my major required field work. So, I selected the Grand Street Settlement and that's where I tutored kids twice a week. I loved doing it and it was always in the back of my mind after I graduated."

Why Elementary Education? "Those are the foundation years, the most important ones in a child's life and I want to be part of that foundation. But, most of all I want the children I teach to realize their fullest potential," Yan commented.

In speaking about the scholarship, Yan told of the ups and downs of her career and how the scholarship made a difference in her life. "My parents were really proud of me because I had originally started out as a business major. But when I decided to transfer out they were disappointed and worried about my life. When I received the Magsaysay Boxley scholarship, it proved to them that I was really serious about teaching and was willing to do whatever it takes to be a good teacher."

"It's a privilege to be here at TC," Yan said.

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