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News @TC

Short takes on big news at the College



Bringing The College To You

As evidenced at Academic Festival in April, there’s lots going on at TC. In this issue: Honors at AERA, New York’s Education Commissioner delivers TC’s Kossoff Lecture, celebrating the Cowin Financial Literacy Program.

Teaching the Teachers of Teachers

With a new doctoral specialization in Teacher Education, TC’s Department of Curriculum & Teaching is redefining the preparation of teacher educators — those who teach teachers and conduct related research — and building a more thoughtful and coherent program of preparation to elevate the status of teacher educators and their research.

“One thing that has been missing in the conversation about preparing teachers is the notion of a quality teacher educator,” says A. Lin Goodwin, Evenden Professor of Education and Vice Dean. “People already have this wrong-headed idea that, ‘well, teaching can be done by anyone’ — so why shouldn’t any teacher be able to do teacher education? But being good at something doesn’t necessarily make one good at translating that skill for others or unlocking it for a novice.”




A new Race, Ethnicity and Inter-Cultural Understanding Curriculum Map details Teachers College’s more than 60 regularly-offered courses on these themes. TC is “the epicenter of new curricula on these timely and important issues,” says Amy Stuart Wells, Professor of Sociology & Education, who — backed by a TC Provost’s Investment Fund grant — led TC students in creating the map. “We undertook this project to connect the dots of this amazing interdisciplinary curriculum.”



Celebrating The Cowin Financial Literacy Program

TC’s cowin financial literacy Program celebrated its national expansion in late April. Now in 46 states, the Cowin Program presented its inaugural Joyce Berger Cowin Champions Award for Financial Literacy Advocacy, Education and Leadership (named for the Project’s benefactor) to former New York Giants football great Justin Tuck and his wife, Lauran, founders of Tuck’s R.U.S.H. for Literacy. The festivities included a panel discussion featuring former Fortune editor Carol Loomis, Time columnist Dan Kadlec, Black Enterprise columnist Stacey  Tisdale and TC faculty member Anand Marri (Cowin Program developer), moderated by personal finance author Beth Kobliner.



Psychology Takes Center Stage


An April conference, “The Promise of Psychology @ TC,” showcased the full breadth of the College’s work in psychology. Faculty members Peter Coleman, Xiaodong Lin and George Bonanno keynoted, and breakout sessions featuring TC faculty addressed research linking science and practice, social justice/advocacy, local relevance/global reach, and learning and cognition.




Students Honor Four Black Female Faculty


Four black, female Teachers College professors who have recently received promotions were honored at TC’s annual Black Student Network Gala: Michelle Knight-Manuel, Professor of Education in the Department of Curriculum & Teaching and Special Adviser to TC’s Provost (far left); Felicia Mensah, Professor of Science & Education, and Erica Walker, Professor of Mathematics & Education, both in the Department of Math, Science & Technology (second and fourth from left); and Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz, Associate Professor of English Education in the Department of Arts & Humanities (third from left).

Knight-Manuel, Mensah and Walker were promoted to full professor, and Sealey-Ruiz was tenured with promotion to associate professor.


Honors & Distinctions

Ernest Morrell, TC’s Macy Professor of Education, delivered the inaugural Henry M. Levin African Diaspora SIG Lecture at the Comparative & International Education Society annual meeting in March. Levin is TC’s William Heard Kilpatrick Professor of Economics & Education.

Visual Journeys Through Wordless Narratives: An International Inquiry with Immigrant Children and The Arrival, co-authored by Carmen Martínez-Roldán, Associate Professor of Bilingual/Bicultural Education, was awarded the Edward B. Fry Book Award by the Literacy Research Association.   

Philanthropy & Education, a new peer-reviewed journal to be edited by Noah D. Drezner, Associate Professor of Higher & Postsecondary Education, will be published by Teachers College and Indiana University Press. The journal will highlight the increasing role played by education philanthropy around the world.  

Sonali Rajan (Ed.D. ’10), Assistant Professor of Health Education, was awarded TC’s Strage Junior Faculty Prize for her groundbreaking research on the behavioral associations of gun violence by youth.



A Big Year at AERA  

Honors for TC folk at every career stage

Twelve, count ’em, 12 members of the extended TC community were honored at AERA 2016.


The american educational research Association’s 2016 award recipients included the following Teachers College faculty, faculty emeriti, alumni and students: 


Alex Bowers, Associate Professor of Applied Statistics; the Outstanding Reviewer Award from Education Administration Quarterly. 

Jared Boyce (Ph.D. ’15); the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Advanced Studies of National Databases Special Interest Group.

Christopher Emdin, Associate Professor of Science Education; the AERA Early Career Award. 

Celia Genishi, Professor of Education Emerita; the Dr. John J. Gumperz Memorial Award for Distinguished Lifetime Scholarship.

Jeffrey Henig, Professor of Political Science & Education; the Politics of Education Association Stephen K. Bailey Award. 

Doctoral student Esther Ohito; the Distinguished Graduate Student Paper Award from the Critical Issues in Curriculum and Cultural Studies Special Interest Group.

Stacey Robbins (Ed.D. ’15); the Sig Workplace Learning Dissertation of the Year Award. 

Judith Scott-Clayton, Associate Professor of Economics & Education; the Division L Early Career Award.  

Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz, Associate Professor of English Education; the Division K Mid-Career Award.   

Doctoral student Mara Simon; the Lawrence F. Locke Graduate Student Award for Outstanding Paper, from the Research on Learning and Instruction in Physical Education Special Interest Group.

Elizabeth Tipton, Assistant Professor of Applied Statistics; the Early Career Award for Division D, Category–Quantitative Research Methodology.   

Amy Stuart Wells, Professor of Sociology & Education; the AERA Presidential Citation for exemplary research.



NY’s Commissioner: Many Ways to Evaluate Achievement


“It’s really important that we put local control back in place and allow school districts to work with their educators” to bring students to high standards, said New York State Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia. In delivering TC’s 2016 Phyllis L. Kossoff Lecture on Education Policy this past February, Elia called herself “a strong proponent of…multiple ways to determine how well a kid or a teacher or a group of students or a school or a district is doing.”


Loud Reports: Headline-Makers from TC

New findings on student motivation, cross-sector collaboration to improve urban schools and community college transfer rates



High-school students may improve science grades by learning about the personal struggles and failed experiments of great scientists such as Albert Einstein and Marie Curie, according to a new study led by Xiaodong Lin, Professor of Cognitive Studies in Education. The study, supported by a $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation, found that students who learned about scientists’ intellectual or personal struggles significantly improved their grades, with low-achieving students benefitting the most. The study was co-authored by TC students    Janet N. Ahn, Jondou Chen, Fu-Fen Anny Fang and Myra Luna-Lucero.

Collaborations in which school systems, state and local governments, businesses, community organizations and nonprofits improve educational outcomes are attracting attention nationwide, according to Collective Impact and the New Generation of Cross-Sector Collaborations for Education: A Nationwide Scan, recently completed by TC researchers and commissioned by The Wallace Foundation. The TC team that authored the report includes Jeffrey Henig, Professor of Political Science & Eduction; Carolyn Riehl, Associate Professor of Sociology & Education Policy; David Houston, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Education Policy & Social Analysis; Michael Rebell, Professor of Law & Educational Practice, and Executive Director of TC’s Campaign for Educational Equity (CEE); and Jessica Wolff, CEE’s Policy Director.  

Only 14 percent of students starting in community colleges transfer to four-year schools and earn a bachelor’s degree within six years of entry, finds a new report by TC’s Community College Research Center (CCRC), the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program and the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Even in states with the best track records, only about one in five students transfer and graduate within six years of enrolling. Davis Jenkins, Senior Research Associate at CCRC, worked on the report with CCRC Research Associate John Fink.


In Brief

TC launched a new Bilingual Latina/o Mental Health concentration, New York’s only program offering culturally appropriate training in delivering mental health services in Spanish to Latinas/os. Faculty and field supervisors are bilingual.

Associate Professor of Education & Public Policy Luis Huerta testified in Congress that private school vouchers and tax credits do not improve student outcomes.

Based on proposals made by a blue ribbon committee including Associate Professor of English Education Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz, the New York Board of Regents unanimously recommended $50 million in spending to coordinate a statewide version of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper program to assist young men of color as they travel the road through school to adulthood.  

Shanghai-based awarded Associate Professor of Cognitive Studies Ryan Baker a $110,000 grant to establish a new collaborative research lab with TC.

A research study of the opt-out-of-testing movement, led by Oren Pizmony-Levy, Assistant Professor in International & Comparative Education, and Assistant Adjunct Professor Nancy Green Saraisky (Ph.D. ’15), hopes to answer key questions about the growing movement and the motivations of those who support it.

Published Tuesday, Jul 12, 2016

Illustration: Jasu Hu
Illustration: Jasu Hu


In May, in Zankel Hall’s basement, Faizal Badat (Clinical Psychology), Max Levi Frieder (Art & Art Education) and fellow students, faculty and staff created a mural of fantastic faces and inscriptions such as umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu (“a person is a person through another person”) and gentileza gera gentileza (“kindness begets kindness”). “We wanted to represent student diversity,” said Badat. View Frieder’s work at

Illustration: Bill Butcher
Illustration: Bill Butcher
Loud Reports
Illustration: Luci Gutiérrez
iStock by Getty Images
iStock by Getty Images
Diversity Map Hands
Lauran and Justin Tuck
MaryEllen Elia
Female Faculty