Arthur Zankel Urban Fellowship

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Arthur Zankel Urban Fellowship

Thank you to the 300 plus students who applied for the 2020-2021 Zankel Fellowship. As of August 1, 2020, most of the placements have been decided. Due to the uncertainity surrounding how school for NYC public schools will be held, we appreciate your patience as the remaining fellowship spots are evaluated. All applications are kept on file for the academic year in case any openings become available. 

The Arthur Zankel Urban Fellowship is a financial aid award in the amount of $11,000 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. 

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 2020-2021 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. You will not be considered for the Zankel Fellowship unless you have completed a FAFSA for 2020-2021. Note that TC's Federal School Code is: G03979.
  • 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.

2020-2021 Fellowship Projects

The fellowship projects listed below have been approved for the 2020-2021 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. *Disclaimer* Due to the nature of the fellowship, some sites may have returning fellows, thus decreasing the amount needed for that site. All returning fellows must still fill out an application to be considered.

Sponsor: Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz 

Department: Arts & Humanities | English Education

The campaign to #CLOSErikers is calling for New Yorkers to boldly reimagine the city’s failed criminal justice system and become a national leader in ending mass incarceration. Led by JustLeadershipUSA, in partnership with the Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice, the #CLOSErikers campaign includes community groups, researchers, business leaders, faith and human rights leaders, criminal justice experts, health and housing service providers, advocacy and legal groups, and more.

Teachers College, Columbia University’s “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 who 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? TC’s ALJ team will facilitate the weekly sessions. Ideas created in the workshop sessions which will culminate in a Spring, 2018 symposium where the participants present their ideas created over the duration of the semester.

Fellowship criteria:  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. 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: James Baldwin High School

Estimated time commitment per week:  8-10 hours per week.

Weekly schedule: 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 time spent working directly with youth, how much time (if any) will the fellow(s) spend planning and preparing for the project?

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.

Number of fellows in 2020-21:  1

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

Climate change is the most serious threat facing our planet today. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which includes more than 1,300 scientists from the United States and other countries, estimates that human activities have caused approximately 1.0°C of global warming above pre industrial levels. If conditions remain the same, global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052.

TC research shows that the majority of Americans support teaching climate change/global warming in K-12 schools (Pizmony-Levy & Pallas, 2019). Other reports, however, suggest that most teachers aren't actually talking about climate change in their classrooms; and fewer than half of parents have discussed the issue with their children (NPR/Ipsos polls, 2019). The emergence of Fridays for the Futures, an international movement of school students who take time off from class on Fridays to participate in demonstrations to demand action to address climate change, is a clear signal that youth are concerned and mobilized.

In response to these developments, the TC Center for Sustainable Futures is launching a new project titled Climate Change Education for NYC. As part of this project, the Center will partner with the NYC DOE Office of Sustainability’s Youth Leadership Council to mentor and empower youth activists. The Center will also engage NYC K-12 parents on ways to better support their children in the context of climate change.

This intervention, with a focus on the Bronx, will ensure that youth regardless of their socio-economic background, have the opportunity to engage with the most pressing issue of our time.

Fellowship criteria:  The Zankel Fellows will work with NYC students who are already taking part in local initiatives, such as the Columbia Youth Climate Summit. The Fellows will serve as a bridge between TC/CU/Earth Institute and youth activists; they will help student-led groups to develop and implement strategy, coordinate events, etc. The Fellows will also help the TC Center with organizing 1-2 mini-conferences for parents.

Fellowship site: New York City, with a preference for Bronx

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

Weekly schedule: At this stage we don’t know the fellows’ weekly schedule. On average, 3-5 hours per week will be required for planning and preparation. This includes team meetings with faculty aliated with the ESE Working Group.

Number of fellows in 2020-21: 3

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 have a significant amount of teaching experience with creative technologies. They have to be excellent communicators, reflective practitioners, and show a deep care for communities, students, and learning.

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 2020-21:  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 2020-21: 2

Sponsor: Deanna Kuhn
Department: Human Development


The selected fellow's site assignment will be Urban Academy HS in New York City, where the fellow will assist in implementing instructional activities for students in the areas of argumentation, debate, and associated writing assignments. Interaction with students will include individual one-on-one mentoring as well as small-group and whole-class activities. The fellow should have experience and be comfortable working with inner-city culturally diverse adolescents, many from troubled backgrounds. The fellow should also have statistical skills that will enable them to participate in data analysis, although the majority of hours will be spent on site.

Fellowship criteria: The ideal candidate will have sensitivity to, experience in, work with minority adolescents.

Fellowship site: Urban Academy High School, NYC

Estimated time commitment per week: Minimum of 5 hrs (3 class periods) in the classroom, plus individual consultation with students outside of class in carrying out assignments.  Time will be divided 70/30 between work directly with students and planning/evaluation.

Weekly schedule: The schedule will be determined in the fall.

Number of fellows in 2020-21: 1

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

The Center for the Professional Education of Teachers is a professional development and research organization with 5 unique initiatives, including The Student Press Initiative (SPI), Literacy Unbound, the Global Learning Alliance (GLA), the New Teacher Network at TC (NTN@TC), and K-12 Professional Development. CPET works in partnership with 40-50 schools each year and provides professional development and project based learning projects that impact over 10,000 students annually.

CPET Zankel Fellowship Projects: Through its project based learning initiatives, (SPI and Literacy Unbound) CPET has been inspiring students and their teachers to take their learning beyond the classroom walls and into the real world. By utilizing specialized, project based learning pedagogies, we partner with public, charter, and alternative learning settings across New York City, to co-create opportunities for students develop their reading, writing, performance and communication skills. For example, the Student Press Initiative leverages backwards design and project based learning methods to help teachers develop a writing project that culminates in a student authored publication. With over 400 student authored books published in the past 15 years, Zankel Fellows have opportunities to work directly with students and teachers as they move through the 5 phases of these innovative projects. Additionally, the Literacy Unbound Initiatives supports students and teachers in deepening their reading experience through arts based pedagogies that culminate in student and teacher performances.

Through both Project Based Learning Initiatives, we foster students’ curiosity of spirit, hone their inquiry skills and empower students to speak out on important issues in their lives, regardless of their age.

Opportunities and Expectations: When selected, CPET Zankel Fellows will partner with experienced CPET coaches and teaching artists to work directly with students and teachers in diverse in-school and afterschool projects. CPET provides intentional, professional learning experiences to equip Zankels with unique project based learning teaching methods through a series of SPI and Lit Unbound Intensives, as well as ongoing professional learning experiences in CPET’s coaching community. Zankel Fellows have opportunities for observing and apprenticing with experienced CPET coaches in project based learning professional development as they build upon their prior experience as educators to bridge teaching with students and teaching with adults. Additionally, CPET Zankel Fellows have an opportunity to develop their own Center Project based on the intersection of their interests, gifts, talents and CPET’s central mission. CPET Zankel Fellows deepen their knowledge and skills through mid-year and end of year Zankel Showcases where they have opportunities to go public with their projects. 

Fellowship criteria: We are seeking candidates who demonstrate strong organizational, interpersonal and communication skills who are invested in supporting students and teachers in project based learning. Fellows who enjoy working collaboratively with young people and adults, are self-motivated and can chart their own course of action will excel in this fellowship. 

  • Minimum 2 years of K-12 teaching experience 
  • Desire to support student learning through project based learning in collaboration with classroom teachers 
  • Knowledge of teaching reading, writing, and/or performance is optimal 
  • Strong organizational, interpersonal and communication skills
  • Experience with Microsoft Office, Google Apps, and knowledge of multimedia platforms

Fellowship site: Our project takes place primarily in K-12, NYC public schools throughout the City: ( Morris Academy for Collaborative Studies, Bronx High School of Business, Fordham Leadership Academy, Global Learning Collaborative, East River Academy) however there are opportunities nationally and abroad.

Estimated time commitment per week: Zankels should be available for 10 hours per week divided between on-site and Center projects.

Weekly schedule:  Zankels should expect to reserve at least one day a week (approximately 6 hrs) at a particular project site. This day is project dependent and will be determined in collaboration with the fellow. Additionally, Zankels should reserve Fridays as an internal CPET meeting day to participate in critical professional development and dedicate time to planning or developing their Center project. Due to the nature of these real world projects, Zankels can expect the fall semester of year 1 to have more emphasis on training and skill development and more emphasis on in-school projects in the spring semester.

Number of fellows in 2020-21: 5

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: Strong interpersonal skills, strong teaching skills, strong organizational skills, and an excellent knowledge base in philosophy (especially ethics and political philosophy, which we find adolescents particularly enjoy).

Fellowship site:  We have an array of schools the Fellow is communicating with; their main weekly activity, in terms of working with youth, is at Brooklyn Collaborative School (BCS).

Estimated time commitment per week: On average 5-10 hours per week.

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

Number of fellows in 2020-21: 1

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). 

There are many ways for children with hearing loss to communicate. Currently, over eighty-five percent of parents of children with hearing loss elect a listening and spoken language outcome, which includes the use of hearing technology (hearing aids and/or cochlear implants) and auditory verbal therapy rehabilitation (Alberg, Wilson, & Roush, 2006). The remainder of these children use American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate. Regardless of the mode of communication chosen deaf children’s achievement continues to lag behind that of their hearing peers, and many do not acquire the knowledge and skills to reach their full potential (Qi & Mitchell, 2012). Research suggests several reasons for this troubling and long-standing under-achievement. Many DHH students enter school lacking fluency in either a signed or a spoken language (Gregory, 1986; Singleton & Morgan, 2006), and research has revealed cognitive differences between DHH and hearing students that indicate the need for some different pedagogical techniques and instructional materials (Dye, Hauser, & Bavelier, 2008; Marschark & Knoors, 2012). 

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 project’s site will be 2 Hearing Education Services classrooms for children with hearing loss (one in Manhattan and one in the Bronx). Hearing Education Services (HES) is a District 75 Program within the New York City Department of Education that coordinates services for over 2,800 students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Within these classrooms the majority of students represent diverse ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds. The host schools both receive Title One funding. 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. 

In the fall and spring semesters each Fellow, under the supervision of the classroom teacher and the Zankel Sponsor/Supervisor, will: 

  • Provide individualized assessment and habilitation services to target students identified by the classroom teacher as performing significantly below grade level expectations in reading, writing and/or Briefly describe the project and the fellows' proposed responsibilities (answer should not exceed 750 words). * If this is a current project, you can enter the same answer as last year. 50 language skills.
  • Work closely with teachers and other support staff, attend planning meetings to align remedial intervention with classroom instruction and to share weekly progress notes. 
  • Locate and use culturally relevant children’s literature and texts with characters with hearing loss. 
  • 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. 

Plan and implement a culminating celebration for the classroom communities and staff from the Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program where children can share accomplishments with particular literature they have chosen.  

Fellowship criteria: Sign language skills, in addition to good writing and storytelling abilities.

Fellowship site: The project’s site will be 2 Hearing Education Services classrooms for children with hearing loss (one in Manhattan and one in the Bronx). Hearing Education Services (HES) is a District 75 Program within the New York City Department of Education that coordinates services for over 2,800 students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Within these classrooms the majority of students represent diverse ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds. The host schools both receive Title One funding.

Estimated time commitment per week: On average 7-10 hours per week.

Weekly schedule: The schedule will be determined in the fall.

Number of fellows in 2020-21: 2

Full project title: Human Rights Education: Empowering Newcomer & Resettled Refugee Students in New York City Public High Schools

Sponsor: Susan Garnett Russell 

Department: International & Comparative Education/ITS 

Human rights education (HRE) is a source of empowerment for marginalized communities across the globe —providing access to the transformative knowledge that every human being is deserving of the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), as well as the skills to advocate for oneself and others (Bajaj 2011; Tibbitts 2002). In New York City, where inner-city youth often face stark inequalities, legal and economic uncertainties, knowing your rights is essential, particularly for newly-arrived immigrant and re-settled refugee students attending public schools. As a lack of cultural and institutional knowledge can make newcomer and refugee youth more susceptible to discrimination and exploitation, the ongoing arrival of newcomer students in NYC schools calls for heightened attention to human rights education and related support mechanisms. 

This project will implement Human Rights Education (HRE) curricula developed by Teachers College students in my Human Rights in Africa course in the Fall of 2018. As part of the Zankel fellowship, we would work to adapt the existing HRE curricula 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 but 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 fellow(s) will adapt the existing curricula to the context of the learners in the selected NYC schools. Working closely with the classroom teachers, the fellow(s) 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 fellow(s) 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 or 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 fellow(s) 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 an inner-city, domestic context. Lastly, the fellow(s) will experiment with defining metrics for success and assessing whether the curricula achieved its intended goals.  


Fellowship criteria:  The ideal fellow for this project will have: 

  • Familiarity with human rights frameworks and human rights education pedagogy 
  • Familiarity with the 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 (ie. Spanish, French, Arabic) would be an asset 

Fellowship site: 2 High Schools in NYC.  

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

Weekly schedule: The fellow will facilitate HRE lessons in New York City public schools 1-3 days per week, depending on the schedules/needs of the selected schools. On days when not teaching, the fellow 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 2020-21:  2

Sponsor: Regina Cortina   

Department: International and Transcultural Studies, International and Comparative Education  

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. 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 at an Internationals Network for Public Schools school as tutor/mentor to a group of approximately 10 to 15 students, 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: The Ideal Fellow: 

  • Written and spoken fluency in a language other than English preferred (preferably Spanish, 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 and International Support (ELLIS) Preparatory Academy, Bronx, New York 

Estimated time commitment per week:  On average 7-10 hours per week.

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 2020-21:  2

Sponsor(s): Barbara Bashaw & Irina Lyublinskaya 
Department: Dance Education & Math, Science & Technology

Math in Motion: Elementary Math & Dance Engagement is a STEAM-oriented project that would pair students from the Dance Education Program with students from the Math, Science & Technology Program to develop and implement engaging interdisciplinary math and creative dance learning units targeted toward improving Next Generation Math Learning competencies for elementary age students while simultaneously addressing dance learning standards (NCAS, NYSED, and NYC Blueprint for Dance). Working as two individual teams, the students would be matched with Kindergarten, first- or second-grade classrooms in TC partnership schools. 

Before June 2020, interested TC partnership schools would be identified and consulted. In late August or early September, the student teams would engage in guided planning sessions facilitated by: 

  • Dr. Barbara Bashaw, Arnhold Professor of Practice in Dance Education 
  • Dr. Irina Lyublinskaya, Professor of Mathematics and Math Education 
  • Kyle Haver, Arnhold Institute Affiliate, former professional dancer, teacher, principal and Senior Director of Instructional Policy, NYC DOE (retired), and a math and dance curriculum expert. 

At the beginning of the school year, students would procure and analyze math learning data in collaboration with the cooperating classroom teachers and partner schools to identify math learning deficiencies and needs. They would conduct a collaborative literature survey as well as consult existing research pertaining to embodied math teaching and learning (An et al., 2017, 2019; Leandro et al., 2018) in addition to examining related pedagogical resources (Schaeffer & Stern, Brehm & McNett, 2008; Cone, 2012; Overby, 2005). Each team would then plan multi-modal learning units targeting math deficiencies through creative dance praxis. Both a whole-classroom approach or targeted small-group intervention model (aligned with Universal Design for Learning - UdL) could be arranged in accordance with stated school needs and data. September 2020 through May 2021, students would implement their units for six or seven hours per week in the partnership schools with periodic on-site mentorship from faculty sponsors (Bashaw & Lyublinskaya) and the Arnhold Affiliate (Haver). They would meet as teams for an additional three to four hours per week to analyze assessment data, synchronize planning in collaboration with the classroom teachers and responsively adjust their instructional plans and coordinate a culminating celebration later in the academic year. 

In March or April of 2021, the Arnhold Institute would support dual culminating celebrations during which the students would present learning outcomes and the elementary classes would demonstrate their work as well as lead interactive sessions for their school community and parents/guardians. In addition, Math Dance Company (, co-directed by Dr. Karl Schaeffer and Mr. Erik Stern, will be engaged for a school assembly. At TC, the celebration would include a similar format, with selected classrooms, school administration, and their families invited to campus. In addition, Math Dance Company would provide an interactive teacher development session for classroom and arts teachers. These celebration activities would be buttressed at TC by a seminar given by Schaeffer and Stearn as well as lectures by other leading math/dance researchers, such as Leandro and An.

Fellowship criteria: Qualified Dance Education Program doctoral students will have prior PK-12 teaching experience, particularly within elementary education and applied pedagogical knowledge of the national, state and local dance learning standards. Prior PK-12 dance teaching certification from NY or another state is preferred, but individuals with experience as a teaching artist are also welcome to apply. Prior experience in creative dance praxis, including project-based/problem-based learning and interdisciplinary learning is preferred. 

Qualified Math Education Program doctoral students will have a working knowledge of the Next Generation Standards in Mathematics, The Standards for Mathematical Practice, an interest in the New York State Next Generation Early Learning Standards as well as a desire to expand the instructional shifts required to engage early childhood students in Next Generation Math content. Math students with an interest in applied learning and project-based/problem-based learning are preferred.

Fellowship site(s): TC Partnership Elementary Schools

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

Weekly schedule (if known): Mondays: 3-4 hours of facilitation meetings and team-planning; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays or Friday: 6 to 7 hours as coordinated with individual schools

Number of fellows in 2020-21: 2

Sponsor: Pamela Koch  

Department: Health and Behavior Studies, Program in Nutrition

MS 371 is a new middle school focused on hands-on project-based learning experiences, with a critical focus on “Sustainable Earth” and “Community Justice” projects that have a specific eye toward food systems, nutrition, and garden-based education. Zankel Fellows would support the development of this programming as “Urban Farm Fellows” and “Food and Nutrition Fellows” working directly with students and teachers. 

  1. Pamela Koch, EdD, RD (Research Associate Professor and Executive Director of Program in Nutrition’s Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Nutrition, and Policy and TC alumna) has been working closely with MS 371’s Project Director/Founding Principal, Meredith Hill (Teachers College alumna, MA English Education and EdM School Leadership) to bring a focus on wellness and nutrition education to the school’s design. A number of resources created by the Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Nutrition, and Policy are being embedded into the school’s approaches. Several Teachers College faculty, staff, students, and alumni have also been involved in the MS 371 Design Team. They are: 
  • Dr. Limarys Caraballo, PhD (Curriculum & Teaching, Senior Research Fellow of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education at Teachers College, and co-director of Cyphers for Justice) 
  • Deborah Olarte, PhD student (Behavioral Nutrition with focus on School Food) 
  • Rashida Jones, PhD student (Science Education with focus on Teacher Education) 
  • Stephanie Sheehan, PhD student (Mathematics Education with focus on Project Based Learning) 
  • Raquel Vigil, MA (Curriculum & Teaching; past Environmental and Sustainability Education Zankel Fellow, TC alumni) 
  • Brigitte Magar, MA (Instructional Design and Technology, TC alumni) 

This Design Team is creating the MS 371 curriculum and wellness plan, and the school is partnering with local food and garden non-profit organizations, including Earth Matter’s farm and compost learning center on Governors Island. The Zankel fellows will provide a critical support system to launch the environmental justice and food and nutrition-related work, primarily through directly working with MS 371 students. 

Two Urban Farm Fellows will specifically support in weekly field studies at Earth Matter’s farm and compost learning center and the development of a school garden; two Food and Nutrition Fellows will support in the school, working with teachers and students on-site at the school in food- and nutrition-based lessons, as well as in supporting the development of positive breakfast and lunch practices. All fellows will collaborate with teachers and will utilize curricular resources including those developed by the MS 371 Design Team and those published by the Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy. 

The Urban Farm Fellows will spend a day (5-7 hours) per week with groups of students and teachers on-site at Earth Matter and other urban farms, and the additional 3-5 hours working with students and teachers to reflect on these experiences and prepare for future experiences. During certain parts of the season, the Briefly describe the project and the fellows' proposed responsibilities (answer should not exceed 750 words). * If this is a current project, you can enter the same answer as last year. 129 Urban Farm Fellows will also support students and teachers in directly creating a school garden on site at MS 371. Urban Farm Fellows will be trained on-site at Earth Matter and at the school and will be responsible for leading students in completing farm-based tasks and supporting teachers in working with small groups of students both during these projects and in preparation and reflection stages. 

The Food and Nutrition Fellows will work onsite 3-4 days per week (2-4 hours per day, depending on the stage of the project) supporting the projects involving food and nutrition. These will include classroom cooking projects and other nutrition-based lessons that align to curricular standards. These projects may include taste tests, cooking, or other activities requiring preparation, so the Food and Nutrition Fellows may also spend time prepping projects, working with small groups of students in this preparation phase as often as possible so students can be involved in the entire process. In addition, the Food and Nutrition Fellows will support students in some of the school’s positive cafeteria culture programming, such as family-style meals and garden-to-cafe menu options. 

Both Urban Farm Fellows and Food and Nutrition Fellows will work alongside certified Department of Education Teachers in all student-facing endeavors. These positions will enable the school to launch and support development of innovative, progressive curricular approaches that we hope will create a model to share with other schools. If we are not granted four Zankel Fellows, we will adjust the model for support (i.e. one Urban Farm Fellow and one Food and Nutrition Fellow, or a scaled-down model with one fellow’s support in aspects of both capacities). These Zankel Fellows will provide much-needed support as MS 371 is in its initial capacity-building year. 

Fellowship criteria:  The Urban Farm Fellows should have experience in farming, gardening, or compost - or just enthusiasm for learning more about urban farming and a willingness to dig in! For Food and Nutrition Fellows, knowledge of food systems, sustainable agriculture experience, nutrition background, and/or culinary experience is prefered, but a willingness to learn is the most important. All fellows will need an open-minded attitude, an interest in working with middle school age youth, and strong collaboration skills. 

Fellowship site: MS 371, a new NYC Department of Education middle school opening Fall 2020 in Harlem Community School District 5 (at 425 W. 130th Street), and partnership urban farm/garden sites. 

Estimated time commitment per week:  Each fellow will spend a minimum of 7 hours per week working with youth, with many weeks entailing 9-10 hours. Students will be directly involved with the fellow and teachers on reflection on projects and planning for future experiences as possible. Depending on the project, fellows may spend between 1-3 hours per week preparing for the week’s project. This work will be done in collaboration with the teachers, but will entail collaboration with students as much as possible.

Weekly schedule: Urban Farm Fellow - One day spent on urban farm field trips each week (Tues, Weds, or Thurs, TBD); additional hours TBD. Food and Nutrition Fellow - 3-4 days per week at school, hours TBD. 

Number of fellows in 2020-21:  2

Sponsor: Kyle Hagenburger

Department: Office of School and Community Partnerships (OSCP) 

Through the Raising Educational Achievement Coalition of Harlem (REACH) project, Teachers College convenes a group of local 3-K through 12 public schools to work collaboratively to improve student achievement through a variety of community school supports. For our partner schools, REACH implements a set of coherent and strategic actions that increases access to comprehensive educational opportunity within the following areas: expanded learning opportunities, attendance, physical and mental health, curriculum and instruction, and family engagement.

Zankel Fellows are key supports in our expanded learning opportunities (ELO) program, helping provide students in our partner schools with high-quality enrichment opportunities to develop academic skills, content knowledge, and/or socio-emotional skills. Fellows design hands-on, inquiry-based projects that are aligned to learning standards, and deliver these directly to students in after school, lunch time, or push-in settings (typically twice per week); programs result in a culminating project that is showcased for parents and school stakeholders. The ELO Specialist will work with selected Fellows to identify or design a program that considers both the needs of the schools and the skill set/interests of the Fellow. Some examples of ELO programs that have been designed and facilitated by graduate students in prior years include: literary magazine, debate, art club, science/tech programs, health/nutrition programs, math club, and mentoring programs.

Fellows are supported by the REACH ELO Specialist who provides group professional development and individualized support to help the Fellows develop, implement, monitor, and refine programming; the ELO Specialist also serves as a bridge between the schools and Fellows, helping to coordinate and troubleshoot during the school year. Fellows can expect to benefit from the opportunity to share their skills and knowledge with youth from the Harlem community.

Fellowship criteria:  Fellows should 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 in under-resourced urban public schools or community-based organizations (CBOs) serving youth and families. Former classroom teaching or mentoring experience is preferred, though not necessarily required. Strong organization, time management, lesson planning, and instructional/facilitation skills will be required. Interest in youth development, creative writing, health, STEM and/or service-learning is preferred. We are looking for individuals with a mindset that embraces flexibility and understanding of the changing needs of schools and students, and those who want to provide positive and engaging experiences for students.

Fellowship site: FDA II, Heritage, PS 36, CS 154 

Estimated time commitment per week:  On average, 8-10 hours per week.

Weekly schedule:  Fellows work 2-3 days per week at one or two school sites. Most will work during after school hours (2:30 pm - 5:30 pm), but programs can also be designed during a school's' lunch period (11:00 am - 1:00 pm) or as a push-in opportunity during the school day (8 am - 2:30 pm). Programs typically begin the first week in October and run through mid-May, with a break between the TC fall and spring semesters. Exact schedules will be determined based on placement, Fellow schedules, and a school's need. Professional development sessions and meetings will be scheduled throughout the year based on the Fellows' schedules on an as needed basis. 

Number of fellows in 2020-21:  11

Sponsor: Susan Masullo  

Department: Health and Behavior Studies/Reading Specialist Program

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. 
  • Intervention sessions to be done 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 two or three meetings each semester with the designated school contact, the Zankel Sponsor/Supervisor, classroom teachers, and a member of the REACH team to review student performance based on analysis of student work and to plan next steps.

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 sociocultural 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: Heritage High School 

Estimated time commitment per week: 10 hours per week.

Weekly schedule:  Weekly schedules will be coordinated between the Fellows and the school’s teachers to whom they are assigned by the school’s designated contact person. This should be done in September of the school year. There should also be regular meetings throughout the school year which should include the Fellows, the Zankel Sponsor/Supervisor, the school’s designated contact person, the cooperating teachers, and a representative from the Office of School and Community Program/REACH. These meetings should be designed to review and analyze student progress, teaching methods and materials, and plan next steps for instruction. The Fellows will also be required to meet with the Zankel Sponsor/Supervisor twice a month at Teachers College.  

Number of fellows in 2020-21:  2

Sponsor: Nancy Eppler-Wolff  

Department: Counseling and Clinical Psychology 

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.

Specifically, the proposed responsibilities of Zankel Fellows are to: 

  1. Work in Kindergarten-Grade 5 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. 
  2. Advise and consult with classroom teachers about the SEL curriculum ( Second Step, SEL Briefly describe the project and the fellows' proposed responsibilities (answer should not exceed 750 words). * If this is a current project, you can enter the same answer as last year. 34 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. Fellows will work with the teacher to integrate the SEL concepts into the classroom culture. 
  3. Create and co-lead SEL parent activities. 
  4. Create and co-lead paraprofessional workshop series. 
  5. Participate in psychoeducational workshops for faculty. 
  6. 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. 
  7. Option to lead a children's social skills group.

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:  Fellows need to have completed a course in child psychotherapy or equivalent, and have had prior experience (and supervision) doing child treatment.  

Fellowship site: Teachers College Community School; 1 other NYC public school TBD  

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 2020-21:  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 TC Community School. Fellows will work in pairs in collaboration with TC faculty, TCCS faculty, staff and parents. This fellowship will involve developing and refining a school year curriculum for children in the lower school at TCCS (pre-K- 2nd grade) that involves an innovative creative movement program designed to promote physical activity and good health, and to foster motor development, which can be delayed in children from low resourced families and children who spend a lot of time in sedentary activities (such as watching TV and screen time), and affecting readiness to learn. The target population are children attending the TCCS. Our primary goal is to improve physical activity and health in children and to foster institutionalization of physical activity into the school setting. Physical inactivity and "screen time" are consistently associated with childhood obesity and contribute to developmental delays. Influences in early childhood and beyond are central to the establishment of healthy behaviors that can persist throughout adulthood. Concurrently with program development and implementation, we are collecting process and behavioral outcomes to evaluate the program's effectiveness using the RE AIM 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 children in enjoyable, developmentally and culturally appropriate creative physical activity sessions. Pedagogically, the project draws upon the best of social constructivist theory, imaginative play, community sharing, and a motor development approach to teaching and learning. SKIP! Is a comprehensive curriculum designed to be implemented in schools. This year we plan to train faculty to be able to incorporate physical activity into their classroom. We will provide some complete lesson plans and all materials and music needed to implement the program will be provided to the teaching staff.

The Zankel Fellows, now in our second year at TCCS, will further develop lesson plans and training manuals, audio and video media for curriculum implementation that can be used by the current and future fellows and teachers.

Fellowship criteria:  Specific key skills needed for this project: 

  1. Ability to develop and lead movement and physical activities for preK to 2nd grade children 
  2. Ability to work with groups of children, including young children with disability. 
  3. Understanding of motor and cognitive development of children 
  4. Good communication skills 
  5. Ability to work in a team 
  6. Interest in collecting outcomes data and being involved in presentation and publication of the results is desirable, but not required 
  7. Fluency in Spanish is desirable

Fellowship site: TC Community School (Lower School)  

Estimated time commitment per week:  On average, 8-10 hours per week.

Weekly schedule:  The schedule is developed at the start of the school year in collaboration with the TCCS school staff. Zankel Fellows need to be available during the school day and typically work at the school on 1-2 days per week in blocks of 2-3 hours. Scheduling for meetings and other work is flexible and set according to the schedule of the faculty member and other Zankel fellows.

Number of fellows in 2020-21:  2

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 

ABC’s after school program takes place daily from 2:30 to 6pm at the Graham School campus in East Harlem, and is designed for youth ages 5 to 21. The program is a critical resource for families in the school’s immediate community, many of whom attended ABC’s early childhood programs. Many of the approximately 80 students served by this program have special needs, including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), while also being affected by socio-contextual risks.

Through such activities as tutoring, homework help, and structured recreation, the ABC after school program is designed to support the academic and social-emotional development of at- risk youth, including their positive self-esteem/self-determinism, self-regulation, and creativity. Many youth in the program are students with special needs, including ASD, who have individualized education plans (IEPs). Unfortunately, the volunteer staff for the program are not trained to work with individuals with special needs, and even youths’ parents often struggle to support their academic/homework needs effectively. Thus, there is a significant need for further support to achieve the important goals of this special program.

The ABC after school program would significantly benefit from Zankel fellows with special education expertise who can work directly with youth in this program. There are three components to this fellowship:

  1. First, fellows will work directly with youth to support their academic and social development through tutoring and homework support. With a growing number of children diagnosed with ASD and other disabilities attending the program, it is important to have fellows who are trained to work specifically with students with special needs. Fellows will support youth with a wide range of tasks, including executive functioning tasks such as organizing their daily assignments, projects, and plan book; providing direct academic instruction to help students complete homework and long term assignments; developing strategies to support youth’s sensory needs (e.g., sensory breaks); providing positive behavior supports to decrease challenging behaviors and support students in an emotionally responsive way; and supporting students in developing critical thinking skills. When working with students, fellows will be expected to help students develop a deeper understanding of academic subjects through the use of questioning, analyzing texts, incorporating background knowledge, and making connections. Thus, the first goal of the fellow is not simply to get homework completed, but to help the student develop critical thinking, reading, writing, and math skills while at the same time modeling (for the after school team) principles of Universal Design for Learning and differentiation to further support all learners within the program. In this way, the fellows’ work may have a far-reaching impact on all students in the after school program. 
  2. Second, as part of their direct work with youth, the fellows will help 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. Youth-serving organizations often make decisions about programming and activities with little youth input. The administrators at ABC recognize this shortcoming of other youth programs and aim to develop a youth-centered engagement opportunity for the students who participate in their after-school program, many of whom have special needs and for whom it is critically important to foster self-determinism, self-efficacy, and leadership skills. The Zankel fellows will serve as youth leadership council coordinators who will offer coaching, support, and skills- building exercises to support youth in the planning, research and implementation stages of a project of their choosing. The goal of this aspect of the program is to engage youth with their after-school community, get them involved with research and problem solving, and to build youth capacity and ownership in the creation of activities that are meaningful to them. 
  3. Finally, based on their knowledge and skills in the areas of child development and special education, the fellows will be involved with providing professional development workshops and training to support afterschool staff in the use of effective strategies when working with youth with special needs (e.g., ASD). Fellows will provide materials and model strategies that can inform the staff about the core challenges of ASD and support them in engaging in intervention supports that will improve students’ well-being in the program. For example, fellows may support the volunteer staff in creating sensory tools and sensory break areas; designing positive behavior interventions; and provide information to staff on how to implement Universal Design for Learning in the after-school program.

Fellowship criteria:  Fellows will need a background in special education and first-hand experience working with youth with developmental disabilities. As there are increasing numbers of students with special needs, including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), being served by these programs, fellows should have experience working with these populations in particular. Fellows 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:  The Association to Benefit Children (ABC) Graham School at Echo Park in East Harlem 

Estimated time commitment per week:  10 hours per week

Weekly schedule:  Fellows 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 (days of the week) for a fellow can be determined in consultation with the staff at the ABC after- school program. 

Number of fellows in 2020-21:  2

Sponsor: Sonali Rajan  

Department: Health and Behavior Studies 

The purpose of this project would be for our Zankel Fellow to 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 during the 2020 – 2021 AY. This project would take place in conjunction with the support of the staff of the non-profit organization Girls on the Run: NYC.

Each Girls on the Run season is 10 weeks in length and the curricula are implemented twice a year (for a total of 20 weeks of direct service to youth during the 2020 – 2021 AY). Currently the program takes place in 49 elementary and middle schools in New York City. It should be noted that Girls on the Run serves over 200,000 girls annually across the United States.

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). More details on the Girls on the Run program content and learning objectives can be found here:

The program is implemented directly in each school, twice a week, by volunteer coaches who are trained at the beginning of the school year by the Girls on the Run staff (coach training length is 5-6 hours and our Zankel Fellow would be expected to attend this training once in September 2020). Our Zankel Fellow would directly implement the Girls on the Run program in one of our highest need sites (Site A) twice a week during the fall 2020 and spring 2021 seasons.

Our Zankel Fellow would then spend an additional 4 hours per week during the 2020 – 2021 AY providing critical programmatic support to two other low-income public schools (Sites B and C) who are also implementing Girls on the Run. Specifically, this portion of the fellowship would involve our Zankel Fellow assessing program implementation and fidelity (via measurement tools developed by Dr. Rajan in conjunction with the Executive Director of Girls on the Run, Allison Hauser), 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 these data to improve program fidelity and ultimately maximize the effectiveness of this program.

Each Girls on the Run season concludes with a community-wide 5K running event, that celebrates the 1500 girls across the NYC school system who participate in Girls on the Run each academic year. Our Zankel Fellow would be a part of this event in both the fall and spring.

Fellowship criteria:  Seeking a high-energy, passionate, and reliable Fellow, dedicated to fostering the well-being of young girls. 

Fellowship site: TBD 

Estimated time commitment per week:  9-10 hours per week.

Weekly schedule:  The exact schedule at the moment is not known, but here is how I anticipate a typical week looking: 

  • Fall 2020 – Spring 2021 
    • 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 2020-21:  1

Sponsor: Amy Hawley Alvarez  

Department: Office of School and Community Partnerships (OSCP) 

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. These fellows will be General Music Instructors for grades PreK-8th (3 fellows), Reading Rescue Literacy Tutors (2 Fellows), Science (3 Fellows) and Math Interventionist (1 Fellow).

Fellowship criteria:  Zankel Fellows should have experience working with children in a school setting, preferably as a work study student or Zankel Fellow at TCCS. They should have a strong background in math, science, writing, reading, and/or music, and enjoy teaching, mentoring, and guiding youth. They should have a spirit of flexibility and ability to work with teachers and school aides of various disciplines. For science, the fellow must have a substitute license or a Department of Education teaching ticense. For music, a NY state teaching license is preferred (but we will consider any licensed teacher). 

Fellowship site: Teachers College Community School 

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

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

Number of fellows in 2020-21:  9

Sponsor: Detra Price-Dennis 

Department: MST - CMLTD 

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 Tech4SocialChange (T4SC) project is located at PS 142 with a former TC Alumna, Noelle Mapes. For the 2020-2021 school year, our plan is to explore various apps, platforms, and software to explore questions and ideas connected to project-based social justice initiatives they are interested in investigating. The goal of this project is to link 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 one Zankel 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 to introducing them to apps, coding, and web 2.0 platforms, the Fellow will attend weekly planning meeting with Prof. Price-Dennis to debrief, catalog data, and create an agenda for each classroom session; administer a survey a the beginning and end of the semester; take notes and create a reflection after each session; and audio record and 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. 

Teaching in our current socio political climate under heightened professional scrutiny and excessive standardized testing can be challenging and stressful. My hope for this project is to provide support for a classroom teacher who is interested in learning how to create space in the curriculum for students to curate messages they want to convey about social change through the use of digital tools. I appreciate your consideration of my application.

Fellowship criteria:  Knowledge of Edtech; experience working with elementary students; positive attitude; dependable; excellent organizational skills

Fellowship site: PS 142 Amalia Castro Elementary School 

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

Weekly schedule:  Monday 10am-2pm (classroom) ; Wednesday 10am-2pm (classroom); Planning 2 hours (date depends on teaching schedule) 

Number of fellows in 2020-21:  1

Sponsor: Ansley Erickson  

Department: EPSA - Politics & Ed and A&H - History & Ed   

Youth Historians in Harlem is one aspect of the Harlem Education History Project, a project of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education and the Center on History and Education. Youth Historians has been working since 2012 in a variety of capacities at Frederick Douglass Academy 2 in central Harlem and in 2018 added a partnership with Wadleigh Secondary School (co-located with FDA2). Both schools serve a high-needs population of students of color from the immediate Harlem community and from other parts of New York City. 

The project engages high-school-aged youth in learning about the history of their local community. Over the life of the program, we have worked in small-group, after-school Settings, in summer institutes, and in school-day co-teaching partnerships. In the 2019-20 year, and continuing in the 2020-21 year, we are co-developing a semester-long course to meet the existing NYS requirement for civics/”Participation in Government” through an intensive focus on the history of education and Black and Latinx educational activism in Harlem. We call the course Harlem Civics, and after an initial pilot in one class at FDA2 last year the revised course has been offered one period daily at FDA2 and two periods daily at Wadleigh. 

Zankel Fellows on the project have been Teachers College graduate students in History and Education, Social Studies Education, or in other fields with related experience. For Fellows who are future historians, the program offers a unique perspective on historical research in more public and participatory forms. For Fellows who are future teachers or teacher educators, the program offers experience in engaging students in local historical research and in considering the implications of local history and community history for future work as a teacher

Fellowship criteria:  Fellows will need to have skills in classroom leadership, individual and small-group work with students, and the ability to work collaboratively with teaching partners to design history-focused curriculum. The program depends upon fellows either already possessing, or being willing to gain, knowledge of the history of Harlem and its educational history. 

Fellowship site: Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing and Visual Arts and Frederick Douglass Academy 2  

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

Weekly schedule:  The schedule is not yet known, as it depends on how the class is scheduled at both schools and what co teacher schedules allow for planning meetings.This year Fellows have been present in classes 1-2 mornings per week, have participated in one afternoon planning meeting on site, and one team meeting at TC, in addition to independently-scheduled time on curriculum material development.  

Number of fellows in 2020-21:  2

Sponsor: Lalitha Vasudevan

Department: EPSA - Politics & Ed and A&H - History & Ed   

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, we have 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, researchers, policymakers, and members of the broader public. 

The MASCLab Zankel Fellows will be involved with Youth Media and Wellbeing Project at the Educational Video Center. The parameters of the project will be adapted to the site’s specific needs, but will maintain these shared characteristics:

  • To work with youth, using media tools, to call attention to social issues of significance for youth and their communities and represent them in a way that is accessible for new audiences
  • To make these artifacts publicly 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: ie, video or film, audio podcast, photographs, digital platform, etc.; this year one current Zankel Fellow is creating a podcast with EVC youth) 
  • To work with MASCLab faculty to create media about the civic education outcomes from collaborative filmmaking to share with educators, afterschool program staff, and others to support their use of media for social change in their pedagogies. 

The Fellows will be placed at the Educational Video Center, 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. The young people who participate in EVC workshops come from all over New York City; some receive high school credit, others receive a stipend, and others participate voluntarily without remuneration. 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. This coming year, MASCLab will partner with EVC to create programming for recent alumni who want to continue producing films and other media about social issues. 

Fellows will meet weekly together 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. 

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 skills 
  • Willingness to be flexible and responsive to dynamic teaching and learning circumstances 
  • Sense of humor 

Fellowship site: Educational Video Center  

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

Weekly schedule:  Fellows will spend 2-3 days/week at EVC, working alongside youth as mentors and supporting the ongoing youth documentary 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 2020-21:  3

The deadline for Zankel Sponsor applications for 2020-2021 has passed. The 2021-2022 applications will be live in February 2021. Please check back then.

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 Alvarez 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 $11,000 will be paid in two installments of $5,500, 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 Alvarez, 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

Thank you to the 300 plus students who applied for the 2020-2021 Zankel Fellowship. As of August 1, 2020, most of the placements have been decided. Due to the uncertainity surrounding how school for NYC public schools will be held, we appreciate your patience as the remaining fellowship spots are evaluated. All applications are kept on file for the academic year in case any openings become available. 

*Disclaimer* Due to the nature of the fellowship, some sites may have returning fellows, thus decreasing the amount needed for that site. All returning fellows must still fill out an application to be considered. Also, you will not be considered for the Zankel Fellowship unless you have completed a FAFSA for 2020-2021. Note that TC's Federal School Code is: G03979.

Questions or problems? Email: