Student Ambassadors

Student Ambassadors

Hello everyone! We are proud to represent Teachers College as the Student Ambassadors in the Office of Admission. We would love to connect with you regarding our experiences in our academic programs, at TC, and in New York City. To reach us, please email tcstudent@tc.columbia.edu. If you would like to connect with one of us in particular about your program of interest, please include that Ambassador’s name in the subject line of your email. We are excited to hear from you!

Keana Mei Arevalo
Communication Sciences and Disorders - Master of Science

I am a current master of science student in the Communication Sciences and Disorders program with a Bilingual Extension in Filipino. I am gearing up to become a speech-language pathologist in the medical and school setting. For undergrad, I went to Loma Linda University with a B.S. in communication sciences and disorders. Being from California, moving to New York has been an adventure! I’ve discovered so many things about myself that I didn’t even know about, like my love for walking — I’ve walked to Lincoln Center from TC! In my free time, I enjoy cooking Asian dishes, watching horror movies, and listening to K-pop (my favorite group is NCT). I chose Teachers College because it was my dream school. I’ve always wanted to be part of a community that not only valued education but also its students. My dream is to start a medical speech clinic in the Philippines and to spread awareness in lower-income neighborhoods. I’m excited to share my love for TC and NYC with prospective students and make sure they feel like part of the community.

Maggie Barilka
Communication Sciences and Disorders - Master of Science

I am a first-year student in the Communication Sciences and Disorders program here at TC, on track to become a pediatric Speech Language Pathologist. Before attending Teachers College, I graduated from the University of Virginia (go hoos!!) with a Bachelor of Science in Education in Speech Communication Disorders and a minor in Drama. I am a native of Freehold, NJ, and am currently doing virtual school from my hometown. In my free time, I love to perform in musical theatre, and look forward to the day I can take the 1 train from Teachers College down to Midtown again to see a Broadway show (or five)! I chose Teachers College because of its amazing faculty and commitment to cultivating relationships with the community it serves. It has been my dream to attend Teachers College since I was a freshman in college, and I am so excited to share my love of TC and New York City with prospective students as a Student Ambassador!

Sydney Boston
Mental Health Counseling - Master of Education

I am a first-year student in the Mental Health Counseling program at Teachers College. I was born and raised in Connecticut, and I pursued my bachelor’s in psychology at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. Upon graduation, I obtained a job in healthcare consulting in Atlanta, Georgia. I am passionate about travel and cultural immersion, so when the opportunity arose to move to Copenhagen to work and study abroad, I jumped at the chance. My experiences in Denmark inspired my decision to become a mental health practitioner. Attending TC’s counseling psychology program, with all of its incredible faculty, focus on experiential learning, and emphasis on multicultural perspectives, was a dream come true. I feel incredibly grateful to be surrounded by such hardworking, compassionate individuals, dedicated to their vocations and eager to support one another’s professional journeys. Outside of the classroom, there is always more to explore in NYC, which turns every day into an adventure. I can’t wait to help you uncover what your Teachers College story will be!

Jelani Spencer-Joe
Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages [TESOL] - Master of Arts

I’m pursuing an M.A. in TESOL, specifically focusing on adults. For my undergraduate degree, I studied communications at Susquehanna University and after that I taught abroad in Prague. When I returned from my travels, I came back knowing that I was passionate about teaching. As a native New Yorker, I wanted the best of both worlds by living and being a student here. Ultimately, I chose Teachers College because it felt right! I’m the first person in my family to attend graduate school and knew I would be in a community with people who would challenge, support, and help me thrive in this new environment. TC has been everything I thought it would be and more. I’m excited to meet and help prospective students figure out where they fit here.

Owen Storey
Music & Music Education - Master of Arts

I am a Music & Music Education student at Teachers College working towards my master's. I grew up in Berkeley, CA, and moved to New York City in 2017 to attend Manhattan School of Music for my undergraduate studies. Outside of music, I love improv theater, playing board games, and exploring the wide variety of restaurants in NYC! Playing and teaching music are both important to me, so Teachers College has been a fantastic environment for me to develop critical pedagogy skills, examine education theory, and advance my own musicianship and artistry. I am inspired every day by the passion and brilliance of my professors and peers, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to show you what TC has to offer!

Owen Vadala
Higher & Postsecondary Education - Master of Arts

I am currently a first-year student within the Higher & Postsecondary Education program at Teachers College. Before attending TC, I graduated from the University of Maine with a Bachelor of Science in secondary education with minors in history and leadership studies. I am a native of Rowley, MA, where I am an unapologetic fan of the New England Patriots (sorry, Jets or Giants fans!). My program within the department of Organization & Leadership has allowed me to balance a scholar-practitioner approach to the field of higher education. Many of the concepts I have been learning in my courses have directly applied to the work I’m doing in the Office of Admission and in the SEAS Office of Professional Development and Leadership. I am excited to be a point of contact for prospective students. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions!

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