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Being Dewey Profiles

Being Dewey

Fern Lowenfels
M.A., Teaching of Social Studies '64

I give to TC because I wish to remember the school that gave me the credentials for teaching.  I taught for close to 40 years and loved it.

The TC credentials and name gave me a certain status that I might not have gotten from another school, and that status enabled me to try different approaches to teaching without a great deal of resistance from more traditional-minded administrators.

My favorite thing about TC was the care shown by the professors. I felt I could come and discuss any number of issues without feeling as though I were intruding.  Keep in mind that this was before the 1960s demonstrations in which students demanded more attention from professors and schools in general.

I taught high school for close to 40 years: four in the suburbs and the remainder in New York City.  I switched to urban schools largely as a result of the summer of 1964, which I spent in Mississippi doing voter registration and teaching in the freedom schools.  

I spent four years at what was once Benjamin Franklin High School (Manhattan Center for Science and Math) where I was Chapter Leader during the Ocean Hill Brownsville strike and close to 30 years at Martin Luther King High school where I taught every grade of history including AP American History.  I was also Chapter Leader for the UFT at King.

I retired in 2005 when the school was closed to make way for six new schools.  Presently I work at NJCU in Jersey City where I teach future teachers in methods and materials, classroom management and assessment, and I supervise student teachers.  I also still work for the United Federation of Teachers.


Maj. Gen. Irene Trowell-Harris
Ed.D., Health Education '83
Ed.M., Health Education '83

Being Dewey means a level above and beyond with an opportunity to contribute more consistently.  I want to leave a legacy that perpetuates my ideals while helping others to become successful and supporting their goals.

I give to TC as an investment in education for preparing and educating the next generation of professionals and senior leaders. The benefits of giving are immeasurably rewarding since education provides benefits now and for a life time. Donating offers me the opportunity to give back to society while helping others.

My favorite part of TC was networking and sharing with faculty members and students while enjoying being part of a renowned institution of higher education.  TC has inspired me to reach beyond the stars and set progressively challenging goals while raising the bar.  My professional career journey took me from the cotton fields of Aiken, South Carolina to the United States Air Force/Air National Guard, Yale and Columbia, to White House Political Appointee. I wrote a book Sky High: No Goal Is Out of Your Reach, to inspire youth and a chapter in Leadership in Action: Principles Forged in the Crucible of Military Service Can Lead Corporate America Back to the Top, by Rear Admiral Greg Slavonic, USC, Retired, with contributions from General David Petraeus and other senior officers.  Even with a doctorate, silver flight nurse wings, White House political appointment, promotion to Air Force Major General (2 stars), and a published book, I still have ambitious goals. 

I am a White House political appointee at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Director of the Center for Women Veterans and I serve as primary advisor to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on all issues, programs, legislation and policies related to women Veterans.

I travel and enjoy vacations with family members periodically at locations such as Europe, Mexico and within the USA.  I have continued my education completing numerous post graduate programs at The Brookings Institution, USDA, SES forums and other venues that offer senior leadership courses. I have mentored hundreds of students during my career and continue to mentor.