Meet some of the amazing students who earned degrees from Teachers College this year—talented and dedicated men and women who have already accomplished so much, yet are just getting started. Scroll down to read their inspirational stories! And be sure to also check out our coverage of TC's 2018 Convocation ceremonies.
Dimple Bangalore exceled in school in India -- but coming to the United States and TC was an eye-opener. She's enthused about bringing the charter school model back home and in general -- like B.R. Ambedkar, author of the nation's constitution, who attended Columbia and was influenced by John Dewey -- serving as a game-changer for her country.
A car accident left Jacquelyn Briggs deaf in one ear and derailed her promising singing career. She regained her voice in part by learning to feel vibrations through her feet -- and at TC worked to bring together music education and education for the deaf and hard of hearing.
A prestigious Bill and Melinda Gates Millennial Scholarship helped Brittany Davis become the first member of her family to attend college. She's come to believe that recognizing students' individuality is key to creating opportunities for them to succeed -- and to that end, her research at TC included a six-week study of 90 Lower Manhattan second graders during recess.
From leaving behind California's car-centric culture to pursuing an unforeseen career as Director of Enrichment for TC's Hollingworth Center, Jacquelyn Durán has often followed the less obvious path.
Desiree Halpern grew up in Philadelphia, holding dual citizenship in Poland, and learned several languages -- including Farsi. She came to TC to study the empowerment and education of Middle Eastern girls and women, interviewed teachers and aid workers in refugee camps in Australia, Greece, Pakistan, Italy and Serbia, and taught young women in an Afghan refugee camp in Greece. Now she's working to ensure safe academic environments for persecuted and endangered scholars.
After discovering the TC Reading and Writing Project model in the American Community School in her native Beirut, Nour Jallal knew she had to come to TC and work with the Project's founder, Lucy Calkins. Now she's returning home to share what she's learned.
Ten years ago, Hana Lahr chose an internship at a community college, mainly because it was close to home, and discovered an education sector that enrolls many of the nation's low-income and minority students. Instead of becoming a college counselor, she came to TC to conduct research on how to ensure that community college students are better served
She came to TC for a job managing a laboratory, but Ana Leon-Santos ended up earning a master's in neuroscience and education and assisting in groundbreaking studies that are demonstrating poverty's impact on brain development. Now she wants to apply what she's learned to working in the world of foundations and nonprofits.
When Nathan Mullen conducted tours of TC's campus, he was connecting with more than the College's storied history. Mullen's grandfather earned his Ph.D. here half a century ago -- and now Mullen is heading off to realize a childhood dream of becoming a school superintendent.
Danielle Llaneza, Rebecca Kwee and Asha Owens met last fall at an information session for TC's inaugural student EdTech Showcase competition. They joined forces to create the prize-winning entry -- an app that helps kids in high school connect with first-generation college students to ask them questions about campus life. Today, the start up BestFit Inc. is working on bringing the product to market.
C.J. Reilly came to TC as an Art & Art Education student, but his goal was to further his previous work helping farmers in Nepal develop new crops that can withstand climate change. He used to TC's 3-D printer to create a scale model of a macadamia tree that can be used to teach tree-grafting techniques.
Tran Templeton believes in giving kids more agency in their own education. In 2016 she equipped a group of preschoolers with cameras and told them to document their lives. Her resulting dissertation earned her a $20,000 award from the American Educational Research Association -- and a position as an assistant professor at the University of North Texas, starting this fall.
Irene Zhang knows that people don't want to talk about teen suicide, but she believes that not talking about it leads to far worse consequences. At TC, she worked with experts in the field to study the impact of perceived criticism from parents and peers on suicidality in young people.