Arthur Zankel Urban Fellowship

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Office of School and Community Partnerships

Arthur Zankel Urban Fellowship

The Arthur Zankel Urban Fellowship is a financial aid award in the amount of $10,000 per academic year for Teachers College students to work with disadvantaged inner-city youth. The Zankel Fellowship is made possible by a gift from the estate of Arthur Zankel, who was an esteemed trustee of Teachers College. The Zankel Urban Fellows carry on Mr. Zankel's legacy of passion for education by contributing their expertise to programs serving disadvantaged inner-city youth. 

The application for the 2020-2021 academic year will be available on Monday, March 2, 2020. THE PRIORITY DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS IS WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15, 2020. 

Zankel Fellows undertake a fellowship during the academic year in an approved project. They are required to spend an average of ten hours a week for the fellowship with five of those hours working directly with youth. During the application process, students request and are matched to an approved project according to their skills, interests, and experience. The fellowship is supervised by a TC sponsor, who is a faculty/staff member. 

Descriptions of the 2019-2020 projects are available under the "Projects" tab above.

‌Eligibility Criteria

‌Students must:

  • Be matriculated or fully-admitted to a masters or doctoral degree program at Teachers College (international students are not eligible during their first year of study).
  • Have consecutive enrollment for a minimum of six credits in the fall and spring semesters.
  • Have demonstrated financial need, as determined by TC's Office of Financial Aid. The most current FAFSA should be completed for fellowship consideration.
  • Exhibit the interests, skills, experiences and/or characteristics that are a good match to the purpose of the fellowship and the approved project.
  • Be available to complete the required fellowship during the normal school day in both fall and spring semesters.

Please click the tabs above for more information.

To read the most recent Zankel Fellows' activity reports, click on the links below.


  • Dedicate an average of ten hours of service per week to the fellowship project, including a minimum of five hours spent working directly with youth.

  • Attend an administrative orientation session at the beginning of the fall semester, in early September, as well as any orientation/professional development sessions scheduled by the fellow's site sponsor.
  • Complete a background check through the New York City Department of Education prior to start of work in schools.
  • Complete a final report to the Zankel family at the end of the academic year, in April-May.

2019-2020 Fellowship Projects

The fellowship projects listed below have been approved for the 2019-2020 academic year and will host a total of 60 Zankel Fellows. Students wishing to apply for a fellowship award should review the project descriptions and selection criteria carefully before they rank their top three project preferences on the application form. Given the large number of applications received for a limited number of awards, it is essential that applicants address how their experience and skills match the fellowship criteria for the projects they select in their application.

Sponsor: Lalitha Vasudevan

Department: Mathematics, Science and Technology

The Media and Social Change Lab (MASCLab) is a hub for multimodal scholarship and projects that creatively engage media in service of understanding and effecting social change. In addition to community screenings, media production, and research in and about media settings, the Lab has also partnered with community organizations to facilitate after-school workshops with youth. These  experiences  are  designed  to  increase  participation  of  youth  as  storytellers  and knowledge-makers about their lives for audiences of educators.

The MASCLab Zankel Fellows will be involved with Community Media Story-Mapping projects at two sites. The parameters of each project will be adapted to each site’s specific needs, but will maintain these shared characteristics:

  • To work with youth, using media tools and mapping approaches, to call attention to social issues of significance for youth and their communities and re-present them in a way that is accessible for new audiences
  • To make these artifacts publically available for use by multiple audiences
  • To engage in a “collegial pedagogy” with youth by working on a digital artifact in service of social change (the format of the artifact may vary to accommodate the youths’ and organizations’ needs: i.e., video or film, audio podcast, photographs, digital platform, etc.)
  • To work with MASCLab faculty to design a media engagement guide that can be paired with the community mapping projects and shared with educators, afterschool program staff, and others to support their use of media for social change in their pedagogies

One  fellow  will  be  placed  at  the  Educational  Video  Center (EVC),  a  non-profit  youth  media organization dedicated to  teaching documentary video as  a  means to  develop the  artistic, critical  literacy,  and  career  skills  of  young  people,  while  nurturing  their  idealism  and commitment to social change. EVC youth recently launched the transmedia project, Bridging the Gap: Community and Police Justice, that aims to inspire dialogue between youth, community, and the police toward more just policing practices and community safety. EVC has a long history of producing films that touch on this topic from a variety of angles. The youth involved with this project have remixed EVC’s youth documentaries to provide historical perspectives gleaned from community leaders, activists, lawyers, and organizers.

A second fellow will be placed at Choices Alternative to Detention (ATD) Program, which seeks to use a young person’s early involvement in the justice system as an opportunity for interventions that reduce recidivism while promoting positive, sustainable youth development. Through individualized plans that focus on engagement with peers, family, and the community, the program allows youth to avoid detention in a correctional facility, remain with their families, and continue in school. Choices is open to expanding ongoing media literacy workshops to focus on media production and digital mapping, particularly in ways that allow young people to have their voices heard by decision makers who make decisions that affect their lives daily: teachers, social workers, judges, counselors, parents, and community members.

Fellows will meet weekly with MASCLab faculty to share their experiences, receive feedback on their media work, and will have the opportunity to work with and support one another. Fellows will also have the opportunity to periodically visit both sites and find ways for both groups of youth to collaborate.

Fellowship criteria: 

  • Interest in out of school learning, literacies, media, and forms of representation
  • Experience teaching or facilitating workshops with youth – experience inside or outside of schools welcome
  • Experience with and willingness to experiment with a variety of technologies and media tools, social media platforms, commonly used applications (Google drive, Dropbox, Mac iLife suite)
  • Strong communication skills, as this position will require fellows to be engaged in writing, speaking, listening, and creating media for multiple audiences with youth from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds
  • Ability and willingness to work collaboratively in a team setting and demonstrate strong interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work independently to problem solve and demonstrate strong organizational skill
  • Willingness to be flexible and responsive to dynamic teaching and learning circumstances
  • Sense of humor

Fellowship sites:  TC’s Media and Social Change Lab (MASCLab), the Educational Video Center, and Choices – Alternative to Detention Program

Estimated time commitment per week:  Fellows will spend 5-7 hours per week working directly with students and an additional 3-5 hours per week planning and preparing for on-site work.

Weekly schedule:  Fellows will spend 2-3 days/week at their assigned site, working alongside youth as mentors and facilitators of community mapping projects. They will also participate in weekly MASCLab meetings, where they will have a chance to interact with other students using media to explore teaching, research, production, and representation in the context of social change.

Number of fellows in 2019-20: 2

Sponsor: Richard Jochum
Art and Art Education, Arts & Humanities

The proposed project will fund two STEAM fellows to develop and implement an after school program in creative technologies in partnership with TC's Community School (TCCS). The afterschool program will allow kids to engage in collaborative making-projects including but not limited to digital story telling (stopmotion animation, videography), digital fabrication (3D modeling and printing), physical computing (with Makey-Makeys, electronic circuits and crafts material) and creative coding (with building blocks such as Scratch). The program will provide pupils with opportunities to personalize and integrate what they have learned in their day-to-day classrooms and engage in additional hands-on explorations, collaboration, creative inquiry, and play. It will enable them to approach technologies as creators, not consumers, while activating rich connections between art, technology, and education.

Fellowship criteria:  The students are expected either to have completed the first year of the Creative Technologies curriculum, which will teach them basic skills in digital storytelling, creative coding, physical computing, and digital fabrication, or to have a significant amount of teaching experience with creative technologies. They have to be excellent communicators, reflective practitioners, and show a deep care for learning communities.

Fellowship site: After school program for TCCS and outreach

Estimated time commitment per week: 10 hours per week

Weekly schedule:  The fellows will offer three after school sessions per week between 2:45 PM - 5:00 PM each. An additional afternoon per week will be dedicated to the preparations of the making sessions. Another afternoon will go into evaluation and outreach to new and future partners.

Number of fellows in 2019-20:  2

Sponsor: Carolyn Riehl    
Department: Education Policy and Social Analysis

With funding from the Spencer Foundation, I have studied teachers’ use of student data for instructional planning in four Title I elementary schools in New York City. The research has focused on whether and how teachers gather and use different types of information about their students as they make decisions about their teaching and attempt to respond to student learning needs. Graduate student researchers and I engaged in sustained fieldwork that included observation of schoolwide planning meetings, grade level teacher meetings, and classroom instruction, along with interviews of teachers, instructional coaches, and school administrators. We worked with two grade levels in each school, usually second grade and fourth grade.

Service to the schools involved in the study was intentionally built into the original research design. Research assistants began volunteering in the schools before the research formally began. As participant observers, the graduate students helped with classroom tasks such as grading or preparing materials, and they also worked directly with students under the supervision of the classroom teachers. This assistance not only helped build trust and rapport, but also was a way to show our gratitude to students and teachers for welcoming us into their classrooms.

With support from the Zankel Fellowship, we would like to continue this combination of research and service by placing Fellows in one of the project schools. The Fellows will each work with one classroom and will provide assistance to students via in-class support and small group tutoring.

The assistance will focus primarily on mathematics, the curriculum area for which teachers have asked for additional support, but assistance will be given for other subjects when requested. For part of each day, the Fellows will assist small groups or individual students with the material being taught, as designated by the teacher. During pull-out periods, the Fellows will tutor students through math games or directed practice. Tutoring will focus on math fundamentals such as multiplication tables and the steps of multi-digit division. In addition, Fellows will spend some time each day observing and documenting classroom instruction. They will have brief conversations with the teacher, using a protocol for asking about the teacher’s plans and decisions, and how they gather and use information on their students.

In addition to this time, the Fellows will spend several hours per week writing fieldnotes and coding data or preparing analytic memos.

Our hope is that the extra support in the classroom will more than offset the requests we make for teacher time for the research component of the project. These requests will be minimal; we are mainly interested in understanding, first, how teachers monitor their students’ progress through their interactions with the students as well as through more formal methods of gathering information, such as homework assignments, teacher-made tests, and standardized formative and summative tests. Then, we want to learn how teachers decide to make instructional adjustments based on their knowledge of students, and how they navigate both the supports and constraints they experience in doing so. For example, teachers may find that the more they know about a particular student’s learning challenges, the better able they are to ask for pointed help from their instructional coaches or peer teachers. Conversely, if teachers feel they should respond to student needs in particular ways but can’t find resources or assistance for doing so, this may impact their instructional decisions and children’s learning. We hope to learn about these matters by engaging teachers in brief “think-aloud” conversations that parallel the kind of reflection they would do on their own before and after teaching and as they ask for our assistance with specific children.

Our overall objective is to develop a fine-grained analysis of how student information is used by teachers to manage what Richard Elmore calls the instructional core (the interactions among teacher, student, and content that comprise the technical core of schooling) and how the wider system of the school (i.e., administrators, instructional coaches, peer teachers, available instructional resources, routines for planning and assessment, and so on) works as a facilitating or limiting context for this use of student information.

Fellowship criteria:  The Zankel Fellows for this project should have experience working with elementary school students and be able to work productively with students in small group and whole classroom settings. They should have strong skills in mathematics. They will also need to be competent in working with NVivo (a qualitative analysis software program), though training for this will be provided.

Fellowship site: We propose to continue working with PS 130 in Brooklyn, a Title I school.

Estimated time commitment per week: On average, 10 hours per week.

Weekly schedule:  The fellows will be in the elementary school either two half-days or one full day per week, typically on Tuesday or Thursday, and will meet with the sponsor for 1-2 hours every other week. Other work for the project can be completed on their own time.

Number of fellows in 2019-20: 1

Sponsor: David T. Hansen
Department: Philosophy and Education, Arts & Humanities

The Zankel fellow will work closely with faculty involved in the Big History Program at Brooklyn Collaborative School (BCS). Big History is an interdisciplinary course that incorporates perspectives and ideas from history, science, social studies, philosophy, and related fields. Its focus is on helping students develop a holistic picture of the human condition, as well as of their place within it and how they can themselves influence it through their own agency. The intent of Big History is to inspire students’ intellectual curiosity and passion, especially minority students from economically disadvantaged communities who, it is hoped, will aspire to go on to higher education. BSC is a Title I institution; some 85% of the school population are students of color, the majority of whom participate in a school lunch program.

The lead teacher the Zankel Fellow will work with, Mr. Scott Henstrand, is a highly experienced teacher whose work on the curriculum and pedagogy of Big History has been featured in numerous forums. Mr. Henstrand will help mentor the fellow in the arts of engaging urban youth – whom society has all too often relegated to the margins – in serious, thoughtful academic inquiry in the classroom setting.

The fellow will attend classes, interact with Mr. Henstrand and other core faculty during the school day, and prepare materials and lessons for classroom use as guided by faculty. During the course of the school year, the fellow will move step-by-step into pedagogical roles: mentoring, one-on-one work, small group work, and eventually whole class activities. In addition, as the year unfolds the fellow will engage in both school-wide and out-of-school activities related to the interdisciplinary curriculum of Big History. Finally, the fellow will also participate as a mentor and judge of students’ oral presentations at the end of each term.

Fellowship criteria: Our proposed fellow will have done some school-based teaching, though it is unlikely he or she will have undertaken interdisciplinary teaching at the high school level. The fellow will bring to bear his or her pedagogical experience, a developing philosophical perspective on the critical values in educating city youth, and a strong sense of commitment to exemplary teaching.

Fellowship site:  Brooklyn Collaborative School, Henry Street, Brooklyn, New York

Estimated time commitment per week: A minimum of ten hours. The fellow will meet with me a minimum of once a week to review his or her work, and to discuss subsequent classroom- and school-based activities with youth that pivot around the philosophy and practice of the Big History curriculum. I anticipate the fellow will also undertake several hours a week of systematic reading on the dynamics of culturally responsive pedagogy for our urban young people.

Weekly schedule:  The schedule will be determined in the fall in coordination with school staff.

Number of fellows in 2019-20: 1

Sponsor: Oren Pizmony-Levy
Department: International and Transcultural Studies

Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE) is a growing educational movement that is focused on the interactions between environmental, social, health, and economic issues that together promote the long-term health of complex living systems. The TC Working Group on ESE was launched in the spring of 2015 in response to growing concerns about global and local environmental challenges and brings together faculty from across the College. Overall, the Working Group is interested in exploring and enhancing the role of the College in ESE-related research, teaching, and policy work.

Over the past year, in collaboration with the NYC DOE Office of Sustainability, the group has investigated ways in which public schools engage with ESE. One of the striking patterns is that only one-third (36.0%) of all public schools have a student green team, and that 62.0% are planning to establish a green team in the future. Scholars have documented the positive impact of environmental clubs on students’ engagement with ESE (McDuff, 2010; Said, Yahaya and Ahmadun, 2007). Therefore, the TC Working Group and the DOE Office of Sustainability have developed professional development for Sustainability Coordinators in schools (e.g., webinar dedicated to how to work with green teams).

With support from the Working Group on ESE, the Zankel Fellow will begin ameliorating this gap by supporting educational change on two levels: 

  • First, the Fellow will work with students on enhancing the school engagement with ESE topics by establishing and mentoring a student-led Green Team. As an after school program, the Green Team will be open to all students in the school and empower students (and the schools community as whole) to address sustainability challenges through waste reduction, recycling, composting, energy conservation, and pollution prevention. The Fellows will help the Green Team to coordinate events and will serve as a bridge to community-based organizations and the NYC DOE Office of Sustainability.
  • Second, the Fellows will collaborate with teachers in order to introduce ESE to the school curriculum. For example, the Fellows could prepare a module on ways to measure air pollution in the school’s neighborhood at different time points. This module could be linked to subjects such science, math, and computer science. The Fellows could also prepare a lesson plan on environmental activism in the school’s neighborhood, which could be linked to social studies and civics.

Fellowship criteria: 

  • Interest in working with K-12 students
  • Interest in environmental education, sustainability, and climate change
  • Strong communication and presentation skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Classroom leadership skills

Fellowship sites: NYC Department of Education public schools TBD

Estimated time commitment per week: The fellow will spend an average of 6-8 hours per week working directly with public school students including 2-4 hours per week planning and preparing for the school-based work, inclusive of meetings with faculty affiliated with the ESE Working Group.

Weekly schedule: The weekly schedule will be determined at a later date in collaboration with the partner school(s). The fellow will visit schools once a week to work with students on the Green Team and to support in-class teaching of environmental and sustainability curriculum.

Number of fellows in 2019-20: 2

Sponsor: Maria Hartman 
Department: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education, Health and Behavior Studies

The National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders (NIDCD) estimates that 1-3 per 1000 babies born in the United States have some degree of hearing loss, making it the most common disabling condition identified at birth (2014). While universal newborn hearing screening, early intervention, and advances in hearing technology have significantly improved outcomes for this population, students with hearing loss still lag behind their hearing peers in language development and overall academic achievement (Cole & Flexer, 2007).

Providing rehabilitation to children with hearing loss is a matter of educational equity. Hearing loss disproportionately affects children from minority backgrounds (Lee et al., 1998), and children who are Caucasian and of higher socioeconomic status are more likely than their poor or minority peers to receive cochlear implants and appropriate rehabilitation (Geers & Brenner, 2003).

The Zankel Fellows assigned to this project will work within the classroom as a tutor/mentor to individual students, who are in need of support in language/literacy skills. In addition to supporting the classroom teacher during the school day and working closely with students individually, the Fellow will collaborate with the children’s teachers, speech language therapists and audiologist in order to discuss and incorporate teaching strategies that support deaf children using either Spoken English or American Sign Language. Intervention will be centered on the use of specific children’s literature to support enthusiasm for reading and exposure to texts that are representative of the children’s cultural background. Texts with characters with hearing loss will also be highlighted to encourage positive self-identity and self-advocacy.

Fellowship criteria: Fellows will be expected to apply the knowledge and skills they are learning in their classes in the Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program to the work they will be doing with both students and teachers at the schools: psycho-social aspects of deafness, teaching speech, language and communication skills to the deaf and hard of hearing, auditory verbal therapy, American Sign Language.

Fellowship sites: NYC Department of Education District 75, Hearing Education Services (HES) sites: PS 333 in the Bronx, and Chelsea Prep in Manhattan.

Estimated time commitment per week: Fellows will spend five to six hours per week working directly with deaf children in their schools. Fellows will dedicate an additional four to five hours each week to meeting with classroom teachers during planning periods and planning and preparing activities and materials to support literacy interventions.

Weekly schedule: Weekly schedules (to be determined in September) will be coordinated between the Fellows and the HES teachers to whom they are assigned. Fellows will meet with their faculty sponsor twice a month at TC and also participate in any associated meetings with their sponsor, designated contact person from HES, and the classroom teachers.

Number of fellows in 2019-20: 2

Full project title: Human Rights Education: Empowering Newcomer & Resettled Refugee Students in NYC Public High Schools
Sponsor: Susan Garnett Russell 

Department: International and Transcultural Studies 

This project will implement a Human Rights Education (HRE) curricula developed by Teachers College students in Prof. Russell’s Human Rights in Africa course in the Fall of 2018. As part of the Zankel fellowship, the existing HRE curricula will be adapted for the context of New York City public high schools, specifically targeting those with large influxes of newcomer students. The curricula are focused on developing knowledge and action around human rights, and also include modules on socio-emotional learning (SEL) and financial literacy skills to fully access and exercise their rights. SEL and financial literacy education are closely intertwined with making human rights knowledge practical and applicable for newcomer students in NYC schools.

Schools will be able to select modules from our existing portfolio of HRE curricula, in order to best address their needs. Because the curricula were originally developed for an international context, the Zankel Fellows will adapt the existing curricula to the context of the learners in the selected NYC schools. Working closely with the classroom teachers, the Fellows will design a customized HRE program for students, drawing from activities on the topics of defining and understanding human rights, self-awareness and decision-making, financial independence, healthy relationships, and community-based resources to protect human rights. 

The Fellows will then facilitate these lessons as an elective or after-school course in the selected schools, drawing from HRE pedagogies and creating a participatory, inclusive learning environment. Based on an initial needs assessment carried out with the teachers and school staff, the HRE program may conclude with a school or community-wide project to improve awareness of human rights, address a human rights issue, or projects related to social enterprises that allow students to practice their SEL and financial management skills.

As the program is being implemented, the Fellows will regularly meet with stakeholders to make any necessary adjustments and further adapt the content to the students’ context. Their observations will also be useful in developing the knowledge-base in the HRE field regarding which aspects of curricula resonate cross-culturally and can best be adapted for newcomer and refugee youth in inner-city, domestic context. Lastly, the Fellows will experiment with defining metrics for success and assessing whether the curricula achieved its intended goals. 

Fellowship criteria: 

  • Familiarity with human rights frameworks and human rights education pedagogy
  • Familiarity with New York City public school system
  • Experience working with high school students and vulnerable youth, such as newcomer and refugee students
  • Experience with curriculum design, adaptation, and evaluation
  • The ability to confidently liaise with teachers and school administrators
  • Advanced facilitation skills
  • Foreign language skills (i.e., Spanish, French, Arabic) would be an asset

Fellowship sites: Two public high schools with newcomer youth. Exact schools to be determined.  

Estimated time commitment per week: Fellows will spend five hours per week working directly with students and an additional five hours per week planning and preparing for onsite work.

Weekly schedule: The Fellows will facilitate HRE lessons in New York City public schools 1 to 3 days per week, depending on the schedules/needs of the selected schools. On days when not teaching, the Fellows will work collaboratively with the faculty sponsor to refine the scope and sequence of curricula, adapt content and activities to students’ contexts and needs, and prepare for upcoming lessons.

Number of fellows in 2019-20: 2 

Full project title: Leveraging Linguistic and Cultural Diversity to Improve Student Achievement and College Readiness
Sponsor: Regina Cortina
Department: International and Transcultural Studies

Educators must recognize, relate to, and leverage the heterogeneous cultural backgrounds and languages of their students in order to foster their high school achievement and college readiness. At ELLIS Prep, the site of the project, the student body presents challenging yet unique opportunities for educators seeking to coach students to academic success in heterogeneous classrooms.  ELLIS Prep, a high school within the Internationals Network for Public Schools, serves 16 to 21-year-old newcomers to the U.S. who have arrived to the country within four years prior to enrollment. The majority of students are emergent bilinguals (ELLs) who represent diverse ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds, having arrived from Arabic, French, Spanish, and Creole speaking countries of the Caribbean, Central and South America, as well as from West Africa, North Africa, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Yemen among other regions. At ELLIS Prep, roughly 74% of students are classified as Hispanic, 18% Black, 3% Asian, and 4% White, and the majority qualify for free lunch.

While teachers and staff at ELLIS Prep specialize in English Learning and engage pedagogical techniques that leverage the foundational and mother tongue literacy skills of youth, they still struggle with accountability pressures and lack of time and resources. Teachers must equip students both to pass Regents exams and also to prepare subject-specific academic portfolios as a measure of proficiency and college-readiness, all within four years. Furthermore, in the current political climate, concerns about legal statuses of immigrant students and their family members require educators to be aware of and manage complex sociocultural dynamics in their classrooms. ELLIS Prep thus offers a promising yet realistic example of what it takes to educate a diverse classroom of students in a culturally relevant manner while still meeting accountability and college-readiness standards.

The Zankel Fellow assigned to this project will work as tutor/mentor to a group of approximately 10 to 15 students from ELLIS Prep, who are in need of support in one or more overlapping areas: e.g. literacy/academic support for preparation of portfolio projects, academic science competency, or college-preparatory support through the college application process (including essay writing, college knowledge, placement exams). In addition to supporting a classroom teacher during the school day and working closely with students in a small group, the Fellow will collaborate with school teachers and staff, including literacy coaches and guidance/college counselors, in order to discuss and incorporate teaching strategies that empower students to utilize their diverse cultural and linguistic resources to support their learning. The Fellow will develop materials and facilitate group activities that will enhance the literacy and content knowledge that students need in order to create quality portfolio presentations and to develop skills for post-secondary studies. The Fellow will also have the opportunity to attend teacher meetings and professional development opportunities in order to learn about culturally and linguistically relevant pedagogical strategies.

Fellowship criteria:

  • Written and spoken fluency in a language other than English preferred (preferably Spanish, French, Arabic, or Haitian-Creole)
  • Prior experience teaching, tutoring and facilitating educational programs and/or working in public schools, especially with adolescents or young adults
  • Knowledge and/or experience in bi/multilingual education and of culturally relevant curricula/pedagogy; intercultural communication skills and empathy
  • Ability to build and maintain relationships with a variety of stakeholders
  • Highly collaborative and proactive; strong outreach and interpersonal skills
  • Commitment to social justice
  • Commitment to advancing the field of international educational development

Fellowship site: English Language Learners & International Support (ELLIS) Preparatory Academy, Bronx NY

Estimated time commitment per week: 6 to 8 hours working directly with inner city youth and 4 to 2 hours per week planning and preparing.

Weekly schedule: Facilitation of class and group study/tutoring sessions at school site (2 to 3 days per week for 2 to 3 hours per session).

Number of fellows in 2019-20: 2

Sponsor: Kyle Hagenburger
Department: Office of School and Community Partnerships

Through the Raising Educational Achievement Coalition of Harlem (REACH), Teachers College convenes a group of local public schools across the PK through 12th grade span to work collaboratively to improve students' academic achievement. REACH implements a set of coherent and strategic actions that increases access to comprehensive educational opportunity. The main areas of focus are school leadership, pedagogical practices, expanded learning experiences, early childhood education, physical and mental health and family engagement.

Zankel Fellows will provide students in four partner public schools with high-quality expanded learning opportunities that expose them to new ideas as well as support the development of their academic skills and content knowledge. Fellows work directly with students and engage them in hands-on, inquiry-based projects that are aligned to the Common Core State Standards. They also may work directly in classrooms to support specific targeted students or academic enrichment programs during the school day.  Zankel Fellows attend professional development sessions designed to support their work around the development, implementation, monitoring, and refinement of activity plans for their work in schools. Fellows benefit from the opportunity to share their skills and knowledge with youth from high need public schools in Harlem.

Fellowship criteria: Fellows must have at least six months' previous experience working with students of color and/or low-income students, with a preference for candidates who have worked either in under-resourced urban public schools or community-based organizations serving youth and families. Strong organization, time management, lesson planning, writing and instructional/facilitation skills required. Interest in youth development, creative writing, health, STEM and/or service learning is preferred.

Fellowship sites: Frederick Douglass Academy II, PS 154 Harriet Tubman, PS 36 Margaret Douglas, The Heritage School

Estimated time commitment per week: At least five hours working directly with inner city youth and an additional three to five hours planning, preparing lessons, and participating in professional development activities.

Weekly schedule: Fellows will work 2 or 3 days a week at one or two school sites; most fellows will work in the afternoon (2-5pm), though others may work during the school day at various times. Exact schedules will be determined based on placement and school need. Additional training will be scheduled throughout the year based on the fellows’ schedules, and meetings at schools will be scheduled on an as-needed basis.

Number of fellows in 2019-20: 11

Sponsors: Dolores Perin, Susan Masullo
Department: Reading Specialist MA Program in the Department of Health and Behavior Studies

In the fall and spring semesters each Fellow, under the supervision of the designated school contact and the Zankel Sponsor/Supervisor, will:

  • Provide individualized assessment and intervention services to target students identified by the school as performing significantly below grade level expectations in reading, writing and/or language skills. These and other related tasks as described below to be provided in the fall and spring semesters.
  • Conduct intervention sessions on a push-in or pull-out basis as determined by the needs of the students and the nature of classroom instruction.
  • Work closely with teachers, attend planning meetings to align remedial intervention with classroom instruction, share weekly progress notes.
  • Submit weekly logs to Zankel Sponsor/Supervisor detailing activities and student response to instruction.
  • Meet twice per month with Zankel Sponsor/Supervisor for guidance and feedback.
  • Attend approximately three meetings each semester with the designated school contact, the Zankel Sponsor/Supervisor, classroom teachers, and a member of the REACH team to review and analyze student progress and teaching methods and materials, as well as to plan next steps for instruction.

In the spring semester, and under the supervision of the school’s designated contact person and the Zankel Sponsor/Supervisor, each Fellow will work with a teacher willing to participate in a brief series of four professional development assignments based on a model of cognitive coaching (Costa & Garmston, 1985). This collaborative and non-evaluative professional development effort is designed to improve student performance by enhancing the teacher’s ability to weave literacy strategies into content area instruction. The activities are done in the hope that each teacher will turn-key the activity with colleagues in the school (as has been done in the past), and are based on a needs assessment done in the beginning of the term with the teacher.

Fellowship criteria: The Fellows must apply the knowledge and skills they are learning in their classes in the Reading Program to the work they will be doing with both students and teachers at the school:  cognitive, linguistic and socio-cultural aspects of reading and writing acquisition; formal and informal methods and materials for literacy assessment and intervention – particularly for students who struggle; and principles of adult learning and conducting collegial professional development.

Fellowship site: The Heritage School

Estimated time commitment per week: Fellows will spend five to six hours per week working directly with inner city youth and will dedicate an additional four to five hours each week to preparing materials for initial assessment and subsequent intervention sessions; meeting with classroom teachers during planning periods; and planning and preparing activities and materials for professional development activities.

Weekly schedule: Weekly schedules (to be determined in September) will be coordinated between the Fellows and the Heritage School’s teachers to whom they are assigned by the school’s designated contact person. Fellows will meet with their Sponsor twice a month at TC and also participate in regular meetings with their Sponsor, the school’s designated contact person, the cooperating teachers, and a representative from the Office of School and Community Partnerships.

Number of fellows in 2019-20: 2

Sponsor: Nancy Eppler-Wolff
Department: Counseling and Clinical Psychology, Office of School and Community Partnerships

 SBMHC is an integrative and prevention focused, school-based mental health collaboration between Teachers College, Columbia University (Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, and the Office of School and Community Partnerships) and NYC Public Schools. University-public school partnerships can be highly effective in addressing the extensive mental health needs of the children in underserved public schools.

 It has been found that school mental health professionals are often overworked and may not be prepared to address the increasingly vast scope and variability of the mental health needs of their students (Macklem, 2014). In addition, there can be little opportunity for them to create thoughtful and effective preventative care services school wide. Furthermore, teachers often have little specific training in social and emotional education, and do not feel qualified to handle the inevitable everyday behavioral crises in their classrooms. Finally, parents’ needs, especially in underserved schools, are often unmet and most schools offer few preventive services for parents (i.e. parenting groups, psychoeducational workshops). Also, children and their parents cannot always utilize the mental health services that are available via local hospitals or agencies due to scheduling demands, poverty, lack of access, or fear of stigma. All of this negatively impacts children’s mental health, and can impede their ability to receive treatment to alleviate emotional and behavioral problems. It also creates a significant barrier to successful academic achievement.

Recognizing that there are multiple ecological influences on children’s social/emotional outcomes, which therefore require concurrent comprehensive and collaborative interventions at the individual student, family, classroom and school levels, we launched the School Based Mental Health Program (SBMHC) in The Hamilton Heights School (PS 368) in September 2016, and expanded to another inner-city public school (Teachers College Community School) beginning in September 2017. Our unique interdisciplinary and integrative clinical program uses an evidence-based consultative and preventative mental health model in which doctoral students, from clinical, counseling and child/school psychology programs, can broaden and deepen their clinical skills by working and consulting with children, parents, teachers and administrators in underserved community settings. Particularly, SBMHC aims to address social and emotional health issues of children in inner-city public schools through preventative SEL (social and emotional learning) curricula, consultative, psychoeducational, and early intervention services.

SBMHC is based in contemporary developmental and integrative psychodynamic theory, and all interventions follow from this model. Fellows receive training and supervision in community/classroom consultation, the delivery of an adapted SEL curricula (Second Step), the application of attachment theory for work with children in schools, use of mentalization techniques (Fonagy et al), and use of CBT strategies in the classroom.

In all, through a systemic approach, the goal of our School-Based Mental Health Collaboration is to reach as many children as possible in the underserved schools in which we are working, through understanding and intervening at the multiple levels of etiology (i.e. individual, family, school and community) to improve the social-emotional lives of our children.

Fellowship criteria:  Specifically, the proposed responsibilities of the Zankel Fellow are to:

1. Work in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 6 classrooms as clinical classroom consultants” (known as CC's) doing on-going clinical observations, informal assessments, and behavioral interventions for the children. CCs work collaboratively with the teacher in the academic classrooms, and in special activities such as gym, music and lunch. Careful records documenting children’s behavior are maintained. Behavioral interventions consist of self-regulatory techniques, mindfulness, and other therapeutic techniques. On-going logs of behavioral interventions are kept; and Supervisor and Fellows meet weekly to assess effectiveness of interventions. Additionally, Fellow and Supervisor confer weekly with Classroom Teachers to discuss these findings, and to help the teacher understand, and to implement his/her own effective behavioral strategies and interventions. (In 2019-2020, clinical consultants will be working in a total of 15 classrooms.)

2. Co-teach an SEL curriculum (Second Step, SEL Curriculum, Children's Committee) in cooperation with classroom teacher. SEL curriculum is tailored to meet the specific needs of the children in each classroom to address student behavior difficulties, promote empathy, good decision-making behavior, and self-regulation. Fellow will work with teacher to integrate the SEL concepts into the classroom culture.

3. Co-lead an on-going parenting group or in creating other parent activities.

4. Create and lead psychoeducational workshops for faculty and/or parents.

5. Participate in consultations with parents (in collaboration with school personnel and SBMHC supervisor) to create an effective plan to address mental health issues for children who require services beyond the scope of the classroom. Fellows work with professional staff to triage referrals for off-site psychotherapy and psychiatric referrals, and to also coordinate on-going services.

Fellowship site: Teachers College Community School

Estimated time commitment per week: 10 hours per week

Weekly schedule:  Mondays and Tuesdays - public school hours; Tuesday afternoons until 6pm - (for group supervision)

Number of fellows in 2019-20:  1

Sponsor: Carol Ewing Garber
Department: Biobehavioral Sciences

This fellowship involves developing and implementing a program of movement and physical activities that is being integrated into the structure of the Columbia University Head Start and Early Head Start Program. Fellows will work in pairs in collaboration with TC faculty, CUHS parents, and staff. This fellowship will involve developing and refining a year round curriculum and home based media materials for toddlers and preschoolers that involves an innovative creative movement program designed to promote physical activity, prevent obesity, and to foster motor development, which is often delayed in young children from low resourced families, affecting readiness to learn.

The target population is young disadvantaged children and their adult caregivers attending the Columbia Early Head Start and Head Start. Our primary goal is to improve physical activity and health in children and caregivers and to foster institutionalization of physical activity into the preschool program setting. Physical inactivity and "screen time" are consistently associated with childhood obesity and contribute to developmental delays.

Concurrently with program development and implementation, we are collecting process and behavioral outcomes to evaluate the program's effectiveness using the REAIM framework.

SKIP! is grounded by evidenced based research and theories from pediatric movement, behavioral and developmental science, physical education, and dance pedagogy. SKIP! will engage learners and their adult caregivers in enjoyable, developmentally and culturally appropriate creative physical activity sessions accompanied by home based adaptations of classroom lessons designed for indoor urban environments (SKIP! at Home). Pedagogically, the project draws upon the best of social constructivist theory, imaginative play, community sharing, and a motor development approach to teaching and learning.

Fellowship criteria: 

  • Ability to develop and lead movement and physical activities for preschool children and their families
  • Ability to work with young children including young children with disability
  • Understanding of motor and cognitive development of preschool children
  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Fluency in Spanish is highly desirable

Fellowship site:  Columbia Head Start

Estimated time commitment per week: 10 hours per week

Weekly schedule:  During school hours. Must be available for at least two, 3-hour time blocks (approximately 8:30-11:30 am or 11:30-3:00pm) on Monday- Friday. Scheduling for meetings and preparation are very flexible. Schedule is determined according to the Fellows class schedule and the school schedule at the start of each semester.

Number of fellows in 2019-20: 2   

Sponsor: Dr. Cristina Compton
Department: English Education, Arts & Humanities 

For over a decade, The Center for the Professional Education of Teachers (CPET) has been inspiring students and their teachers to take their learning beyond the classroom and into the world. Through project-based public pedagogies, CPET initiatives such as Literacy Unbound and the Student Press Initiative partner with public, charter and schools within the court systems across New York City, to co-create opportunities for students to share their learning with multiple audiences and, at the same time, develop their reading, writing, performance, and communication skills. As students share what they learn with others through multiple venues of publication, we hope to foster students’ curiosity of spirit, hone their inquiry skills, and nurture their willingness to speak up and out on issues important to them, their communities, and the world—regardless of their age.

Zankel Fellows, partnering with experienced CPET coaches and teaching artists, will work directly with students in diverse, in-school and after-school projects. Helping students and their teachers “Go Public” with their work, to speak out and into their communities, is a powerful experience, driven by student-centered, project-based learning pedagogies. With the support of CPET personnel, the Zankel Fellows have a unique opportunity to advance their knowledge, interests, and expertise by engaging with groups of teachers and students across the City, to help them share their stories, understandings, and reflections on various topics of study. Projects most often culminate in digital, print, or performance-oriented productions with a community celebration of students’ progress and work. Zankel Fellows should expect to engage in activities such as: classroom visits, leading presentations with classes or small groups, individual support to students, collaborative planning with teachers, curriculum design, digital design and layout support, and facilitation of publication celebrations.

Fellowship criteria:  CPET is looking for Zankel Fellows with a minimum of 2 years of teaching experience, ideally with students in grades K-12. Knowledge of writing and performance pedagogies is optimal, but a desire to support student learning and relationship-building is crucial.

Candidates should demonstrate strong organizational, interpersonal and communication skills. We seek Fellows who will enjoy working collaboratively with young people and with other adults, are self-motivated and chart their own course of action, and seek opportunities that combine their vision(s) with CPET’s mission, and are able to plan for long-term projects that are responsive to the needs and interests of a particular school.

Additionally, Zankel fellows should have experience with using Microsoft Office, and familiarity with Google Apps. Knowledge of multi-media platforms such as images, video and music is preferred but not required.

Fellowship sites: Our projects primarily take place in K-12 schools in NYC, however there are opportunities for special projects outside of NYC and abroad.

Estimated time commitment per week: Zankel fellows will work approximately six hours a week, during the school day or after school, with teachers and students at a particular school/site. Additionally, they will spend approximately 4 hours a week planning for their on-site projects, attending meeting and trainings, and/or working collaboratively with other Zankel fellows and CPET personnel. Zankel fellows should be available for 10 hours a week, divided between on-site and Center work.

Weekly schedule:  Zankel fellows should expect to reserve at least one day a week (approximately 6 hours) at a particular site. This day is often determined once the school year begins and is based upon the needs of the school.

Additionally, Zankel fellows should reserve Fridays as a day they will attend meetings, participate in professional development, dedicate time to planning and/or concentrate on a “Center Project.” Center projects provide opportunities for fellows to imagine a project, inspired by the Initiatives of CPET. Examples of Center projects include, developing curriculum frameworks, and conducting participatory research with students to evaluate the efficacy of student-authored, publication projects on writing attitudes, skills, strategies, and performance-skills

Number of fellows in 2019-20: 5

Sponsor: Patricia Martínez-Álvarez
Department: Bilingual and Bicultural Education, Arts & Humanities

Zankel Fellows will be placed in bilingual schools with integrated co-teaching classrooms (ICT) where children with and without IEPs (with and without labeled disabilities) are learning in two languages. Such classrooms have a high need for individualized instruction and innovation. Specifically, I propose to involve 4 teacher candidates, who are from our recently created program where candidates are seeking triple certification in childhood, bilingual and teaching students with disabilities in a blended during school (5 hours a week) and afterschool program (2 additional hours) for exploring ways of learning of bilingual children labeled with specific learning disabilities. Fellows will work with a total of at least 10 elementary level bilingual children categorized with disabilities in and out of school (after school) contexts. They will work with children five hours a week during the school day and two additional hours a week in an afterschool context. Fellows will be working for three additional hours to design, coordinate, run, and document our day and afterschool work. During after school hours, the program will provide children with iPads and cameras with which the students will generate photographs and videos. Participating children will use the technology to explore their communities and bilingual/bicultural knowledge. An interdisciplinary exploration integrating multimodality in literacy, science, and art will be facilitated to learn about how children can expand what counts as knowledge and learning as they work with teacher candidates and researchers. The Zankel Fellows will also observe and teach the children, and learn from them during their regular schooling hours to deepen their knowledge of the children’s ways of learning and to facilitate bridging mediators between the after school and in school learning.

For working in the afterschool, the program will provide children with I-pads and cameras with which the students will generate photographs and videos. Participating children will use the technology to explore their communities and bilingual/bicultural knowledge. An interdisciplinary exploration integrating multimodality in literacy, science and art will be facilitated to learn about how children can expand what counts as knowledge and learning as they work with teacher candidates and researchers. The potential Zankel fellows will also observe and teach the children for 5 hours a week during their regular schooling hours to deepen their knowledge of the children’s ways of learning and to facilitate bridging mediators between the after school and in school learning. The rationale for this project is based on the need to create teaching spaces for first year and second candidates for this triple certification program of studies. During their first year, teacher candidates are required to complete field hours but they are not entering their student teaching placements until their second year of studies. Teachers and professors are seeking for opportunities for clinical experiences for candidates to practice teaching during their first year. Additionally, having first and second year candidates working together generates a rich community of learners across our program.

Simultaneously, teachers who are preparing to teach minoritized learners who learn in unexpected ways and are labeled as disabled need to both learn about the rigorousness of the school curriculum in our public schools while at the same time they need opportunities for exploring more flexible hybrid spaces where all children can access content and language learning. This project will locate additional adults in ICT rooms where children with and without disabilities learn together and where there is a need for more individualized and innovative instruction.

The proposed responsibilities for each Zankel fellow will include:

  • Teaching up to 5-6 bilingual children with disabilities during 5 hours a week during their regular schooling hours across all content areas during their dual language instruction in Spanish/English.
  • Implementing an innovative interdisciplinary curriculum for 2 hours a week with a group of up to 24 elementary-level children.
  • Co-designing a technology rich curriculum to learn about the ways of learning of a group of bilingual children with learning disabilities for the afterschool during weekly meetings with Dr. Patricia Martínez Álvarez and another instructor from BBE (research team).
  • Collecting, organizing and analyzing the data generated as a result of the work with the children.
  • Exploring ways in which the learning and the mediators from the afterschool can be infused into the regular instructional day for the participating children.
  • Potentially preparing/presenting a conference proposal based on the teaching and research experience for the New York State Association of Bilingual Education (NYSABE).

Fellowship criteria:  In order to successfully participate in the proposed project, the fellows will need the following skills:

  • Native like skills in Spanish and English
  • Interest in working with bilingual children with and without mild disabilities and with their families
  • Knowledge of foundational theories in bilingual education and bilingual special education
  • Familiarity with the use of the following instructional technologies and applications: Note Taking, Comic Life, photographs and videos
  • Some formal or informal teaching experience

Fellowship sites: PS 513 Castle Bridge School or PS 103 Dos Puentes Elementary School (District 6)

Estimated time commitment per week:  At least 7 hours a week in total for each fellow. Five hours for teaching up to 5-6 children during the school day and two additional hours for teaching in the afterschool program. Fellows will engage in co-designing of the curriculum, collecting and organizing data, and learning reflection meetings weekly for up to 3 hours, for a total of 10 hours weekly.

Weekly schedule:  Zankel Fellows will then go in schools to observe and infuse activities into the regular schooling time of the children for at least five hours a week. The Zankel Fellows will then plan and teach the afterschool once a week that will sum up to a total of 2 hours a week of afterschool teaching plus planning time. The exact days of the week will be determined with teacher candidates and schools.

Number of fellows in 2019-20: 4

Sponsor: Lucy Calkins

Department: The Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP)

Data from recent reading research shows that students who are reading below benchmark levels at the end of first and second grades are often unable to catch up on their reading levels and, therefore, perform below their peers for years to come. Such gaps in academic achievement disproportionately affect students who have been marginalized in the educational system.

This project aims to create a culture of access and equity to research-based instruction that helps individual students make dramatic gains in reading, moving them up to match students who are reading at benchmark level. Specifically, an essential goal of this project is to show that students can rapidly increase their reading levels by working 1:1 and in small groups with trained adults. We hope to have the Fellows meet with students 3 to 4 times a week across different schools in New York City to accomplish this goal. The project enables students to work on their reading development and build relationships with the Fellows who also serve as mentors.

Along with their time in schools, the Fellows will be expected to spend time in the office developing tools to support the work and thinking with Professor Calkins and TCRWP Staff Developers about additional best practices to accelerate student reading achievement. By taking knowledge gained from instruction at Teachers College, the Fellows will help students in public schools develop the tools and skills that will help them grow into successful readers.

Fellowship criteria: The Fellows will not be expected to enter this project with particular reading intervention skills: We are accustomed to teaching TC students how to support readers. Students are expected to come with a commitment to helping young people, social consciousness, and a great reservoir of energy. Any prior experience with young people will be valued, and any association with the LITI program would be terrific, but not expected.

Fellowship sites:  

  • PS 51
  • PS 6
  • PS 20
  • PS 14
  • PS 71
  • PS 191
  • Other schools, TBD

Estimated time commitment per week: The Fellows will work with youth 3-4 times (7-8 hours) per week and spend some time in the office (2-3 hours) developing tools to support the work.

Weekly schedule: The schedule will be determined in the fall in coordination with school staff.

Number of fellows in 2019-20: 4

Full project title: Supporting the Academic and Social-Emotional Development of At-Risk Youth with Special Needs through an After-School Youth Leadership Council in East Harlem

Sponsor: Laudan Jahromi

Department: Programs in Intellectual Disability/Autism, Department of Health & Behavior Studies

Association to Benefit Children (ABC) is a non-profit, community based program aimed at strengthening family wellbeing and protecting some of New York City’s most vulnerable youth, including those affected by poverty, homelessness, and abuse and neglect. The mission of ABC is very much in line with that of Teachers College and the Zankel Fellowship in particular, specially, “ABC's mission is to defend the right of every child to a joyful and nurturing childhood by creating compassionate programs in urgent response to the needs of New York City’s most vulnerable children and families”.

The Graham School at Echo Park is an early childhood and inclusive education program in East Harlem serving children with and without special needs who are in the greatest need and most seriously at risk. In addition, Echo Park has a comprehensive service model, which includes a free, therapeutic after-school program for youth. The Zankel fellow will work directly in service with youth in the after-school program by:

  • Working directly with youth to support their academic and social development through tutoring and homework support.
  • Helping to facilitate a Youth Leadership Council program using a Community Based Participatory framework to facilitate the empowerment of youth in the development of a meaningful project of their choosing that would promote positive social skills, leadership skills, and research/critical thinking skills.
  • Providing professional development workshops and training to support after-school staff in the use of effective strategies when working with youth with special needs.

Fellowship criteria: Fellow will need a background in special education. As there are increasing numbers of students with special needs, including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), being served by these programs, a fellow should have experience working with these populations in particular. Fellow will ideally have experience and/or strong interest working with culturally diverse families, under-resourced families, those living in poverty, and those affected by homelessness.

Fellowship site: Association to Benefit Children (ABC) Graham School at Echo Park in East Harlem.

Estimated time commitment per week: Fellow will work directly with youth at the after-school program for a minimum of 7 hours per week. In addition, fellow will work on planning youth council activities, lessons, curriculum, and in conducting professional development training/workshops for the after-school staff for a minimum of 3 hours per week.

Weekly schedule: Fellow will work two days per week to support the after school program. The after school program takes place Monday to Friday from 2:30 to 6pm.The exact schedule for a fellow will be determined in consultation with staff at the ABC after school program. 

Number of fellows in 2019-20: 2

Sponsor: Sonali Rajan
Department: Health and Behavior Studies

The Zankel Fellow will directly implement and support an evidence-based health education and life skills after-school program, Girls on the Run, in three low-income public schools in New York City. This project will take place with the support of community-based partner organization Girls on the Run: NYC, whose program reaches over 50 elementary and middle schools in New York City and a total of 200,000 girls across the country annually.

The Girls on the Run program is comprised of two 10-week seasons per year. The program addresses a range of critical social emotional learning skills (managing emotions, cultivating empathy, thoughtfully making decisions, addressing impulsivity) via a creative curriculum that fosters an affinity for physical activity and also discusses key health topics (including nutrition, bullying, and substance use/misuse). Program sessions take place twice a week and are led by volunteer coaches who are trained at the beginning of the school year by Girls on the Run staff. 

The Zankel Fellow will attend this 5-6 hour training workshop at the beginning of the year and serve as a program coach at a high need school site (Site A) twice a week during the fall 2019 and spring 2020 seasons. The Fellow will spend an additional 5-4 hours per week providing critical programmatic support to two other low-income public schools (Sites B and C) that are also implementing Girls on the Run. Specifically, this portion of the fellowship will involve the Fellow in assessing program implementation and fidelity (via measurement tools developed by the project sponsor in conjunction with the executive director of Girls on the Run), providing instructional support and assistance to the team of coaches at Sites B and C, and working with the coaches and Girls on the Run staff to use data to improve program fidelity and ultimately maximize the effectiveness of the program.

Each Girls on the Run season concludes with a community-wide 5K running event that celebrates the 650+ girls participating in the program each season through their schools. The Zankel Fellow is expected to participate in this event in both the fall and spring.

Fellowship criteria: The project is seeking a high-energy, passionate, and reliable Fellow, dedicated to fostering the well-being of young girls. To prepare for the project, the Fellow will be expected to complete a 5-6 hour Girls on the Run coach training workshop as well as obtain CPR certification through a 4-hour course provided by Girls on the Run.

Fellowship sites: NYC Department of Education public schools TBD

Estimated time commitment per week: The Fellow will spend 4 hours per week implementing the Girls on the Run program in a high need Title I public elementary school (Site A), working with a team of 12-18 early adolescent girls. S/he will spend an additional 4 hours per week providing critical programmatic support to two other low-income public schools (Sites B and C), working with a team of 12-18 early adolescent girls at each of these two sites.

Weekly schedule: The final schedule will be determined in the Fall; the Fellow should expect to split their time as follows:

  • Day 1: 2 hours coaching Girls on the Run at Site A
  • Day 2: 2 hours providing programmatic and implementation support at Site B
  • Day 3: 2 hours coaching Girls on the Run at Site A
  • Day 4: 2 hours providing programmatic and implementation support at Site C

Number of fellows in 2019-20: 1

Sponsor: Katy Maiolatesi 
Department: Office of School and Community Partnerships

Teachers College Community School (TCCS) is an inclusive, non-screened choice elementary school that opened in September 2011. TCCS is a demonstration site for educational research, preparation of educators, and implementation of comprehensive educational services including out-of-school time learning opportunities and social and health services that support children's ability to learn. In 2019-20, TCCS will enroll approximately 400 students in grades PreK-8.

To effectively educate students who have a range of learning needs and language backgrounds, TCCS uses a model of inclusion that provides all students with a home base in a regular classroom, coupled with flexible services across a continuum of needs. Over the past few years, Zankel Fellows have been an invaluable part of the TCCS community. They have worked in collaboration with classroom teachers and the school’s administration to plan and deliver individual or small group instruction to students who needed support in math and reading. Some have also assisted with classroom management, recess, and other activities. Others have led after school enrichment clubs in various aspects of STEAM. Through their dedication and hard work Zankel Fellows develop strong relationships with students, parents and TCCS staff during their year(s) of service at the school. Zankel Fellows will provide tutoring to students grades 2nd-7th at Teachers College Community School during the 2019-2020 school year.

Fellowship criteria: Fellows must have at least six months’ classroom experience at the elementary and/or middle school level working with children from linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds. Strong knowledge of early literacy and math is preferred.  Interns teaching specialty or after school enrichment classes must have demonstrated experience in their respective subject areas. Knowledge of the NYC public school system is preferred.

Fellowship sites: Teachers College Community School (Lower and Upper schools)

Estimated time commitment per week: Zankel Fellows will spend 8-9 hours a week working at Teachers College Community School as math, reading and science interventionists, classroom assistants, or after school club leaders. Fellows will spend an additional 1 to 2 hours a week planning and preparing for the project.

Weekly schedule: The final weekly schedule will be determined in the fall based on school needs.

Number of fellows in 2019-20: 8

Sponsor: Detra Price-Dennis

Department: Mathematics, Science and Technology

Teacher educators, literacy scholars, and classroom teachers are beginning to develop curricula that leverage digital literacy practices and make visible what elementary students are learning across modalities. Although this body of work provides valuable examples (e.g., digital storytelling, innovative uses of digital apps and platforms, creating podcasts, and integration of tablets) of digital literacies in action, little is known about how these curricular choices support younger learners engaged in project-based learning about social justice. The purpose of this project is to work closely with a second-grade classroom to better understand how teachers can design project-based curriculum with layered opportunities for young children to develop critical literacy practices using digital tools in service of producing media content about social justice topics.

The project is located at PS 142 on the lower East Side of Manhattan in a second-grade classroom with 25 students and a general education teacher. PS 142 is a Title I school with almost 100% of students qualifying for free or reduced breakfast and lunch. About 80% of students identify as Hispanic, about 15% identify as Black, and 5% as Asian.

Second graders are developmentally energized to enact social change. When confronted with inequality or unfairness, they fiercely defend people’s rights for what they need and to a just world. If given the tools to become digitally literate, their access to understanding social problems and taking part in social justice broadens. PS 142 is a place where teachers are both beholden to a curriculum map and given autonomy to engage their students in myriad ways. It’s a school that would benefit from and encourage creative thinking and problem solving through STEM and the support of Zankel Fellow.

The goal of this project is to link how real-world social issues with digital tools has fostered a community of learners: a) who care about the world around them; b) who want to learn how others with similar interests are addressing these issues; and c) who instigate change in digital spaces to impact micro and macro community issues.

T4SC would greatly benefit from the expertise of a Fellow who will work with the students twice a week during literacy workshop to explore apps and other Web 2.0 platforms, as well as introduce the students to coding and data analytics. In addition, the Fellow will attend a weekly planning meeting with Prof. Price-Dennis to debrief, catalog data, and create an agenda for each classroom session; administer a survey in the beginning and end of the semester; take notes and create a reflection after each session; and audio record and participate in group discussions (for projects and debrief). Prof. Price-Dennis will provide training on developing an agenda, creating and administering the survey, taking notes and creating a reflection, and audio recording.

Fellowship criteria: 

  • Knowledge of coding, edtech products, and information and communication technologies (ICTs)
  • Possess positive disposition and be dependable
  • Strong organizational skills

Fellowship site: PS 142 Amalia Castro Elementary School

Estimated time commitment per week: Fellows will spend at least five hours per week working directly with students and an additional two to three hours per week planning and preparing for onsite work.

Number of fellows in 2019-20: 1

Sponsor: Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz
Department: English Education, Arts & Humanities

“The Art and Literacy of Justice: Creating Life After Rikers Island” (#CLOSErikersALJ) is an arts based program that will bring together 12-15 high school age youth (per site) who are connected to the #CLOSErikers campaign. These youth, who attend schools in New York City, have been impacted by mass incarceration (either directly or through family members.) Youth will meet each week in a group that specifically engages the following question through creative arts: What can happen when we close Rikers Island? The Zankel fellows will facilitate the weekly sessions. Work created in the workshop sessions which will culminate in two curated symposia where the participants present the ideas they developed and created over the duration of the semester (Fall 2019 & Spring 2020).

 #CLOSErikersALJ is seeking two fellows who have an interest in the impact of mass incarceration on school-age children, and those individuals who are interested in civically engaging youth in discussion on mass incarceration’s impact.

Fellowship criteria: Fellows should have experience in working with high school age children within school or in out-of-school settings for a minimum of one year (this includes tutoring and mentoring). Strong organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills are necessary. The fellows should feel comfortable with an arts-based literacy approach to learning and discovering knowledge. The fellows should have comfort in participating in and facilitating workshops that involve writing, art, and/or various media-making activities. Familiarity with social media platforms, Google, MS Office is not required but a plus.

Fellowship site: The James Baldwin High School

Estimated time commitment per week: Estimated time commitment per week:  Fellows will spend time with #CLOSErikersALJ youth up to 5 hours per week. This includes the 2-hour #CLOSErikersALJ workshop session, and an additional 3 hours offering school support and mentoring. In addition to the 5 hours per week that fellows will spend with youth, they will spend approximately 3 hours per week working with the Zankel faculty sponsor to assist in creating session activities, and organizing materials for the weekly literacy arts workshop. Fellows will spend an additional 2 hours at their project site offering school support and mentoring for a total of 10 hours per week. The two project sites will be JustLeadership-affiliated locations in New York City.

Weekly schedule: Fellows will spend 5 hours a week with #CLOSErikersALJ youth and an additional 2 hours at their project site. Youth, fellows and the Zankel faculty sponsor will meet each week for 3 hours to participate in the #CLOSErikersALJ session.

Number of fellows in 2019-20: 2

Sponsor: Amy Stuart Wells
Department: Education Policy and Social Analysis, Sociology in Education 

The racial identity of our nation is shifting rapidly, as the percentage of residents who are white, non-Hispanic continues to decline. Nowhere is this phenomenon more apparent than within our public school population, where white, non-Hispanic students are now a minority of the total. Launched in 2015, the Public Good is research and advocacy initiative combining the expertise of faculty and researchers at Teachers College with the talents of several TC doctoral students to provide research-based services to schools on the front lines of demographic change. The current mismatch between the policies and the needs of an increasingly racially diverse society inspire us to fill the void with compelling success stories of diverse public schools. The project team gathers in-depth data to inform school improvement and strategic communications strategies, to allow it to publicize the efforts of these schools in a manner that will enable them to “trickle up” and inform educational policy both regionally and nationally.

Currently, the project works closely with three racially, ethnically and socio-economically diverse public schools in Brooklyn. In each of these schools, the students of color, mainly Black and Latino students, are underperforming on standardized assessments, even as all the students in these schools are learning from each other about how to be more open minded and accepting of “difference” while learning their academic subjects. We know from the educators in each of these schools that most disadvantaged student—mostly the low-income Black and Latino students—would greatly benefit from more academic tutoring and homework support.

The Zankel Fellow will work alongside the project team (consisting of the faculty sponsor, 3 doctoral students, and parents and school administrators) to support the educators at PS 307 in Brooklyn, a partner school with the Public Good. The Fellow will assist educators with supporting the outreach, communication, and community engagement and development of the school. The Fellow will benefit from working within a larger research-based project and will learn about research and advocacy work and the connection between the two.

Fellowship criteria: TC students who have some background in teaching or tutoring elementary or high schools students, particularly in reading or math would be the best fit. A strong interest in working with elementary or middle school students from disadvantaged backgrounds as a "homework helper" and tutor is the most important qualification. Prior work in communication and community engagement in some capacity is also desired.

Fellowship site: PS 307 Daniel Hale Williams

Number of fellows in 2019-20: 1

Sponsor: Ansley Erickson
Department: History and Education, Arts & Humanities

Youth Historians has been working for six years to develop learning spaces that link youth participatory action research and local Black and Latinx history in Harlem. The project began at Frederick Douglass Academy II; it expanded in 2018-19 to Wadleigh Secondary School for the Visual and Performing Arts (which are co-located). Both schools serve students of color and have high rates of student poverty and academic challenge.

Youth Historians engages high-school-aged youth in learning about the history of their local community and conducting original historical research on that community. They do so with support and direction from Teachers College graduate students, usually in History and Education or Social Studies Education. This work began in after-school spaces, but now includes school-day courses based in collaboration with teachers at the school sites.

Over the course of the year, Youth Historians participants engage in historical research practices including primary document analysis in archives and via on-line sources and oral history interviews. They make public presentations of their work in person to community audiences and via digital projects.

Fellowship criteria: Fellows will need to have skills in classroom leadership, individual and small group work with diverse learners, and the ability to work collaboratively with teachers and other fellows to design history- and youth-participatory curriculum. Previous study of Black and Latinx history and the history of Harlem is highly desired. Fellows will also need to have the willingness to learn digital humanities tools and practices that are used in the program.

Fellowship sites: Wadleigh Secondary School and Frederick Douglass Academy II

Estimated time commitment per week: Fellows will spend 5 hours per week with young people, in a combination of school-day and after-school time. In addition, fellows will spend 2 hours in collaborative planning with partner teachers and other fellows, and 3 hours on individual planning, curriculum development, and documentation work for a total of 10 hours per week.

Weekly schedule:  The schedule will be determined in the fall in coordination with school staff.

Number of fellows in 2019-20: 2

Zankel Sponsor applications for 2020-2021 will be available on Monday, February 3, 2020. Please check back here for the link at that time.  

Important Information for Sponsors

TC departments, centers, programs, and individual faculty are encouraged to apply to sponsor a project for one or more Zankel Fellows. Project proposals are reviewed by a committee comprised of representatives from the Dean's Office, the Office of School and Community Partnerships, the Office of Development, and TC faculty. The Zankel Fellowship Committee also determines the number of fellows for each project. Every effort is made to fairly and equitably represent TC's ten academic departments in the allocation of fellows.

Zankel fellows must engage fellows in a total of ten hours of service per week to urban schools, including a minimum of five hours spent working directly with youth. Each fellow must be overseen by a TC faculty or staff sponsor. A project may include a research component, as long as the primary service requirements of the fellowship are met.

The sponsor serves as liaison with the schools or agencies where students provide service and with the Office of School and Community Partnerships (OSCP), which manages the fellowship program. The sponsor mentors his/her fellow(s), provides updates and reports as requested by the OSCP, and troubleshoots fellowship issues as needed

It is a requirement of the fellowship that students and sponsors working directly with children complete any fingerprinting and/or background checks that are mandated by the Department of Education and/or Department of Health policy. The OSCP is able to assist sponsors and students with the fingerprinting process. 

If you have any questions about the application process and selection criteria, please contact, or call Amy Hawley at 212-678-3143.

For Applicants

The number of awards fluctuates from year to year. For the 2019-2020 award year, we received 300 applications for 60 spots.

Students interested in applying for a fellowship should visit the website in early spring to review the eligibility information, learn which projects are accepting fellows for the upcoming school year, and submit an application. The online application opens in March. Students are notified of awards on a rolling basis starting in May. The application form requires students to provide information about their education and work experiences, as well as well as an explanation of why they wish to serve as a Zankel Fellow for one or more projects of their choice.

If you are shortlisted, a Zankel site sponsor may contact you for an updated resume, a longer personal statement or to schedule an interview. Please do not submit additional materials unless solicited. 

Your personal statement should describe how your interests, experiences and educational plans fit the fellowship criteria and requirements, as described on this web site. Your statement could be a customized version of what you submitted for your general admission to the College. The personal statement should be one-page, single-spaced, Times New Roman font, size 12.

You are eligible to apply if you are taking or intending to take at least six credits per semester at Teachers College during the Fellowship year. 

No. The College admits students on a rolling basis from mid-March to August, so if you are a new student you may not be admitted at the time of submitting your application. However, you must have completed the admissions process and submitted your FAFSA to be considered. Awards will be made on a rolling basis from May and following confirmation of your enrollment status.

New international students are not eligible to apply for the fellowship, only continuing students. In other words, international students must have completed one year at Teachers College at the time they would be due to start the Fellowship. For example, you may apply in the Spring of 2020 for the September 2020 award if you begin your studies at TC in September 2019.

Yes, so long as you are also enrolled for at least six credits in both the fall and spring semesters.

Students must:

-Be matriculated or be fully-admitted to a masters or doctoral degree program at Teachers College (international students are not eligible in their first year of study)
-Have consecutive enrollment for six credits in both the fall and spring terms
-Have demonstrated financial need, as determined by TC's Office of Financial Aid based on the central College application

-Exhibit the interests, skills, experiences and/or characteristics that are a good match to the purpose of the fellowship and the approved service internships 

-Be available to complete the required internship during the normal school day in both fall and spring semesters (not all sites are have schedules compatible with student teaching commitments)

TC faculty and staff ("Sponsors") who oversee the fellowship placements will judge the merit of your application based on the relevance of your skills, experience, and interests in their projects. Some Sponsors conduct interviews, others do not. They then select their first choice candidates and a small number of “back-up” candidates.

The Financial Aid Office determines fellows' need based on their FAFSA. Applicants are advised to submit their FAFSA prior to submitting their Zankel Fellowship application. Late submission of the FAFSA will delay the decision on whether an applicant is eligible for an award.

Yes. The Fellowship is a one-year award and is not automatically renewable. However, students are eligible to receive up to two years of funding as a Zankel Fellow, so you may re-apply for a second year.

While most internships will take place during the school day, some projects require the fellow to be available during after school hours. Your award is contingent upon you meeting the time commitments of that placement. Each project has its own schedule; some with more flexibility than others.

If you anticipate a student teaching commitment during the fellowship year, it is recommended that you contact Amy Hawley in the Office of School and Community Partnerships at  

Interships take place only at pre-approved sites; applicants may not propose a new site or research project. Typically, there are 10-15 sites a year, working with 15-25 schools/organizations. All sites are overseen by a sponsor who is a TC faculty member or project director. Use the menu bar at the left of the page to find internship site information.

All placements take place in New York City. It is not a requirement of the fellowship that you live in New York City or in New York State, provided you can attend your site at the required times. 

Yes. The priority deadline is mid-April, but applications are accepted on a rolling basis until all fellowships are filled. 

You will be asked on the application form to state your top three site preferences. While applicants are required to indicate at least one preference, we recommend that you state two or three preferences, so that several site sponsors consider your application.

In most cases, sites do not require that your placement interest align with your studies, but it might serve as an advantage if the site you are aiming for is Department-based or looking for specific subject-area skills that your studies support.  

Please rank your top three preferences when you submit the application. You will be considered for all of those sites.

Notification of awards will be made on a rolling basis from early May. 

Yes, we will be notifying all applicants, so if you have not received a response by August, contact as there might be a problem with your registered email address.

Successful applicants have seven to ten days to accept the award. If they decline or fail to respond, it is immediately offered to a sponsor's second choice candidate and so on down the waiting list. All candidates remain on a waiting list throughout the year and might be contacted if a fellow withdraws at any point. 

For Fellowship Award Winners

Once you have accepted the Fellowship, this is a good question for your sponsor, whose name and contact information are provided in the award notification. It is recommended that you contact your sponsor early to discuss the placement schedule and confirm your availability.

You are required to attend a one-hour orientation session, which is usually scheduled during the first two weeks of September. Your sponsor may excuse you from this session if there is a conflict with your fellowship schedule. In addition, you will be invited to complete the NYS Mandated Reporter Training course online. While this is not mandatory, it is strongly recommended that anyone working with children participate as it covers identifying and reporting child abuse and the course leads to a certificate. Details of these training opportunities will be emailed to fellows at the beginning of the fall semester. In terms of reporting, the fellowship requires that you submit a final report at the end of your fellowship , which is given to the Zankel family. All other professional development and reporting requirements are set by your sponsor, and you should check with them at the beginning of the year.

It is a good idea to contact your sponsor soon after you have accepted the award, to introduce yourself, thank them for selecting you and to discuss your internship schedule. Some sponsors have limited availability over the summer, but if you still have not managed to reach them by September 1, feel free to contact us at

Your sponsor sets your schedule and hours, and it is a requirement of the fellowship that you are able to attend at these times. Some sponsors have flexibility with the schedule, others do not. It is a good idea to contact your sponsor soon after accepting the award, to discuss the hours and confirm your availability.

If an agreement on hours cannot be reached, your sponsor may legitimately choose to withdraw the fellowship and offer it to another candidate.

You are only exempt from the orientation if your sponsor releases you on the basis that it conflicts with your internship schedule.

The $10,000 will be paid in two installments of $5,000, one for each semester. The funds will be deposited directly into your student account approximately 4-5 weeks into each semester and following confirmation from your sponsor that you are fulfilling the requirements of the fellowship.

The Zankel Fellowship is set up for tuition purposes (deposited directly into your student account each semester). However, if you are receiving other aid/stipends and overpay on the cost of your tuition and expenses, Student Accounts will refund you that money in the middle of the semester. You can therefore potentially receive the Zankel funding as a refund, which can be used for other expenses.

For Site Sponsor applicants

A sponsor is a project/program/department representative or an individual TC faculty member who supervises one or more Zankel fellows on an internship that involves working in direct service with disadvantaged urban youth for one academic year, for a minimum of five hours a week. The fellowship could take place in a school or organization, so long as it involves direct service with disadvantaged urban youth in New York City. The fellowship may include a research component, as long as the primary service requirements of the fellowship are met. There are a finite number of sponsors selected every year and the sponsorship lasts for one academic year.

Sponsors are responsible for:

  • Selecting their own Zankel Fellow(s) from the applicant pool according to the fellowship selection criteria and their own project needs
  • Working with the academic departments, as appropriate, to identify their preferred candidates
  • Setting the schedule for fellow(s) to ensure at least five hours a week of direct service in addition to planning and preparation time, to an average student commitment of 10 hours/week.
  • Setting and overseeing any reporting requirements that are necessary for the fellowship placement
  • Liaising with the schools or agencies where the fellow(s) provide service, including corresponding with principals regarding any fingerprinting or background checks that are required for the placement
  • Securing Institutional Review Board approval where necessary for any human subjects research undertaken off-campus in association with the Zankel Fellowship
  • Mentoring the fellow(s), providing updates as requested by the Zankel Fellowship team and facilitating the completion of an end-of-year report by the fellow(s)

Faculty members are invited to apply to sponsor Zankel Fellows through campus wide announcements in the early spring. Only full time faculty members are eligible to apply. If you would like to apply to sponsor a Zankel fellow, or have questions about the process and criteria for selection, please contact

Yes. It is not possible to recruit Zankel Fellows to participate in a project unless you apply to be a sponsor.

No. The site must be located in New York City, and it is advised that you consider the commute a fellow would have to undertake to reach your site.

Project proposals are reviewed once a year by a committee comprised of representatives from the Dean’s Office, Office of School and Community Partnerships, Office of Development and TC faculty. The Zankel Fellowship Committee also determines the number of fellows for each project. Every effort is made to approve projects from a broad spectrum of departments. Selections are based on the following considerations:

  • How closely the project aligns with the donor’s requirements (i.e., working with disadvantaged inner-city youth for five or more hours a week)
  • The number of project applications from each department

In addition to the five or more hours of direct service with youth, you may schedule appropriate hours for planning and preparation. The total weekly commitment is ten hours. 

If you still have questions about the selection process, email: or contact Amy Hawley, Assistant Director for School and Community Partnerships at: .

Contact Us

Please check the FAQ section of this website before contacting us with your inquiry. Paper applications for the Fellowship and supporting materials sent by mail will not be accepted. Applications will only be accepted through the online system.


Or call Amy Hawley Alvarez at: 212-678-3143

The application for the 2020-2021 academic year will be available on Monday, March 2, 2020. THE PRIORITY DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS IS WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15, 2020.

Questions or problems? Email: