I could never thank Prof. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz for the power she instills in the people she touches. Thank you for reminding me to respect the power and story of my name and to give myself the space and love that I deserve. I could not imagine TC without you.
Dear Dr. Karen Froud: You are an incredible professor! You somehow manage to give wonderful feedback and criticism but not make anyone feel judged or discouraged at the same time. Your feedback has absolutely made me a better writer and you are always available and responsive. I have enjoyed your courses and have learned a great amount from you (about all sorts of things - from neuroscience to philosophy). Thank you for setting an excellent example for other women in science.
Dani Friedrich: Thank you for all that you do for your students and your colleagues. Your dedication to your students (both advisees and non-advisees), commitment to continued learning, and consistent hard work to make C&T a better department have not gone unnoticed. Thanks for helping to turn me into a scholar, and showing that it's possible to be a human being at the same time.
I have had the an amazing, inspiring, personally challenging experience throughout XMA (Executive Master's Program in Change Leadership) where besides the “basics” I have learned about the power of groups and a lot more about me as an instrument… XMA was a gift, a great one, to me, so thank you Debra, Bill, Warner, Carin, Elissa, Alan, Peter, Terry and all others for everything!
Teachers College has completed its first-ever Faculty Appreciation Week, and as these samplings from more than 140 online testimonials suggest, its faculty are indeed treasured – not only for their brilliance, but also for their concern for a better world, their generous mentorship and their focus on helping others realize their dreams.
[Visit the Faculty Appreciation Week website to check out all the grateful postings to and about TC’s faculty. You can also post additional comments to the site; hand-write a note and drop it into the special mailbox in Zankel main hallway; or send a tweet using #TCFaculty4Us.]
Many of the postings were from grateful doctoral students. Jessica Smagler, for example, thanked Dirck Roosevelt, Associate Professor of Practice in the Department of Curriculum & Teaching, “for always building me up when I start to doubt myself. I am so grateful for your support through my doctoral journey. I have no idea where I would be without you!” And Pazit Levitan thanked Marie Volpe, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Adult Learning & Leadership, for “the confidence to pursue my Ed.D. journey. You have the gift of human embrace, inspiration, and bringing people together, all with your pragmatic approaches, wit and good humor. Thank you!”
Others expressed gratitude for faculty who served as role models – like the anonymous note thanking Dolores Perin, Professor of Psychology & Education, “for always being someone I can trust, ask advice, and rely on as a woman and a mentor in the academy!”
Still others spoke of being awakened to the richness of the full TC experience – “Professor Erica Walker - Your patience is beyond all understanding. During this doctoral journey, you have encouraged me to slow down and embrace the experience.”
There were paeans to high expectations (Dear Chris Baron: You are one tough teacher, but we know you are exacting because you believe in us), welcoming demeanor (Dear Oren Pizmony-Levy: Your commitment to creating an inclusive, engaging, and academically rigorous learning environment for ALL students is truly impressive and admirable. Thank you!) and downright decency (Jay Heubert embodies the type of humility and dedication I strive towards every day. He has been an unwavering supporter of my ideas and intellectual development. I'm truly blessed to call him a mentor).
Those thanked range from the humanities (Dear Professor Vinz: Thank you for believing in my ability to teach the children of New York City and for the opportunity to work with and be mentored by some of the best educators I’ve ever known) to the more quantitative realms (Dear Professor Siegler, your Development of Math Thinking Class is amazing. I love the way it was organized, and I'm constantly inspired by the readings you've selected for us, and the discussions we've had in class. You're a very knowledgeable professor, and your illustrations are clear and logical. Thank you very much!)
And even the military weighed in:
Dr. Buontempo -- We can think of no better qualified or encouraging leader to carry on the ELDP torch than you. Taking a hodge-podge of generally single-tracked military minds like ours & promoting reflection, how to “play-nice-with-others” & help us reach new developmental milestones is a fantastic feat. thank you for what you do & continue to do.
Alumni were heard from, too, and their thank-yous reflected the added perspective of years in their fields:
I graduated from TC in a Masters in Early Childhood Education almost ten years ago! Appreciation and gratitude for my professors in the Dept. of Curriculum & Teaching… My advisor, Dr. Nancy Sall, Professors Celia Genishi, Cathy Rikhye, Sam Shreyar... Thank you for everything! My years at TC remain a fond and beautiful memory, only because of all of you...
Faculty themselves also thanked their colleagues:
And staff, too, expressed their admiration and gratitude:
The faculty in the Health and Behavior Studies Department are the best! I attest to their high standards of humanity, care and dignity. I have worked with them for many years as a staff member. Respect, understanding and utmost considerations are shown me in great measure…The faculty’s insights, and my faith, played a critical role in the cognitive, social, and emotional development of my children. Indeed, it takes a village to raise children. HBS’ faculty has been supportive of my family and me. Their wisdom surrounding education, health, and psychology was a valuable part of my village during my children’s formative, adolescent and early adulthood years. Thank you HBS' faculty!
If there is one sentiment that seems common to all the postings, though, it is gratitude for all that TC faculty do to create possibility. Perhaps this anonymous entry says it best:
Lisa Wright: I want to thank you for your compassion, your wisdom, and your selfless, tireless work. I am forever grateful for your support and mentorship. You once asked us: “what is your superpower?” and you challenged us to think deeply about our strengths. That conversation has never left my mind. I still reflect on this question, and it helps remind me of my worth. You said that your superpower was "opening doors" for others. In the years that I have known you, I have seen your power shine again and again; in your work with students, with faculty and staff, and with The Hollingworth Center, you have opened so many doors. Thank you for sharing your superpower, and challenging us to find the power within ourselves.
TC Faculty Appreciation Week was organized by the 2018-19 Faculty Development and Advisory Committee, co-chaired by Amy Stuart Wells, Professor of Sociology & Education, and Kristine Roome, Associate Provost. The committee’s members are Cindy Huang, Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology; Richard Jochum, Associate Professor of Art & Education; Kim Noble, Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Education; Oren Pizmony-Levy, Assistant Professor of International and Comparative Education; and Detra Price-Dennis, Associate Professor of Education.