Arthur Zankel Urban Fellowship

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Office of School and Community Partnerships

Office of School and Community Partnerships

Arthur Zankel Urban Fellowship

The application for the 2021-2022 academic year will be available on Friday, March 5, 2021. Please visit the "Apply" tab above. THE PRIORITY DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS IS FRIDAY, MARCH 26, 2021.

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 2021-2022 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 five 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 2021-2022. 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.

2021-2022 Fellowship Projects

The fellowship projects listed below have been approved for the 2021-2022 academic year and will host a total of 62 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 number of fellows needed for that site. All returning fellows must still fill out an application to be considered.

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 take 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, Students In Temporary Housing) however there are opportunities
nationally such as Michigan and Georgia and abroad in places like Turkey and China.

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 2021-22: 5

Sponsor: Regina Cortina   

Department: International and Transcultural Studies, International and Comparative Education  

The project’s site is the ELLIS Prep, a high school within the Internationals Network for Public Schools, which serves newcomers to the U.S. who have arrived to the country within four years prior to enrollment. The majority of students are emergent bilinguals (ELLs) who represent diverse ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds, having arrived from French, Spanish, and Creole speaking countries of the Caribbean, Central and South America, as well as from West Africa, Pakistan, China, Uzbekistan, Tibet, and Yemen among other regions. At IHSPH, roughly 38% of students are classified as Hispanic, 30% Black, 19% Asian, and 13% White, and the majority qualify for free lunch. This school represents a diverse learning environment where opportunities to engage in intercultural and plurilingual teaching and learning strategies abound.  

The forces of globalization that are converging to produce contexts of “super-diversity” (Vertovec, 2007) in 21st century classrooms call us to rethink and reform the delivery of social services such as education. Students’ individual and academic identities are defined by multiple and often complex sets of variables, including not only ethnicity and race, but also linguistic repertoire, legal and socioeconomic statuses, and pre-migration experiences. “Super-diversity” calls attention to these multiple identities, knowledges, experiences, and strengths that all students bring to the classroom, reminding us that we must adapt our pedagogical strategies to understand and leverage this diversity. Simply put, educators must recognize, relate to, and leverage the heterogeneous backgrounds and languages of their students in order to foster their high school achievement and college readiness.  

Super-diversity is especially salient at ELLIS Prep, whose student body presents challenging yet unique opportunities for educators seeking to coach students to academic success in heterogeneous classrooms. Students arrive with funds of knowledge from their home countries, and yet, schools serving these students often lack the administrative, financial, and human resources to develop and implement the linguistically and culturally relevant pedagogical supports whose cognitive, socio-emotional, and academic benefits for emergent bilinguals have been proven (Thomas and Collier, 2002; García, 2009). Teachers must help immigrant and ELL students overcome the challenges of interrupted formal education and low literacy skills in their home languages, which make acculturation into academic English and a college-going environment extremely challenging. In NYC, like in most of the country, the lower graduation rates of ELLs highlights how accountability measures and high-stakes standardized testing have increased their dropout rates while putting increased pressure on schools with many Latino and immigrant students (Abedi 2004). 

While teachers and staff at ELLIS Prep specialize in ESL 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 super-diverse classroom of students in a culturally relevant manner while still meeting accountability and college-readiness standards.

During the 2020-2021  years, the Fellows’ roles have been to assist in and outside 9th/10th and 12th grade classrooms (this year it was 1 science classroom, 1 math classroom, and two humanities classrooms). The goal is to scaffold students into academic history, math and science competency, while simultaneously building upon their English language growth and proficiency. The Fellows provide teacher and student support two days a week during class and sometimes at lunch or after school, for a total of about 6 hours of work with students and teachers and about 4 hours of prep and meetings. In class, they help students make sense of the assignments and engage students to think creatively about history, math, and scientific concepts in applicable and exploratory ways. Often, they prepare homework help and test study sessions during the lunch period to provide extra support to students, focusing on literacy supports that will help them on their portfolio projects and, in turn, to develop skills necessary for post-secondary studies. We encourage Fellows to attend as many faculty meetings and other school events that might help them integrate into the school community. The Fellows have built strong relationships with students and teachers at the high school, which has paved the path for the school to desire Fellows to continue to help at the school. Thus, students and faculty at ELLIS Prep are benefiting from enhanced academic and literacy support, while the Fellows and our team are learning from ELLIS Prep teachers and staff about culturally and linguistically relevant pedagogical strategies. 

Fellowship criteria: 

  • 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 or by Zoom (2 to 3 days per week for 2 to 3 hours per session). 

Number of fellows in 2021-22:  2

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. They also need to be reflexive about their own racial identity and how it shapes their teaching practice.

Fellowship site: Wadleigh Secondary School, Columbia Double Discovery Center, Harlem Educational Activities Fund

Estimated time commitment per week:  On average, total 10 hours per week. 5 hours of time co-teaching at school or partner site, 2 hours weekly co-teacher planning meeting, 1 hour weekly Zankel fellow team meeting, and 1-2 hours individual preparation time (focused on preparing curriculum materials).

Weekly schedule: The schedule is not yet known, but will involve at least two mornings or afternoons per week of time in direct work with students. Other meetings, including with the faculty supervisor and co-fellow, will be scheduled depending on the participant’s needs. 

Number of fellows in 2021-22:  2

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

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

Weekly schedule:  Zankel Fellows will have 5 hours per week at TCCS and 4-5 hours in preparatory activities, for a maximum of 10 hours per week. The specific schedule will be determined according to TCCS school needs and the student's academic schedule during school hours Monday-Friday (~8:30am-2 pm). 

Number of fellows in 2021-22:  3

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: PS 36 Margaret Douglas, FDA II, PS 154 Harriet Tubman (contingent on being awarded a DOE grant), Heritage (contingent on being awarded a DOE grant), PS 30 (contingent on being awarded a DOE grant)

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 (programming is conducted remotely via Zoom or Google Classroom during COVID closures). In-person programs generally run after school (2:30-5:30 pm), or may be designed during a school's lunch period (11:00 am - 1:00 pm) or as a push-in program during the school day (8 am - 2:30 pm). Remote programming mainly occurs during the school day as a push in program (between 8 am - 2:30 pm), though some may be offered after school. Programs typically begin during 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 school schedules. Professional development sessions and meetings will be scheduled throughout the year based on the Fellows' schedules and as needed.

Number of fellows in 2021-22:  11

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

The fellow will work closely with faculty and students in two secondary schools (one in Brooklyn, the other in Queens). The fellow will organize after-school sessions for students where they can examine, over the course of the school year, challenging ethical issues associated with the right of free speech, the right to respect and dignity as a human being, the right to work, and the right to have an equitably funded education. Students will be invited from all grades to participate, and will be expected to make a commitment (circumstances permitting) to sustain their participation for either the full fall or spring semester, or both.
The sessions will be 45 minutes, once a week. The fellow will guide students in the arts of ethical inquiry, drawing on philosophical conceptions of dialogue and conversation. The fellow will make available short written materials for discussion (supported through our program here at Teachers College). In addition, the fellow will work with school faculty to integrate ethical-minded discussion in the regular classroom. They will schedule classroom visits every week (pandemic conditions permitting), in each of which they will be available to help a given class think about ethical ramifications of what they are studying, or to actually take over instruction for a portion of a class with the teacher’s permission and support. Finally, the fellow will meet regularly with me, as faculty sponsor, to report on how things are faring, what they are learning, and what they plan to do in ensuing weeks.

Fellowship criteria: Our proposed fellow will have been a full-time teacher before beginning doctoral study here in the College. They will have a strong philosophical grounding in ethics and moral philosophy, and will have begun serious study of pedagogical approaches to teaching ethics in K-12 schools. They will also have experimented with teaching ethics in their prior full-time practice. Finally, they will have a good perspective on the critical importance of ethics education for children and youth, as well as an abiding commitment to excellence in teaching.

Fellowship site:  Urban Assembly School of Music and Art; Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School

Estimated time commitment per week: The fellow will devote an average of 10 hours per week working directly with urban young people, both after-school and during school hours.

Weekly schedule: The fellow will meet with sponsor regularly to review their work, and to plan subsequent classroom- and school-based activities with youth. The fellow will also undertake systematic reading on both ethics and the teaching of ethics in schools; Sponsor will provide the bibliography for this scholarly aspect of the project.

Number of fellows in 2021-22: 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. 

Fellowship criteria: 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 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 site: PS 333 (Bronx), Chelsea Prep (NYC) but others may emerge.

Estimated time commitment per week: 10 hours per week.

Weekly schedule: To be determined in the fall in cooperation with host school current staff and schedule.

Number of fellows in 2021-22: 2

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 enrolled 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. 

Each year, TC provides enriched learning experiences for students in every grade through the Zankel Fellows program. Fellows at TCCS provide school-day and after-school support. Each year, we seek 2-3 fellows for one-on-one reading intervention with first and second grade students. We also seek 2-3 fellows in music instruction for PreK-8 grades (general music, choir, violin, and digital music) annually. Other fellows may be chosen in areas such as math, science, art, foreign languages, or school counseling, depending on the needs of TCCS for the 2021-2022 school year. 

Fellowship criteria:  Zankel Fellows for TCCS should have experience working with/teaching PreK-8 students in an urban school setting. Fellows should have a strong background in the area they wish to apply for: music, reading and writing, math, science, art, foreign languages, or school counseling. They should enjoy teaching, mentoring, and guiding youth, and have a spirit of flexibility and ability to work with others.

Fellowship site: Teachers College Community School 

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

Weekly schedule:  Zankel Fellows will instruct or assistant a DOE teacher with instruction 6-8 hours per week, and spend 2-4 hours per week planning and preparing. The final weekly schedule will be determined based on school needs. 

Number of fellows in 2021-22:  8

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 

Project Background
The ABC Graham School at Echo Park is an early childhood and inclusive education program in East Harlem serving children with and without special needs with complex support needs. In addition to the early-intervention/pre-kindergarten program, 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. Both the early childhood and after-school programs are a critical resource for families in the school’s immediate community.

What is the need?
A Fellow is needed in the early childhood setting to support youth in these settings to provide individualized academic support, services, or group activities with youth. The Fellow assigned to the after-school setting is needed to support the academic and social-emotional development of attendees through tutoring, homework help, and structured recreation. Given the complex needs of youth with disabilities in the after-school program, a fellow is urgently needed to assist the volunteer staff in supporting the needs of individuals with special needs.

How will a Zankel fellow serve this need?
The ABC after school program would significantly benefit from the Zankel fellow with special education expertise who can work directly with youth in this program. There are several components to this fellowship:

First, the fellow 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 both the early childhood and after-school programs, it is important to have a fellow who is trained to work specifically with students with complex needs. The Fellow assigned to work in the early-intervention pre-k program will develop and implemented a positive, structured, consistent, and developmentally-appropriate set of activities to support children’s early literacy, numeracy, and other activities to promote academic development. We anticipate that these programs will run in an in-person format in the upcoming academic year, but we will be prepared to provide online supports if that becomes necessary. In the after-school setting, the fellow will support youth with a wide range of academic tasks, including providing direct academic instruction to help students complete homework and long-term assignments, and assisting students to develop a deeper understanding of academic subjects through the use of questioning, analyzing texts, incorporating background knowledge, and making connections. Activities in the after-school environment will be designed so that all students are included and supported. Literacy support will be provided for those students with reading and writing challenges. Support will also include assistance with aspects of academic success related to organizing daily assignments, projects, and planning calendars. Finally, the fellow will support youths’ social-emotional needs by working with students to develop strategies to support their 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. Thus, the goal of this project 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 fellow’s work may have a far-reaching impact on all students in the after-school program.

Second, as part of their direct work with youth in the after-school program, the fellow may 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 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.

Finally, based on the fellow's knowledge and skill in the areas of child development and special education, the fellow will be involved with providing professional development workshops and training to support after-school staff in the use of effective strategies when working with youth with special needs, develop 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.

Fellowship criteria:  The Fellow 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, the fellow should have experience working with these populations in particular. The Fellow will ideally have experience and/or strong interest working with culturally diverse families, under resourced families, those living in poverty, and those affected by homelessness. 

Fellowship site:  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:  The Fellow will work two days per week to support the after school program. The after-school program takes place Monday to Friday from 2:30 to 6pm. The exact schedule (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 2021-22:  1

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. If life under the pandemic allows, we would like to facilitate part of the program in our Thingspace.

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 

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. 

Number of fellows in 2021-22:  2

Sponsor: Pamela Koch  

Department: Health and Behavior Studies, Program in Nutrition

MS 371 SEED: Harlem 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. Two Zankel Fellows will support the development of this programming as a “Garden Fellow” and a “Food and Nutrition Fellow” working directly with students and teachers. Dr. 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)
  • Michael Carapezza, MA student (Curriculum & Teaching)
  • 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)

The school is partnering with local food and garden non-profit organizations to launch the curriculum and wellness plans developed by the design team. 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. A Garden Fellow will specifically support weekly garden-based workshops to build a school garden at MS 371 and at partner organizations, including local youth gardens and Earth Matter’s farm and compost learning center on Governors Island. A Food and Nutrition Fellow will work with teachers and students onsite at the school in food- and nutrition-based lessons, as well as in supporting the development of positive breakfast and lunch practices. The fellow 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. 

A Garden Fellow will spend 2-4 days per week (for a total of 7-9 hours) with groups of students and teachers on-site developing the school garden or at Earth Matter and other urban farms, and the additional 1-3 hours working with students and teachers to reflect on these experiences and prepare for future experiences. A Garden Fellow will be trained onsite at Earth Matter and at the school and will be responsible for leading students in completing garden-based tasks and supporting teachers in working with small groups of students both during these projects and in preparation and reflection stages.

A Food and Nutrition Fellow 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 nutrition-based lessons that align to curricular standards that are embedded in PE classes or offered during breakfast or lunch experiences. A Food and Nutrition Fellow 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, a Food and Nutrition Fellow will support students in some of the school’s positive breakfast and lunch culture programming, such as family-style meals and garden-to-cafe menu options. Both a Garden Fellow and Food and Nutrition Fellow will work alongside certified Department of Education Teachers in all student-facing endeavors. The fellows 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. The fellows will provide much-needed support as MS 371 expands in its second year.

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

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

Estimated time commitment per week:  The fellows 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 fellows 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: Garden Fellow - 2-3 days per week at school (3-4 hours per day) to support in morning, recess, and/or afternoon gardening; 1 day per week may be used for off-campus garden workshops and/or garden preparations. Food and Nutrition Fellow - 3-4 days per week at school, schedule TBD, to offer PE classes nutrition workshops, and breakfast and lunch support.

Number of fellows in 2021-22:  2

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

Zankel Fellows will be placed in bilingual schools with integrated co-teaching classrooms (ICT) where children with and without IEPs (with and without labeled disabilities) are learning in two languages.  This Zankel fellowship will involve teacher candidates in a project for which they will dedicate a total of 10 hours a week of their time. I propose that teacher candidates work with 10-15 elementary level bilingual children categorized with disabilities in and out of school (afterschool) context for a total of 7 hours direct work with the children. Since most children are bilingual and have a disability, groups need to be small so that candidates can really focus on learning with, and following the varied ways of learning of, children. Each afterschool program will include 10-15 children (the goal of this proposal), so the proposed project will reach up to 45 bilingual children with and without disabilities (one-two inclusive Spanish bilingual schools and one inclusive Chinese bilingual school–with 10-15 children per group).

Additionally, I would like to continue the research team meetings for 2 hours a week, during which we meet to reflect about and plan our work in the afterschool program and in the day school (i.e., Zankel fellows, doctoral candidates, and instructors from BBE). During these meetings, fellows codesign the curriculum of the afterschool program and discuss children’s learning. Specifically, I propose to involve teacher candidates, who are from our recently created program where candidates are seeking triple certification in childhood, bilingual extension, and teaching students with disabilities in a blended during school 5 hours a
week) and afterschool program (2 additional hours) for exploring the varied ways of learning of bilingual children with a disability (i.e., mostly soft disability categories such as specific learning disability or speech and language impairment). The candidates will be placed in bilingual schools with integrated coteaching classrooms (ICT) where children with and without a disability are learning in two languages. Such classrooms have a high need for varied ways of approaching teaching and learning and for innovation. During after school hours, the program will provide children with iPads and cameras with which the students will generate photographs and videos. Participating children will use the technology to explore their communities and bilingual/bicultural knowledge. An interdisciplinary exploration integrating multimodality in literacy, science, and art will be facilitated to learn about how children can expand what counts as knowledge and learning as they work with teacher candidates and researchers. The Zankel Fellows will also observe and teach the children, and learn from them during their regular schooling hours to deepen their knowledge of the children’s ways of learning and to facilitate bridging mediators between the after school and in school learning.

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

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

The proposed responsibilities for each Zankel fellow will include:

  • Teaching up to 15 bilingual children with disabilities during 5 hours a week during their regular schooling hours across all content areas during their dual language instruction.
  • Implementing an innovative interdisciplinary curriculum for 2 hours a week with a group of up to 15 elementary-level children.
  • Co-designing a technology rich curriculum to learn about the ways of learning of a group of bilingual children with learning disabilities for the afterschool during weekly meetings with Dr. Patricia Martínez Álvarez and others in the research team. 
  • Engage in teacher research by collecting, organizing and analyzing the data generated as a result of the work with the children (1 hour for preparation of lessons and organization/generation of data like interviews).
  • Exploring ways in which the learning and the mediators from the afterschool can be infused into the regular instructional day.
  • Potentially preparing/presenting a conference proposal based on the teaching and research experience for the New York State Association of Bilingual Education (NYSABE).

Fellowship criteria:  In order to successfully participate in the proposed project, the fellows will need the following skills:
• Bilingual skills in Spanish and/or Chinese and English
• Interest in working with bilingual children with a disability and with their families
• Knowledge of foundational theories in bilingual/bicultural education and inclusive education
• Familiarity with the use of the following instructional technologies and applications: Note Taking, Comic
Life, photographs and video editing (preferable)
• Some formal or informal teaching experience

Fellowship sites: Dos Puentes in Washington Heights (possibly also Castlebridge in Washington Heights) and PS 184 in Flushing, Queens. 

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

Weekly schedule: The weekly schedule will be determined once the school schedules are finalized. 

Number of fellows in 2021-22: 4

Sponsor: Susan Garni Masullo 

Department: Health and Behavior Studies 

• Provide informal individualized assessment where warranted and intervention services to target students identified by the school as performing significantly below grade level expectations in reading, writing and/or language skills. These and other related tasks as described below to be provided in the fall and spring semesters.

• Conduct intervention sessions on a push-in or pull-out basis as determined by the needs of the students and the nature of classroom instruction. • Work closely with teachers, attend planning meetings to align remedial intervention with classroom instruction, share weekly progress notes.

• Submit weekly logs to Zankel Sponsor/Supervisor detailing activities and student response to instruction.

• Meet twice per month with Zankel Sponsor/Supervisor for guidance and feedback.

• Implement intervention guidance and suggestion from the Zankel Sponsor/Supervisor.

• 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.

Fellowship criteria:  The Reading Specialist Zankel Fellow should have a keen desire to provide reading and writing support to struggling students in NYC public schools.  Ideally, the Fellow should be expected to extend what they learn from this experience to future career goals working with children, adolescent and /or adults with literacy needs, including those with learning disability. The Fellow must apply the knowledge and skills learned in classes about literacy and students with special needs to the work they will be doing with students at the placement site.

Fellowship site: To be determined with the REACH team. 

Estimated time commitment per week:  10 hours per week.

Weekly schedule: TBD

Number of fellows in 2021-22:  2

Sponsor(s): Detra Price-Dennis and Lalitha Vasudevan
Department: MST/CMLTD - Media and Social Change Lab (MASCLab)

Fellows will be placed at one of two sites in New York City: an elementary school classroom and an afterschool documentary workshop at a youth media organization. A cohort model will be used to amplify the impact of service learning that the Zankel Fellowship promotes, by inviting the Fellows to meet together, visit each other’s sites of practice (either in person or virtually), and reflect on media and justice from a variety of perspectives.

Site 1:
Two fellows will be placed at P.S. 119 in the Bronx with a Teachers College alumna. For the 2021-2022 school year, Prof. Price-Dennis and the alumna will host a racial literacy book club for fifth grade students that will include media making to explore connections between themes in the book and experiences they have with racism in their communities. The goal of this project is to make visible the insidious ways that racism impacts students and to support them in using their voices to make a difference. The Zankel Fellows will work with the students twice a week during literacy workshop or after-school (TBD) to read children's literature and engage in discussions about racism, equity, and social change. In addition to co-facilitating book club discussions and media making, the Fellows will attend weekly planning meetings with Prof. Price-Dennis to debrief, organize data, administer a survey at the beginning and end of the semester; take notes; create an agenda for each classroom session; and plan the Community Forum. Prof. Price-Dennis will provide support with developing an agenda, creating and administering the survey, taking notes, and event planning.

Site 2:
Two fellows will be placed at the Educational Video Center (EVC), a non-profit youth media organization dedicated to teaching documentary video as a means to develop the artistic, critical literacy, and career skills of young people, while nurturing their idealism and commitment to social change. Prof. Vasudevan has a long-standing relationship and will guide the work at this site. 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 is committed to enacting racial justice and promoting civic engagement through its afterschool youth media workshops is further reflected in social impact films they produce, all of which have a bearing on the lives of the high school-aged youth participants. EVC has a long history of producing films that touch on topics of personal interest – such as policing and racial profiling, equitable access to schooling, housing and environmental issues, mental health, gender discrimination, and more – 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. The Zankel Fellows will support the workshops instructors in workshop instruction, youth mentoring, media production with youth, providing individualized attention and instruction.

At the end of the academic year, we will convene a Community Forum at both sites that will be conceptualized by the students to engage their peers, teachers, families, and community members in a conversation about recommendations they have to address racism in their community. Fellows will meet regularly with their site cohorts, bimonthly with all of the MASCLab Zankel Fellows, and attend weekly MASCLab meetings where they will be invited to share their experiences, receive feedback on their media work, and will have the opportunity to work with and support one another. Fellows will also have the opportunity to visit each other’s sites and find ways for both groups of young people to collaborate. This can be facilitated either in-person or virtually, as both sites have learned to adapt technologically in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Fellowship criteria:

  •  Interest in broad contexts for learning, literacies, media, and forms of representation
  •  Experience teaching or facilitating workshops with children or 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 children and 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(s): P.S. 119 (Bronx) and Educational Video Center (EVC) 

Estimated time commitment per week: 7-10 hours. 

Weekly schedule (if known): Although many factors may remain unknown until the late summer, we predict something akin to the following, based upon previous years: Fellows would be on site at their placements approximately twice per week, for a total of 5-7 hours/week. One-hour weekly MASCLab meetings and ongoing weekly or bimonthly meetings with MASCLab faculty will comprise the remaining hours of the weekly commitment. 

Number of fellows in 2021-22: 4

Sponsor: Oren Pizmony-Levy

Department: International and Transcultural Studies | International & Comparative Education  

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 preindustrial levels. If conditions remain the same, global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052. TC research shows that 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 Center for Sustainable Futures is launching a new project titled Climate Change Education for NYC: Youth at the Center. 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.

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. We believe this project is important because teachers and parents are not engaging youth, the social group who will suffer the most from the consequences of climate change, with the topic. 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:  

  • Interest in working with middle and high school students
  • Experience with informal and non-formal education
  • Interest in sustainability and climate change
  • Strong communication and presentation skills
  • Independent work

Fellowship site: Climate Change Education for NYC: Youth at the Center

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

Weekly schedule: TBD

Number of fellows in 2021-22:  3

Sponsor: Sonali Rajan  

Department: Health and Behavior Studies 

The purpose of this project is 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 2021 – 2022 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 2021 – 2022 AY).  It should be noted that since the onset of the COVID19 pandemic, GOTR-NYC has adapted their programming to meet the virtual learning needs of our girls. The curriculum currently is being implemented three times a year for 8 weeks. We anticipate a shift back to the typical 10-week program in the fall of 2021. Currently the program takes place in over 50 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).  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 2021 and spring 2022 seasons. Our Zankel Fellow would then spend an additional 4 hours per week during the 2021 – 2022 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 650+ girls each season across the NYC public school system who participate in Girls on the Run each season.  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:  

Fall 2021 – Spring 2022
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 2021-22:  1

Sponsor: Carolyn Riehl    
Department: Education Policy and Social Analysis

With funding from the Spencer Foundation, I have previously studied teachers’ use of student data for instructional planning in four Title I elementary schools in New York City. The research 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 service by placing Fellows in one (or possibly two) of the project schools. The Fellow will work with the school’s math facilitator to assist students in pull-out enrichment activities in math. During pull-out periods, the Fellow 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.

The school has a very well-developed set of materials and procedures for providing this assistance to students. They are very helpful in organizing what the Fellow will do, and are receptive to the Fellow’s own schedule and needs. We also try to build in time for the Fellow to participate in regular class time, observing teachers and providing support as needed.

As a complement to this direct service experience, I would like to engage the Fellow in doing background work on the policy context for mathematics instructional reform, especially with regard to student diversity. This will likely involve doing library research and draft writing for a review of literature and policy analysis.

Fellowship criteria:  The Zankel Fellow for this project should have experience working with elementary school students and be able to work productively with students in classroom and small group settings. They should have strong skills in mathematics. They will also need to be competent in basic library research and writing skills.

Fellowship site: P.S. 130 - The Parkside School, in Brooklyn (and possibly a second school)

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

Weekly schedule:  Schedule is TBD. The fellow will be in the elementary school either two half-days or one full day per week. 

Number of fellows in 2021-22: 1

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 will adapt the existing curricula to the context of the learners in the selected NYC schools. Working closely with the classroom teachers, the fellow 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 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 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 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 (i.e., Spanish, French, Arabic) would be an asset 

Fellowship site: Newtown High School (Queens); International Community High School (Bronx)  

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 2021-22:  1

Sponsor: Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz 

Department: Arts & Humanities | English Education

The Art and Literacy of Justice: Creating Life After Rikers Island (#CLOSErikersALJ) is an arts based program that will bring together 12-15 high school age youth (per site) who are connected to the #CLOSErikers campaign. These youth who attend schools in New York City have been impacted by mass incarceration (either directly or through family members). Youth will meet each week in a group that specifically engages the following question through creative arts: What can happen when we close Rikers Island? The Zankel fellows will facilitate the weekly sessions. Work created in the workshop sessions which will culminate in two curated symposia where the participants present the ideas they developed and created over the duration of the semester (Fall 2021 and Spring 2022). #CLOSErikersALJ is seeking two fellows who have an interest in the impact of mass incarceration on school-age children, and those individuals who are interested in civically engaging youth in discussion on mass incarceration's impact.

Fellowship criteria:  Fellows should have experience in working with high school age children within school or in out-of-school setting for a minimum of one year (this includes tutoring and mentoring). Strong organizational, interpersonal, communication, and ability to conduct virtual event 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 participation in and facilitating workshops that involve writing, art, and/or various media-making activities. Familiarity with social media platform, Google, and MS Office is not required but a plus.  

Fellowship site: James Baldwin High School (Virtual) 

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 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 2021-22:  2

Sponsor: Mariana Souto-Manning

Department: Curriculum & Teaching, Early Childhood Education

Elementary school reading has been established as a litmus test of school achievement (Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2019) and even been linked to incarceration rates—being used to predict the number of cells needed (Zoukis, 2017). A deeply racist practice, this is part and parcel of the carcerality of schooling and is an enactment of what Baker-Bell (2020) has called “linguistic injustice.” Given documented racially disproportionate reading achievement measures and racial inequities exacerbated by COVID-19—what has been called a double pandemic—this project aims to cultivate the genius (Muhammad, 2020) of Black and Brown children whose languaging practices do not fit within the racialized bounds of “academic language” (Baker-Bell, 2020).

Inspired by Eve Tuck’s call for a moratorium on damage-centered practices (2009), this project seeks to move toward a desire-centered practice that commits to repairing the emotional harm and internalized racism (re)inscribed by traditional approaches to the teaching of reading and to what is called “academic language” (Baker-Bell, 2020). Aiming to upend the linguistic violence, persecution, dehumanization, and marginalization Black, Indigenous, and students of Color endure in urban public schools day in and day out, Zankel Fellows will work a minimum of 8.5 hours per week with children whose language practices are racialized, collaborating with their teachers approximately 1.5 hours/week to re-mediate (Gutierrez et al., 2009) the curriculum in ways that align with the aims of racial justice by centering equity via culturally and historically responsive literacy frameworks and practices. In doing so, they will co-design and implement literacy lessons that will foster justice in and through expansive, culturally sustaining, and historically responsive literacies. In doing so, this project has the potential to lead collaborating teachers to develop the knowledge base to implement such practices in their own classrooms.

Located in four elementary schools where enrollment is characterized by an overrepresentation of Black and Brown students from no/low-income families, who have an identified disability or have been classified as English Learners/Multilingual Learners (as compared to national, state, and city demographics), this project stands on collaborating with eight New York City public school teachers of Color (Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian American), who will work alongside Zankel Fellows to co-generate a pedagogical approach that intentionally and unapologetically centers the linguistic, cultural, racial, intellectual, and self-confidence needs of students who are too often silenced and marginalized in and by schooling.

Given the documented impact teachers of Color have on students of Color—including but not limited to academic, behavioral, and socioemotional outcomes (Gershenson et al., 2017)—this proposed project has the potential to reach over 100 young students who identify as Black, Indigenous, and of Color, making a real difference in their lives and futures, leveraging literacy as a source of equity and ensuring that “literacy can be a source of power for young people and a key to transforming their lives” (Noguera, 2020).

Fellowship criteria:  Zankel Fellows will need to have knowledge of and (hopefully) experience in culturally-relevant and sustaining approaches to literacy teaching. Most importantly, they will need to have an assets-based orientation as visible in their belief in the brilliance and ingenuity of Black, Indigenous, and children of Color, their families, and communities. Background on Black studies, Indigenous studies, and/or ethnic studies a plus.

Fellowship site: PS 75, Dos Puentes Elementary (PS 103), Central Park East II, and K503

Estimated time commitment per week:  10 hours per week

Weekly schedule: Each week, Zankel Fellows will be working directly with students (8.5 hours) and spending 1.5 hours working alongside teachers of Color to develop curriculum, plan, reflect, etc. The exact schedule will be determined alongside teachers and schools, but Zankel Fellows should plan to be working with students 3-5 days per week and planning with teachers 1-3 days per week, within the aforementioned temporal boundaries.

An example follows: 105 minutes per day/5 days per week working directly with students (2:30-4:15 pm) + meeting with teachers for approximately 25 minutes three times per week (during teachers' planning times).

Number of fellows in 2021-22:  4

Sponsor: Amy Stuart Wells

Department: EPSA | Sociology and Education

Every year, the NYC schools that we partner with through our Public Good Project send several educators to the Reimagining Education Summer Institute (RESI) held at TC in July. P.S. 116 in District 2 of Manhattan regularly sends a critical mass of its mostly white teachers to RESI each year. P.S. 116 has a very diverse student population with the following demographics: 42 percent White, non-Hispanic, 30 percent Latinx, 15 percent Asian, and about 7 percent Black. Meanwhile, the socio-economic status of the students ranges widely from extremely affluent, Park Avenue apartment students to about 1/3 of the students living in temporary housing. The teachers are about 95 percent White and Asian.

The Public Good Project has been working with P.S. 116 by offering professional development sessions prior to the pandemic, and we have conducted interviews about antiracist education with about 65 percent of the teachers and about 35 parents. The school's principal is on board with revamping curriculum and pedagogy to be more culturally relevant, but the teachers are still struggling to connect with their Latinx and Black students, many of whom currently live in temporary housing and have been learning remotely—if at all—during the pandemic.

One Zankel Fellow will support the teachers and the Black and Latinx students in establishing classroom climates and lesson plans that will engage these too-often marginalized students. The fellow will partner with one teacher or classroom to both assist the teacher in finding and implementing curriculum and lesson plans that are culturally relevant and will support Black and Brown students in their learning. The fellow will also act as a teaching assistant to support the teacher in connecting to all the students in the classroom and supporting them in their learning.

We know that sometimes the most difficult aspect of school reform is translating good ideas from the research or theory and translating them into practice. Thus, we would like our Zankel Fellow to attend this year’s RESI in July if possible – or at least watch the recorded sessions and read the materials generated afterwards—and work together with the P.S. 116 teacher (who will have also attended the Institute) they are partnered with to consider what aspect of the Institute – from the plenaries to the workshops and specific lesson plans—would be most helpful antiracist strategies for this particular class.

The Fellow will then support the teacher in gathering materials, including lesson plans; support the students in completing the assigned work and talk to students about what they learned from the lessons and if they found these new lessons more engaging or supportive of their learning.

Ideally, the work of this Zankel Fellow would translate back into the school-wide professional development work we are doing with the school, featuring the partnering teacher as they share with their colleagues their strategies and new approaches. This consistent, classroom level support for P.S. 116 teachers is what is most needed at this stage of partnering with them to take the professional development—both during the Institute and year-round—to the next level. We are certain that the extra support that the Zankel Fellow will provide at the classroom level will make the needed difference for the teachers in P.S. 116 to make the leap from theory to practice, thus allowing them to better serve their students of color.

Furthermore, this partnership between a classroom teacher and the Zankel Fellow can be shared in RESI 2022 as an example of school-university partnerships and the power of the research on teaching, learning and race when translated into classroom practices that are antiracist and culturally sustaining. Such models of success are greatly needed in the field of education today. Thus, this would be an excellent experience for a Zankel Fellow to have to supplement and augment their TC education.

Fellowship criteria:  A background in K-12 teaching would be good, but not required. An interest in supporting antiracist education reform is needed.

Fellowship site: P.S. 116, Manhattan, NY

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

Weekly schedule: Unknown at this time; depends on the fellow's schedule and that of our partnership schools. 

Number of fellows in 2021-22:  1

Applications for the 2021-2022 Zankel Sponsors are now closed. Applications for 2022-2023 Zankel Sponsors will open in late January/early February 2022. 

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. Sponsors mentor fellows, provide updates as requested by OSCP, and troubleshoot 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. 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 2020-2021 award year, we received 335 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 five 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 five 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

The 2021-2022 application is available here. THE PRIORITY DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS IS FRIDAY, MARCH 26, 2021.

*Disclaimer* Due to the nature of the fellowship, some sites may have returning fellows, thus decreasing the number of fellows 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 2021-2022. Note that TC's Federal School Code is: G03979.

Questions or problems? Email: