2021 WW Pennsylvania Teaching Fellows Named

Pennsylvania Remains Committed To Cultivating Excellent Stem Teachers

FOR RELEASE: Thursday, July 22, 2021
CONTACT: Jay Geneske | geneske@citizensandscholars.org


PRINCETON, NJ (July 22, 2021)—As part of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s continued effort to close achievement gaps and provide all students with high-quality teachers, the Institute for Citizens & Scholars announces the third class of Pennsylvania Woodrow Wilson (WW) Teaching Fellows.

The highly competitive program recruits both recent graduates and career changers with strong backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and math—the STEM fields—and prepares them specifically to teach in high-need secondary schools in Pennsylvania.

Each WW Pennsylvania Teaching Fellow receives $32,000 to complete a specially designed, cutting-edge master’s degree program based on a yearlong classroom experience. In return, Fellows commit to teach for three years in high-need Pennsylvania schools. Throughout the three-year commitment as a teacher of record at a public school, Fellows receive ongoing support and mentoring.

Forty individuals will be part of the third cohort of the WW Teaching Fellowship program in the state (Fellow names follow at the end of this release). They will attend Duquesne University, West Chester University, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Of these new WW Pennsylvania Teaching Fellows:

  • 88% majored in a STEM discipline
  • 35% of the Fellows are teacher candidates of color, versus 18% in the overall teaching force
  • 35% of the Fellows are male—noteworthy in a profession where as many as three-quarters of practitioners are female

“Since I took office, we’ve increased education funding by $1.8 billion, including a more than $400 million increase for the upcoming school year,” said Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. “That investment includes science and technology education and ensuring every student has access to great STEM teachers. A better education for Pennsylvanians means a better future for all of us.”

“The WW Teaching Fellowship connects passionate STEM educators with the students who need them the most,” said the Institute for Citizens & Scholars president Rajiv Vinnakota. “These Fellows also play a critical role in helping young people develop the critical thinking skills they need to be productive students and citizens in our country.”

The WW Teaching Fellowship launched in Pennsylvania in 2018. All three participating universities received $400,000 matching grants to develop their teacher preparation programs based on standards set by the Institute for Citizens & Scholars. The Pennsylvania program is supported by the William Penn Foundation, Highmark, AT&T, the Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union, M&T Bank, the Weiss Family Foundation, Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education Foundation, and several other major individual donors.

To date, more than 1,200 teachers have been prepared through the WW Teaching Fellowship program. Pennsylvania joins Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, and Ohio as WW Teaching Fellowship states. More information on the Pennsylvania program can be found at: https://www.citizensandscholars.org

About the Institute for Citizens & Scholars
Formerly the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the Institute for Citizens & Scholars (citizensandscholars.org) is a 75-year-old organization that has played a significant role in shaping American higher education. Now, with an expanded mission, Citizens & Scholars prepares leaders and engages networks of people and organizations to meet urgent education challenges. The overarching goal is to shape an informed, productively engaged, and hopeful citizenry.

WW Teaching Fellows, 2021

Fellow Bios

Fellow Bios

Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet

Duquesne University  

Erin Bair ǀ Colorado Springs, CO
Isabel Johnston ǀ Cape Elizabeth, ME
Lauren Klemme ǀ Lincoln, NE
Lindsey McDivitt ǀ Johnsonburg, PA
Jenna Nold ǀ Natrona Heights, PA
Rachel Radke ǀ Pittsburgh, PA
Michael Veltre ǀ Gibsonia, PA
Daniel Walton ǀ The Woodlands, TX
Kaylen Woods ǀ Hermitage, PA

University of Pennsylvania

Ashley Mae Bernardo ǀ Moraga, CA
Veronica Chua ǀ Barrigada, Guam
Zoe Finkelstein ǀ Cornwall on Hudson, NY
Ryan Herlihy ǀ Dennisville, NJ
Zachary Herz ǀ Queens, NY
Anna Hightower ǀ West Islip, NY
Wei Jiang ǀ New York City, NY
Jonquil Jonathan ǀ Seattle, WA
Alexander Kruszewski ǀ Fairfax County, VA
Kristal Marcano ǀ Worcester, MA
Charlie Neibel ǀ Philadelphia, PA
Roman Savedra ǀ San Diego, CA
Olivia Sipler ǀ Weatherly, PA

West Chester University 

Rachel Bookman ǀ Bryn Mawr, PA
Ivan Juarez ǀ Atlanta, GA
Daniel Kahn ǀ Middletown, NJ
Joshua Kugel ǀ New Sewickley, PA
Rodney Landis ǀ Philadelphia, PA
Emily Ledesma ǀ Catasauqua, PA
Samira Mack ǀ Baltimore, MD
Ivan Matos ǀ Fayetteville, NC
Joseph McGinnis ǀ West Chester, PA
George Migias ǀ Exton, PA
Despina Nakos ǀ Upper Darby, PA
Michael O’Brien ǀ Cooper City, FL
Nikita Patel ǀ Yorktown Heights, NY
Daniel Shahar ǀ Philadelphia, PA
Eden Thomas ǀ Chadds Ford, PA
Samantha Van Note ǀ Albuquerque, NM
Hannah Wilkins ǀ Skiatook, OK
Ashley Young ǀ Philadelphia, PA

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