At a critical inflection point for social justice issues across the globe, the Teachers College community gathered virtually for Academic Festival – the College’s signature, four-day homecoming event – to discuss how the College’s faculty, alumni, students and friends are leading groundbreaking work in education, health and psychology.

“The pandemic has provided the opportunity for us to replace outmoded and unjust systems with new ones that are more beneficial for all,” President Thomas Bailey said during his opening address. “All of this important work and more emanate from Teachers College and its people, yet we can accomplish even greater things if we truly unite our talent and resources. The pandemic continues to teach us that we’re stronger together.”

The Festival included the presentation of the Alumni Awards, as well as panels focused on a variety of issues including the College’s new initiative to develop a Black studies curriculum for NYC schools, critical food equity policies, the psychological benefits of spirituality and more. [Watch panels from the Festival below, and find more here.]

President’s Address & the 2021 Alumni Awards Ceremony

“As we gather virtually to engage with one another on some of the most critical social justice issues of our time, it is also exciting to honor our Alumni Award recipients, who are among the numerous Teachers College alumni making vital contributions to the betterment of our world,” said Rosella Garcia (M.A. ’20), Senior Director of Alumni Relations. “As the only school of education where faculty, students and alumni collaborate across the fields of education, psychology, health and leadership, the College is uniquely equipped to lead these critical conversations.”

Distinguished Alumni Award recipients included Nimrod Aloni (Ph.D. ’87), an international leader in the field of humanistic education; Donna T. Bacon (Ed.D. ’07), a change agent and advocate whose work focuses on the education, empowerment and health promotion for underserved communities; Noel Tichy (Ph.D. ’72), an esteemed management consultant, educator and author committed to uplifting communities; and Chin-Chung Tsai (Ed.D. ’96), a ground-breaking scholar in the field of online learning.

Honored Early Career Award recipients included Ruth Gotian (Ed.D. ’17), a global expert in leadership development, mentoring, and extreme high achievers, and Shenila Khoja-Moolji (Ed.D. ’16), a pioneering scholar who works at the intersection of feminist theory, cultural studies and Islamic studies. Jeffrey S. Putman (Ed.D. ’11), Past President of the Alumni Council who served four terms on the Council and a former member of the 21st Century Leaders Committee, received the Alumni Award for Outstanding Service.

Building a Black Studies Curriculum for New York City Public Schools

Diversity in the Workplace: the ROI on DEI

Behind the Episode: Talkback Session with EdUp’s Producer Elvin Freytes (MA ’01) and President Thomas Bailey

Awakened Awareness