The former founding director of a successful preschool, Patricia Finnegan has always been interested in young children's development. After she lost her own son, she decided to formalize her studies in that field.
The daughter of parents who emigrated from Bolivia in their 20s, knowing no English, Cindy Wiltshire was the first member of her family to attend college. She subsequently spent 20 years as a classroom teacher. This fall, as a new faculty member at the University of Texas at El Paso, she'll conduct studies of communities, schools and families to see how relationships affect children’s academic and social and emotional outcomes.
Khudaija Ahmad knew from an early age that she wanted to work in education and study at Teachers College. She discovered that psychology was her pathway to achieving both of those goals — and that understanding what motivates students is the key to creating successful learning experiences.
Passionate for how science spurs “curiosity, creativity and innovation” among students, Jacquie Horgan is dedicated to “helping kids love science” as she always has. At TC, she found an additional mission: making science more accessible to all learners by applying a multicultural lens.
Brooke Hayman decided in seventh grade that she wanted to work in speech pathology. Teachers College opened her eyes to how research can reshape the field.
Raised amid alcoholism and domestic violence, Armando Lizarraga did not connect with school. Years later, urged on by others who saw his potential, he returned and is now headed for a Ph.D. program and a career as a professor. His goal: to help others see how education can open the door to possibility.
Carolyn Swen fled with her family from Liberia and sat in her first classroom at age 8. At TC she designed a human rights and gender-based curriculum now in use in Ethiopia. Next up: law school, and then, one day, starting a school in Sierra Leone.
Sitara Maria was taught to ensure that others are helped by her accomplishments. The list of beneficiaries has included children she served through Teach for India; health workers using a training manual she co-developed for TC's Global Mental Health Lab; and, thanks to her technological expertise, TC faculty as they adapted to online instruction.
Singer, composer and teacher Darryl Jordan can match classical and academic chops with anyone. But when it comes to Jordan’s great love, gospel music, he champions an oral tradition that “amounts to a canon that is publicized in the Black community but not mainline academia.”
Education helped Esther Cyna’s grandparents achieve good lives in new countries — but Her award-winning paper on the racist “kleptocracy” of school finance in North Carolina bears eloquent witness to her realization that “education itself was not always equal, or equalizing.”