Catherine Cheng is a doctoral student in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching. She received her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Art History from Wellesley College, and studied the arts and German language at the University of Vienna during a semester abroad. After graduating, she worked as a researcher in a biochemistry lab, while serving as an undergraduate teaching assistant and tutor. Before beginning her doctoral studies, she taught high school Chemistry and Biology for five years at a public school in Connecticut. Catherine is multilingual and a foodie, enjoys writing and taking photographs for her blog, and can be found people watching in coffee shops all over the city (while doing work, of course). Her research interests are still evolving but she is currently gravitating toward curriculum studies, inclusive pedagogy, minority groups, and queer and affect theories.
Zainah is an international student from Kuwait. She is currently enrolled in the Counseling Psychology Master's Program here at TC. Before TC, she attended Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles where she studied in Psychology and Political Science. During her time at LMU, Zainah was also a writing tutor. Her research/clinical interests include working with special needs children and children who have experienced trauma.
Natalija Trojanovic is an international student from Lebanon and Serbia. She received her
undergraduate degree in Psychology at the American University of Beirut, and soon after that
completed a masters in Clinical Neuroscience at King’s College in London. During her
undergraduate and graduate degrees, Natalija was a research assistant. Before joining the
graduate program in Mental Health Counseling, Natalija worked with children with special
needs and Syrian refugees. Her research and clinical interests include working in a
humanitarian setting with trauma victims – with a particular focus on children.
Dristi has a Masters in Developmental Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her thesis looked at the relationship between socioeconomic status and early childhood education outcomes. She has an extensive research background and training in analytics. Dristi is fluent in three languages (Hindi, English and Nepali) and likes to hike and run in her free time.
Melissa Mitchem is a doctoral student in Social Studies Education. She has taught undergraduate and graduate level courses on education and academic writing at Teachers College, Hunter College, Marymount Manhattan University, and Temple University. Before beginning her doctoral studies, she taught middle school English/language arts and social studies at an international school in Morocco. She has a Bachelor of Arts in History and African Studies and a Master of Teaching in Social Studies Education from the University of Virginia. Her research interests include gender and education, teacher education, and global education. In her spare time, Melissa can usually be found watching a BBC drama, attending a barre class, drinking coffee, or eating pasta.
Aysha Jawed is a doctoral student in health education through the Department of Health &
Behavior Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is passionate about psychosocial
determinants of health and ethical issues in social work & public health. She earned her MSW
and MPH degrees from the University of Maryland, Baltimore and is currently working full-time
as a Pediatric Social Worker at a large children’s hospital. She is actively involved in healthcare
writing as well as research and quality improvement projects to improve adherence, patient-
provider communication, family-centered care, and health outcomes.
Avanti Chajed is currently a Doctoral student in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching. She earned her Masters in Education at a university in Finland where she did her thesis comparing Early Childhood Education in Finland and the US and fell in love with everything Finnish. She also has three years of teaching experience in low income schools in the US and in India. During her free time Avanti loves writing for her blog, reading, going running and practicing singing.
Helen Feldman is a Clinical Psychology Master’s Student in the Spirituality Mind Body Institute at TC. She studied sociology while at Colorado College, where she served as a Writing Center Peer Tutor for 4 years. Her studies and extra-curricular interests focused on service-learning, international human rights, and the anti-human trafficking movement. Helen is also trained as a yoga teacher and facilitated a Wellness Workshop this fall at TC called “Stress Reduction Through Yoga and Mindfulness.” Helen is a member of Dr. Barry Farber’s Psychotherapy, Affirmation and Disclosure lab, where she conducts research on Eating Disorders and Disclosure. Helen is a native New Yorker, and has a love for the outdoors, spiritual development, reading, and live music.
Meredith Schuman has an BA in Theater from Binghamton University and spent a semester at The Imperial College of London. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College, where she studied Poetry with Allen Ginsberg and Lou Asekoff. She was an English Instructor at NYU Polytechnic Institute for many years and served as Graduate ESL Program Director. Her experience includes teaching literature, expository writing, and public speaking in various schools and centers, with a focus on adult ESL populations. She is an avid photographer, BBC binger, and obsessive knitter.