Alumni

Class of 2017

 

Kate Berger ’17 was an Education Studies Minor from Newton, Massachusetts. She was a camp counselor before attending Bates and was inspired to take EDU 231: Perspectives on Education. She loved her freshman year field placement in a middle school literacy classroom and continued the placement for a full year after the course ended. When she tood the course African Perspectives of Human Rights, Justice, and Renewal, she began a new community engaged placement at Maine Immigrant and Regfugee Services. There she helped in beginner ESL classes and taught English as a second language. Wehen she returned from abroad after fall of her junior year, she took a position as Patti Buck’s Research Assistant, and wrote lesson plans for the weekend ESL classes at MIRS. The summer of 2016, she completed a teaching fellowship at MIRS, and taught Monday through Friday at MIRS with a wide range of students. She culminated her monor through writing about her experiences at MIRS as part of the Education Capstone Course. According to Kate, the relationships with the Education Department faculty have been the best part of her minor: they were great mentors to her inside and outside of the classroom. MIRS inspired Kate to continue teaching ESL after graduation. She has applied for the Fulbright ETA program as well as AmeriCorps.

 

Adam Rintell ’17 is an Education Studies Minor from Brookline, Massachusetts. Adam was originally drawn to the field of education because both his grandparents and parents were teachers. The strong emphasis on community engagement inspired Adam to pursue the Education minor at Bates. Since his freshman year, Adam has volunteered at Maine immigrant and Refugee Services (MIRS). Adam prepares individuals for the U.S. Citizenship Test by teaching the citizenship classes and conducting practice interviews. Adams favorite class at Bates was EDU 290 Educational Internship because it was a hands-on course with built in feeback and support. He describes his internship at MIRS as a time when he learned more about responsibility and how to be an adult. His work at MIRS also complemented his interest in U.S. History and Politics. After graduating from Bates, Adam will pursue a full time position in the financial group of a Biotech company. He hopes to enter this position with an open mind and seeks to apply the skill he gained through his education courses and placements to his position.

Class of 2011

 

Kevin McDonald

Stewart Manor, New York
Psychology Major
Educational Studies Minor
Thesis topic:
Influence of Service-Learning on College Student-Athletes’ Identity Development: Applying the Student Development Theory of Chickering

Why is studying education important to you?

I liked subject matter, but as time went on, I grew to love the field. I want to pursue a career in higher education administration.  Education in general is important in society, politics and our economic structure.

How did you first become interested in the field of Education?

My sister did the teacher certification program here and told me that education professors and classes were great, and that’s how I really got started.

What experiences have been the most rewarding for you in your field placements?

During Short Term, I took Creating Educational Experience on Morse Mountain, and worked with middle school students who were failing in the traditional educational setting. Here, I worked with them, conducted lesson plans in the woods and got them engaged in learning and this helped to show their potential. I have also done multiple projects at Longley with Helen Regan’s classes. One of the most rewarding projects was for Critical Perspectives on Education class where we went to demonstrate to the community that there were certain social and political structures that were at work in hindering students’ performances.

How has studying education impacted your other classes or other aspects of your life?

A lot of the material comes up in other classes, as it is an interdisciplinary subject. Education has always been something I valued a lot and continue to value.

How have the field placements shaped your experiences in education?

The field placements serve a strong purpose in connecting the course material to real life practice. In this way, we learn by doing.

Which classes have had the most impact on your experience in the study of Education?

Education, Reform and Politics and Critical Perspectives on Education, both with Helen Regan.

What are your plans for life after Bates?

I’d like to go to Grad school for higher education administration with a likely specialty in student services.


Nancy Munoz, Class of 2011

East Los Angeles, CA
Psychology Major
Educational Studies Minor
Thesis topic: Breaking Bread and Campus Conversations on Race

Why is studying education important to you?

A lot has to do with my own educational background. I went to a large inner city public high school  in east Los Angeles which was 99.9% Hispanic and I experienced a lot of the current topics under debate such as tracking and inequality in funding compared to the other schools in the same district that were mostly white. I thought it would be interesting to get the theoretical framework of what I experienced because I felt that all my questions weren’t answered. There really is no right solution to overcrowding when you talk about educational reform. It is not just a matter of making all things equal- it is not just whites or minorities, red zones or white flight. Education reform is connected to so many issues that there is no quick fix.

What experiences have been the most rewarding for you in your field placements?

Most of my field placements were at affluent schools, Pettengill and Farwell. I didn’t like it there because I would just go in and observe, and I helped the teacher do photocopying. Here, I felt what I knew was being wasted. Longley was more like the type of environments that I’m used to and what it was like for me growing up. I work with kids on artwork giving them positive feedback that they don’t really receive from their parents and home environments. Deciding to sit at their table makes them feel special. It is rewarding for me. I may not be helping their academic abilities, but I am helping their development needs because every child needs positive feedback.

How has studying education impacted your other classes or other aspects of your life?

I am a Psychology major. I love Psych and have always wanted to go into it. When it comes to Psychology and Education, I feel a lot more strongly about education, and now I have chosen to pursue it in graduate school.  I had always thought of myself as going into Psych, doing research and donating to educational programs, but now I see myself as educational researcher doing what I can to improve the educational experience of all children.

Which classes have had the most impact on your experience in the study of Education?

Education, Reform and Politics class is my favorite class in all of Bates because we talked about everything I’ve always found interesting- charter schools, school choice, zoning, red lining- everything that is current and new in education debate. I can now conceptualize what that means for us now, and think of possible solutions, and the pros and cons of charter schools. In that class, we took field trips to Casco Bay, an alternative high school in Portland and Freeport Elementary, a progressive school. There we got to see how they differed from regular elementary school. It was good to see what we were learning playing out in local settings.

What are your plans for after Bates?

I plan to work for two years in an education setting and then go on to graduate school and get my PhD in an education program, most likely human development.  My main career goal is to become an educational researcher and see how race and education play out and see how things turn out in intervention programs.

 

Carolyn Silva-Sanchez, Class of 2011

Lexington, Massachusetts
Politics Major
Educational Studies Minor
Thesis topic: Leaving Parents Behind: An Analysis of No Child Left Behind and its Impact on Somali Parents in Lewiston, ME

Why is studying education important to you?

It is a political system that we are all involved in, and it is important to understand how it works and what doesn’t work.  Additionally, it is important for everyone to have access to a good quality education and I’m passionate about making that a reality.

How did you first become interested in the field of Education?

I’ve always wanted to be a kindergarten teacher and came to Bates partly because of the reputable Education Department. Within the department, I realized my interest in educational policy, which goes beyond the scope of teaching.

What experiences have been the most rewarding for you in your field placements?

I’ve loved all of my field placements. The best kind of learning happens when you can apply classroom knowledge to a real-life situation. Lewiston is such a great community to work in – I’ve seen the resilience of children and how rewarding it is to work with them.

How has studying education impacted your other classes or other aspects of your life?

It has completely shaped my Politics major. For my thesis, I looked at No Child Left Behind and analyzed the policy from both a political and educational lens. Education has driven my interest in politics.

Which classes have had the most impact on your experience in the study of Education?

All the professors here are wonderful and they offer very different approaches to education. Globalization and Education introduced educational policy to me. Critical Perspectives was a more in depth look at the complexities within public education, and barriers to education at both the national and local level.

What are your plans after Bates?

After Bates, I will remain committed to learning about, and contributing to education, and hope to work either for the U. S. Department of Education or an educational non-profit.

 

Lindsay Swan, Class of 2011

Bronx, New York
Interdisciplinary Major combining Education, Anthropology and Politics
Educational Studies Minor
Thesis topic: Twentieth Century Stories of Transformative Thought and Action

How did you first become interested in the field of Education?

I first became interested in Education through acting as a mentor and teacher to my two younger sisters. Then through getting my first job as an assistant acting teacher, I found out that I loved working with children.  But education first appeared to me as a serious thing to help people out of states of oppression as I went through an emotional adolescence, and only felt release from my bent feelings of not being understood through my learning at school.

Why is studying education important to you?

Studying Education is important to me because it teaches about the history of people who have believed in critical thinking for the individual as a means to self-determination.  Philosophical reflection through different moments in time and different places around the world has been regarded as the way for the individual to become empowered, to become the agent of his or her own knowledge – in order to counter or mediate the way that societal divisions shape our everyday perceptions.  But only through Education have people tried to institutionalize this focus on critical thinking for the masses.  Only through different forms of education have people tried to make critical thinking the more valued process of society.

What experiences have been the most rewarding for you in your field placements?

The most rewarding experiences have the ones where I have gotten to work one on one with students to learn about their lives and the particular things affecting them at home, at school, or in their studies – and possibly threatening their intellectual or emotional growth.  Last year at Longley Elementary, I worked with a fourth grade boy who was being repressed by his school environment.  We became friends through breaking open together his love of science, and delving into his scientific curiosities in ways that he didn’t have support for in school.  He began to come out of his shell and became excited and sociable each day because he felt that his particular intelligence and interests could belong somewhere and be fostered.

How has studying education impacted your other classes or other aspects of your life?

Education has become my framework for understanding how creativity and change come about or conversely remain buried and discouraged, either in individuals or throughout nations.  Education as a particular methodology applies to Politics, Sociology – basically any discipline – because it shows how higher reflection can be achieved individually or institutionally to bring about change.  Additionally, my Education classes have revealed to me different parts of Politics and Sociology, such as how our capitalist economy pervades every function of the state, and thus informs the mentalities of the masses.  So learning about the manifestations of power for entire systems or for individual people through an Educational lens has allowed me to see what people have tried to do to bring about social change.  Education teaches about the world but through the framework of hope for a better future, showing always the fact that things are not stuck but can be transformed.

Which classes have had the most impact on your experience in the study of Education?

Critical Perspectives on Teaching and Learning has had a big impact on my understanding, as has the Educational Studies seminar.  Both of these classes have tried to convey the big picture, but additionally have encouraged us to think for ourselves, to learn only what we find interesting and in the manner which we believe suits us – to essentially build our own pedagogies and curricula.  This is the actualization of empowerment even at such a small scale of a five-person class.  These classes have taught how to engage in critical reflection, and this is a skill which I can literally take everywhere in life.

What are your plans after Bates?

Immediately, I would like to stay in Lewiston and develop a role for myself as some kind of Somali youth coordinator in order to help with projects that are already going on to improve the opportunities and support systems for Somali youth in Lewiston.  At some point I would like to teach in an inner-city public school, possibly in California, in order to learn more concretely about the social disadvantages which various groups of people face in the United States.  And in the long run, I would like to develop, publish, and possibly implement my own philosophies on Education.  I am very interested in the forms of Education which have been created outside of the formal school, and so this might become a possible point of research in graduate school.     

             

Frangely Ventura, Class of 2011

Where from: Providence, Rhode Island
Major: Anthropology
Teacher Education Minor
Thesis topic: How is technology being used to enhance students’ learning in a 7th grade math classroom?

Why is studying education important to you?

I believe all students learn differently. I want to be able to help students figure out what they can do in life. I enjoy working with all kinds of students, specifically with inner-city kids because it is where I come from and to me that’s really important.

What experiences have been the most rewarding for you in your field placements?

All of my field placements have been rewarding for me. However, one of the things I remember the most is when you have a student come up to you and say you did a really good job teaching today. It makes me happy to see their faces when they finally get something. Seeing students smiling and being happy let me know I am doing something right.

How has studying education impacted your other classes or other aspects of your life?

Education at Bates has definitely changed my perspective in the way I think. Now, whenever I go home I definitely see the differences between the education system in Maine and other states. I am now able to explain how different the education system is to my family members. Some things that have shocked me about classes at Bates over all is that even if you think your classes have nothing in common you find out that they do. I took an anthropology class called medicine and culture and I could not believe how that could relate to students in school. It helped open my eyes and see the world differently.

Which classes have had the most impact on your experience in the study of Education?

I really liked the Early Literacy and the Teaching math and science class. These classes helped me work with younger children and also allowed me to learn about math from another perspective.

What are your plans for after Bates?

After Bates I plan to teach. At the moment I am looking for jobs and hope to get one. If I decide to take some time before I teach I will do some kind of mentoring program where I can work with students. Working with children is my passion and it’s what I’ve always liked to do.