New Teaching Talent Shaping the Next Generation in Philadelphia Schools
2022 Pennsylvania Teaching Fellows Named
December 7, 2022
Members of the 2022 Pennsylvania WW Teaching Fellowship class are midway through their year-long master’s in education that blends cutting edge coursework with hands-on clinical training in Philadelphia public schools.
The eleven Fellows in the 2022 class are completing their course work at West Chester University, Philadelphia, and the University of Pennsylvania.
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.
Each WW Pennsylvania Teaching Fellow receives $32,000 to complete their degree. In return, Fellows commit to teach for three years in the School District of Philadelphia. Throughout the three-year commitment as a teacher of record at a public school, Fellows receive ongoing support and mentoring.
Of these new WW Pennsylvania Teaching Fellows:
- 73% majored in a STEM discipline
- 36% of the Fellows are teacher candidates of color, versus 18% in the overall teaching force
- A majority bring experience as teaching assistants, youth camp leaders, researchers, and tutors
“The Teaching Fellowship accelerates talented and passionate STEM educators and connects them to the students who need them the most,” says Citizens & Scholars president Raj Vinnakota. “Through STEM, these Fellows will help young people all over Philadelphia develop the critical thinking skills they need to excel as both students and engaged citizens.”
The WW Teaching Fellowship launched in Pennsylvania in 2018 with three partner universities. All three participating universities—West Chester, Penn, and Duquesne University—received $400,000 matching grants to develop their teacher preparation programs based on standards set by the Institute for Citizens & Scholars. Duquesne matriculated their final class this spring. 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.
2022 WW Pennsylvania Teaching Fellows
Sophya Alamudun ǀ Huntington Beach, CA ǀ West Chester University
Undergraduate college, class, and major: California State University, Fullerton, 2020, chemistry | Graduate institution, year, degree: University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2022, chemistry
Tutor, K-12 subjects; instructional student assistant and teaching assistant, university-level chemistry; undergraduate and graduate lab researcher, chemistry; coordinator, university mentoring and recruitment programs.
Natalie Conte ǀ Syracuse, NY ǀ University of Pennsylvania
Undergraduate college, class, and major: Mount Holyoke College, 2020, computer science
Tutor, secondary mathematics; teaching assistant, elementary English language arts and mathematics; arts and crafts teacher, children’s summer camp.
Li Chen ǀ Philadelphia, PA ǀ University of Pennsylvania
Undergraduate college, class, and major: Jefferson University, 2021, health science
Summer teaching fellow, Breakthrough Central Texas; member, AmeriCorps; volunteer, local homeless shelter; dean’s list.
Chelsea Russell ǀ Dacula, GA ǀ West Chester University
Undergraduate college, class, and major: Oglethorpe University, 2022, physics and mathematics
Physicist and mathematician; tutor, geometry, linear algebra, differential equations; researcher, solar siblings on RR Lyrae stars; researcher, machine learning and chaotic dynamics; counsellor, Oglethorpe University’s high school mathematics camp.
Josephine Hoffman ǀ West Chester, PA ǀ West Chester University
Undergraduate college, class, and major: Temple University, 2017, psychology
Member, psychology majors association; behavioral aide; certification holder, TEFL Young Learners; English teacher, Prague and Czech Republic; learning support assistant; lead, after school program for students who needed extra homework support.
Christy Nichols ǀ Pennsburg, PA ǀ West Chester University
Undergraduate college, class, and major: Temple University, 2020, chemistry
Analytical chemist, contract manufacturing company; substitute teacher, ESS; long-term substitute teacher, algebra I and algebra II; manager, Diamond marching band; vice president of membership, music business fraternity; member, American Chemical Society.
Tom Ng ǀ Pittsburgh, PA ǀ University of Pennsylvania
Undergraduate college, class, and major: Kenyon College, 2022, psychology
Member, international psychology honor society; volunteer classroom aide, early childhood education intervention center; liaison, writing center; tutor, statistical analysis and research methods; volunteer community tutor; president, Phi Kappa Tau; treasurer, university Asian identities student organization.
Kaitlyn Nyhuis ǀ Kinnelon, NJ ǀ University of Pennsylvania
Undergraduate college, class, and major: Elon University, 2022, human services and psychology
Summer school teacher, K-5th grade; student teacher, preschool; teaching assistant, kindergarten; course designer and facilitator, sex, gender and COVID-19; president, Elon Feminists for Equality, Change, and Transformation; member, Omicron Delta Kappa and Tau Upsilon Alpha honors societies.
Amelia Reilly ǀ Huntington, NY ǀ West Chester University
Undergraduate college, class, and major: Lafayette College, 2022, physics
EXCEL Scholar student researcher, physics; supplemental instructor, physics; recipient, undergraduate STEM Star Award; member, Sigma Pi Sigma physics honors society; dean’s list.
Adam Ross ǀ Scarsdale, NY ǀ West Chester University
Undergraduate college, class, and major: Carleton College, 2022, physics
Program director, Food Recovery Network; 7th grade mathematics summer teaching fellow, Generation Teach; grader, laboratory teaching assistant, problem solving facilitator, physics and astronomy.
Cade Schurz ǀ Gunnison, CO ǀ West Chester University
Undergraduate college, class, and major: Kutztown University, 2022, physics
Researcher, thermodynamics computer model; passion for learning and for inspiring learning in others.Funding available for young people pursuing community projects. Learn more about the Civic Spring Fellowship, now accepting applications.
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