Student & Alumni Profiles

Student & Alumni Profiles

Mara Simon

Mara Simon is an assistant professor in the department of Physical Education and Health Education at Springfield College. She received her educational doctorate from Teachers College Columbia University, where her dissertation focused on the embodied identities of ethnic minority female PE teachers working in predominantly white schools. Her current research explores the narratives and lived experiences of ethnic minority pre-service teachers who are enrolled in predominantly white PETE programs as well as how themes and ideas of culturally relevant and sustaining pedagogies could be utilized within PETE programs in order to attract a more diverse teaching candidate population. Mara is passionate about working for social justice, particularly related to issues of racial inequity within education and PE.

Jihyeon Lee

Jihyeon’s research explores how the recent immigrant minority girls construct and (dis)engage in the Western dominant physical culture with the use of social media. Informed by postcolonial and post-feminist theories, Jihyeon’s visual pariticpatory research aims to create an inclusive, culturally relevant, and meaningful space(s) for historically marginalized and overlooked youth groups in the context of today’s physical education, public health, and sports.

Sheldon Dexter Anthony Sucre

I am a 3rd year Doctoral Student at Teachers College at Columbia University pursuing my EdD in Curriculum and Teaching in Physical Education. During my undergrad and graduate programs, I was honored by receiving the highest award in the State (Jay B Nash Outstanding Major Award) and the highest award in the District (Outstanding Future Professional Award) for the field of Physical Education. My research focuses on reconceptualizing framework of Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility (TPSR) through a non-monoculturalistic approach using visual as the main source of data (visual methodology). Currently, the current research on TPSR is through a mono-cultural approach, which is grounded by "whiteness;" therefore, defining self and social responsibility through the dominant discourse- "whiteness."

Megen Evans

By implementing a social-justice-oriented curriculum, physical education teacher education (PETE) initial certification program can engage PETE students with cognitive and emotional labors through critical pedagogies (CPs). It can encourage PETE students to (re)design and put to practice relevant and context-specific pedagogies that might activate potential change–personal (individual) or social (societal) change.

Vincent Grady

As a life-long athlete, critical thinker, freestyle soccer performer, and music lover, it seems only fitting that sociocultural issues in physical activity is the place for me. The complexities of this discipline will allow me, as a Master’s Student, to deepen my understanding and critique of how gender, race, and socioeconomic status intersect and are articulated in physical culture. My work, as a youth soccer program director and teacher in a progressive public school (k-5), has only enhanced my position as an advocate for children who occupy spaces of marginality, through gender, race, or class. My goal, at Teachers College, is to develop a curriculum that critiques gender order in sport, and to bring about a humanistic revolution in the way sport and PE are taught to future generations.

Mariana Candan

My journey in Physical Education began in Argentina after obtaining an undergraduate in PE grades K to 12 and managing my own swimming summer school for two years. Shortly after I moved to Florida to fulfill my longtime dream to teach in the USA. Working 3 years as a swimming coach was the beginning of teaching career in the US. Shortly after I moved to New York and graduated from Brooklyn college with a Masters of Science in Education.

Now I am a mother of a beautiful boy that continues to teach me daily the power of love, grit and resilience and work full time as Health and PE teacher at a school in Brooklyn Ny. As a current student at Columbia university teachers college my journey is even richer and feel like a greater accomplishment to learn next to so many accomplished students and faculty.I believe in the impact Physical Education has in our students lifetime but also the physical education teacher compromise to develop conversations, understandings and knowledge about the nature, root and causes of circumstances in order to develop real strategies to change them and engage all our students in class as active citizens and of thinking that are critical.

Nathalie Silva-Pferifer

Originally from Brazil, my journey in Physical Education began in 2007 when I moved to the United States to pursue a new college degree and career. Currently, I hold a Masters’ degree from Montclair State University, NJ. Teaching a diverse community has been both a blessing and a challenge, which is why I decided to pursue a doctoral degree in Education. My passion for teaching stems from the impact that education has on people. My philosophy of teaching is based on the belief that learning needs to be student-centered and that students need to be equal partners in the learning process.

Weng Kit (Mark) Chan

My name is Mark, and I graduated from TC with MA in Physical Education (PE) in Oct 2018.

I am currently working in the Physical Education and Sports Teacher Academy (PESTA) based in the Academy of Singapore Teachers (AST), which comes under the purview of the Ministry of Education (MOE) of Singapore.

In PESTA, my main scope of work involves in-service professional development of Physical Educators.

My interest area in PE is closely related to my work at PESTA, which is professional development of PE teachers, in particular, looking into the development of pedagogical content knowledge of elementary school PE teachers.

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