Michelle Burris rises to challenges. In the Peace Corps, she created a training manual to help African American volunteers navigate cultural and linguistic divides. At TC, she’s facilitated conversations on race and promoted grassroots advocacy. Now she wants to accelerate her own dream of running for political office.
As a kid from suburban St. Louis, Barry Goldenberg was, by his own admission, an unlikely candidate to introduce youth in Harlem to the unique heritage of their storied neighborhood. The program he founded -- part of his broader efforts to change the way American history is taught in high schools – is still going strong.
Jose Ibarra has felt like an outsider since emigrating from Peru at age 11. At TC, with classmates from around the globe, he’s embraced his roots, discovered peace education and focused on the struggles of people from developing countries. Now he’s contemplating a return to Peru – with big plans.
Mercedes Lysaker always loved playing and teaching cello, but she became increasingly aware that music education can be punishing cruel and joyless, with an over-emphasis on technical preparation. She’s since devoted her efforts to shaping a new kind of teaching that taps students’ natural, emotional connection with their instruments. Or as she puts it: “You can’t train the hands if the person isn’t with you.”
For many in TC’s Higher & Post-secondary Education program, inequitable college access is a compelling social problem. First-generation student Diana Cervantes Martinez sees the issue as central to her life story – and she’s devoting her career to rewriting the script for others, including her younger brothers.
Larrolyn Patterson Parms-Ford had every reason to believe she was bound for a life on stage. But her straight course to a career as a vocalist was disrupted when one of her college professors suggested she might be even better suited to a career in the classroom. Today she’s educating New York City students not only about music – but also about who can be a music teacher.