Major: Elementary Education with a minor in Human Development and Family Sciences.
Extracurriculars: UConn Big Brothers Big Sisters, program director; Gamma Phi Beta; UConn Women’s Center, facilitator; Husky Ambassadors; Mansfield Middle School, founder of the tutoring program; Beyond GASA, treasurer.
Scholarships and Awards: Global Citizenship Scholarship, Emerging Student Leader of the Year, Program of the Year.
Hometown: Wethersfield, Connecticut
Why do you want to be a teacher?
I want to be a teacher to make the largest impact on society I feel possible. I am constantly trying to better myself and help others, and a career in teaching will allow me to continue to learn and grow every day for the rest of my life. Students are our future, and all students should be treated with equitable opportunities. Unfortunately, many of our school systems still need help improving the equitable opportunities given to students; as a teacher, I hope to help these students to the best of my ability in achieving their dreams.
Why did you choose this area of study?
I really enjoy working with this age group and teaching all subjects. I want to instill a love of learning in students while they are young so this passion can carry on as these students advance to secondary education. I chose human development and family sciences (HDFS) as my minor to better understand child development. As a teacher, I work with many children; not all of the families are nuclear families. HDFS allowed me to explore relationships and how different families show compassion.
What was your favorite class?
My favorite class was EDCI 4120, teaching science in elementary school. I really enjoyed this class due to the interactive nature. As students learning to be educators, we were able to try out the experiments in class and find out what works well for us at stimulating inquiry-based discussions. The class was engaging and very kinesthetic-based.
What did you accomplish that you’re most proud of?
My proudest accomplishment has to be all that I’ve done for the children who participate in Big Brothers Big Sisters. My first year as a site manager, I worked with students to design a garden at their school and helped teach students about the environment. The following year as assistant director, I helped design and plan a field trip to UConn to help these students explore careers in college and learn from various students as well as hear from a former Little Sister. This year as program director, students returned for a field trip again and were exposed to new college career paths and met some of the players on the football team. We also had a free book fair with over 350 books donated by various community members. Students were able to take multiple books home.
What do you plan to do after you graduate?
After graduating, I will be continuing my education at UConn and receiving my master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. I will spend the fall semester abroad in London working on my internship. The summer before my master’s year, I will return as a lead counselor to my town’s nature camp for the fourth year in a row.
How has UConn prepared you for your future career?
The student teaching experience has taught me so much in such a short amount of time. As a teacher, you are never done learning, but UConn has given me the confidence and skills needed to start my career as a kind, caring, and well-respected educator. I am confident in my ability to create equitable classrooms and am improving my classroom management every day. I found the teacher inside of me and have been growing who I am in the classroom using the foundations learned in my methods courses.
How has UConn shaped you as a person?
I could not be more grateful for all the self-growth that occurred during my time at UConn. The UConn Women’s Center played an incredibly large role in shaping me into the person I am today, as well as Community Outreach. These two departments have consistently challenged me to better myself, to be more socially aware. I think more critically about my actions and the actions of others. I have increased my capacity for prioritizing self-care. I’ve become an ally to communities that I was unfamiliar with when I first started here at UConn. I strive to be a leader and have conversations regarding inequities whenever I can. I’m an advocate for others and for myself. I am a strong, confident woman.
If you could summarize your experience at UConn in three words, what would they be?
I would say the three words would actually be a phrase: “Realization of self.” However, if I had to pick three separate words, I would choose, thrilling, inspirational, and rewarding.
What advice would you give to a student just starting out at UConn?
As a transfer student, my first semester I remained in my dorm almost all the time except for class. I would tell any new student to get involved, find their passion. Go to involvement fairs, visit the cultural centers, and always try to grow yourself. Take advantage of the speakers and educational events on campus. Become a better person; there is so much opportunity for growth here at UConn.
Do you have anything else interesting you’d like to share?
I always thought I wanted a big city school. I was surprised to find how easily UConn became my home. This little farm school is so much more than what it once was in 1881. It’s an inspiring community that exceeded my expectations.