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Academic Festival 2017 (Photo Credit: Roy Groething)
Academic Festival 2017 (Photo Credit: Roy Groething)

“A Source of Hope, Strength, and Even Love” Showcasing TC’s efforts to “Make a World of Difference”

Showcasing TC’s efforts to “Make a World of Difference”

“I am honored to stand before you,” said Phyllis L. Kossoff at April’s Academic Festival. “You have achieved mightily, translating hope into making our society a better place.” Kossoff (M.A.), who lost her daughter, Stephanie, to cystic fibrosis (CF), received TC’s President’s Medal of Excellence for boosting awareness, research and treatment. Kossoff funds TC's annual Phyllis L. Kossoff Lecture on Education Policy and generously funds TC students.

TC Today - Brazil Common Core
DEBATING BRAZIL'S COMMON CORE Academic Festival was the scene of the first international public discussion of Brazil's new national learning standards for primary- and middle-schoolers. From left: TC Vice Dean A. Lin Goodwin; Brazilian Common Core advocate Alice Andrés Ribeiro; and TC Early Career Award recipient Leticia Guimaraes Lyle. Also participating were Lemann Foundation Visiting TC Scholar Vera Cabral and TC President Susan Fuhrman. Click here to watch a video of the panel.

TC President Susan Fuhrman (Ph.D. ’77) said Academic Festival 2017, “Making a World of Difference,” affirmed TC’s community as “a source of hope, strength, and even love.” She also reported TC’s Campaign had raised $285 million toward its $300 million goal.

Another President’s medalist inspired by a daughter named Stefani — Cynthia Germanotta, mother of singer Lady Gaga and President of the Born This Way Foundation — spoke of teens creating a kinder world: “Young people are compassionate, generous and determined to lead lives not defined by personal gain.”

Academic Festival also featured the first international discussion of Brazil’s new national learning standards, and sessions on risk and resiliency in LGBTQ populations, and teaching in diverse classrooms.

TC multicultural psychologist Derald Sue received the 2017 Morton Deutsch Award. Kate Russell won the best student poster for her entry on psychotherapy for LGBTQ youth. And TC presented Distinguished Alumni or Early Career Awards to literacy activist Pam Allyn (M.A. ’88); student development expert Arthur Chickering (Ph.D. ’58); gender studies pioneer Madeline Heilman (Ph.D. ’72); Tian Ming Sheu (Ed.D. ’93), President of Taiwan’s National Academy for Educational Research; David Flink (M.A. ’08), advocate for youth with learning differences; and Brazilian educator/entrepreneur Leticia Guimaraes Lyle (M.A. ’11). — JOE LEVINE

Read more about Academic Festival.


TC Today Best of AcFest 2017

BEST OF THE 'FEST Academic Festival 2017 featured 16 breakout sessions, stellar honorees, performances and Kids Camp. Below, from top: faculty member Marla Brassard (left) and President’s medalist Cynthia Germanotta, mother of singer Lady Gaga; Kate Russell, who presented the best student research poster; and President’s medalist Phyllis L. Kossoff (center) with Susan Fuhrman and faculty member Aaron Pallas.



The College's leaders have been meeting with alumni, most recently in:

Photo Credit: Venjhamin
Photo Credit: Venjhamin "Venji" Reyes

[ FLORIDA ] President Susan Fuhrman and Provost Tom James visited alumni and friends in January. At a recep­tion in Palm Beach, scholarship student Rebecca Martinez described her cog­nitive neuroscience project on the Pirahã people in the Ama­zon. TC Campaign Committee member Lin Lougheed (Ed.D. ’77) hosted a luncheon at The Kampong National Tropical Botanical Garden in Miami.

[ WASHINGTON, D.C. ] With TC’s Federal Policy Institute (FPI), Alumni Relations held its annual January reception. Ruthanne Buck, Senior Advisor to Obama administration Secretary of Education John B. King (Ed.D. ’08), spoke. FPI is led by Professor Sharon Lynn Kagan.

[ ENGLAND AND IRELAND ] In March, President Fuhrman met with TC’s London community, first at the House of Commons and then at a party for organizational psychology alumni at the Covent Garden Hotel. Alberta (M.A. ’62) and Henry Strage and TC alumnus Randall Thiel organized both events. TC faculty member Ted Fleming (Ed.D. ’80, at right) spoke at a dinner in Dublin, and Fuhrman lectured at Trinity College on “Designing and Implementing Educational Reform: Experiences and Lessons from the United States.” Fuhrman also lunched with TC alumni in County Cork.



Giving Immigrants a Voice

Sayu Bhojwani prepares first- and second-generation Americans to run for office

Sayu Bhojwani (Photo Credit: Frances Janish)
Sayu Bhojwani (Photo Credit: Frances Janish)

Following the 9/11 attacks, Teachers College doctoral student Sayu Bhojwani watched horrified as immigrants were harassed and labeled terrorists. So when the Bloomberg administration asked Bhojwani, who was already directing a nonprofit to help young South Asian immigrants, to become New York City’s first Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs, she put her studies in Politics & Education on hold.

“As an immigrant and social justice advocate, I couldn’t pass it up,” says Bhojwani (Ph.D. ’14), whose family moved from India to Belize when she was little. “Immigrants were terrified of law enforcement. I knew I had to give them voice.”

Bhojwani has since founded the New American Leaders Project (NALP), which prepares first- and second-generation Americans to run for elected office.

“In politics, representation matters — and that’s why we should elect leaders who reflect our country’s diversity,” says Bhojwani. Last year more than 60 percent of NALP alumni candidates won races for seats on city councils, school boards and state legislatures. A TC professor helped Bhojwani develop NALP’s training curriculum, and recently, fellow alum Kevin Jennings (M.A. ’94) donated $35,000 to NALP from an “anti-inauguration ball” he held in January.

“With Trump as president, many people who trained with us, our alumni and their families, are directly affected by his policies, and many first-generation immigrant families are rightly worried,” says Bhojwani. “On the other hand, more first-generation Americans are motivated to run for elected office and become leaders in their communities. Ultimately, that benefits everyone.”— ROBERT FLORIDA


Executive Sweethearts

For wife-and-husband principals Jacqui and David Getz, it’s all about the dialogue

David and Jacqui Getz (Photo Credit: Desiree Halpern)
David and Jacqui Getz (Photo Credit: Desiree Halpern)

Jacqui and David Getz, discussing the finer points of school leadership, make eye contact and laugh. “The mommy otters?” says Jacqui (M.A. ’85).

“We were watching this nature show,” explains David (M.A. ’84).

“We thought the mommy otter was going to leave her kids, but no — she was just teaching them a life lesson. Then she broke the abalone shell on her chest.”

“So how can we convince teachers we trust them to let kids struggle?”

The Getzes are both principals in New York City’s District 2 — he at East Side Middle School on 91st Street, she most recently at PS 126 in Chi­natown, and now at a new school opening this fall. She is elegantly coiffed, with spiffy outfits and tastefully chosen earrings and necklaces (“Plan B was to be an image consultant”); he is a bearded former children’s author who con­fesses to owning one suit. She always wanted to teach (“I like being a bit bossy”); he had a cos­mic revelation in an elevator. She’s an organizer, he likes to get to know the kids; he agonizes over the city’s categories for writing teacher observations while she simply ignores them.

They both believe in engaging the entire school community in dialogue.

“This is a profession where you have to listen to people,” Jacqui says. “Please don’t tell me you have to save the world. You’re part of a community, so come to learn.”

“Some younger principals think they’re running a factory, and that it’s all about quantifiable output — which is crazy,” David says. “Ross Greene [the child psychologist] says your influence comes from your expectations — but teachers won’t absorb your expectations unless you mirror their experience, which is transaction-al. You have to create a relationship.”

The Getzes met at Teachers College, where, they say, they were encouraged to be curious, ethical and unafraid. Both have played a key role in organizing a District 2 student council that, among other things, has created Gender Sexuality Alliances (GSAs) — safe spaces for LGBTQ students to work on pro­moting inclusion. Students from David’s school asked the New York City Council to support GSAs citywide.

At Jacqui’s new school (named for Jane Jacobs, the late urban activist), the community is already engaged. Parents fought to ensure diversity. They’ve weighed in on class sizes, admissions policy and hiring the principal.

“They put their sneakers on and they went out and did it,” Jacqui says. “I’m psyched.” — JOE LEVINE

Published Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017

Alumni Class Notes

Arts & Humanities


Lynne Margaret Brown (M.A., M.Ed. ’01) held a solo video-based art exhibition, “North to South, Berliner Voices: My Corner,” in Berlin in September 2016. She divides her time be­tween New York and Germany.


Joanna Kraus (Ed.D. ’72) has authored a new picture book, Blue Toboggan (Mascot 2017), in which a young boy’s sympathetic teacher and classmates help him preserve the memory of a friend who has died.


Since retiring from full-time classroom teaching at Wellesley (MA) High School in 2000, Brooks Goddard (M.A. ’69) has a new career in adult educa­tion. He is also the President of Teachers for East Africa (TFEA) Alumni. TFEA is a Teachers College organization that prepared teachers to work in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.


Alexander Marrero (M.A. ’10) founded “Bach in The Church” Intensive Summer Music  Program, held at the United Methodist Church in Congers, New York.

Anastasia Pike (Ed.D. ’11) was Event Director for a pre-con­ference workshop sponsored by the College Music Society’s 2016 National Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She was joined by TC Professor of Music & Music Education Hal Abeles and Emily Ondracek-Peterson (Ed.D. ’13).

Guided by Deborah Annette Simmons (Ed.D. ’95), the music studies program at Manchester Community College was nationally accredit-ed by the National Associa­tion for Schools of Music in November 2016. The program is Connecticut’s only two-year music degree and one of three accredited associate music degree programs in New England.


Lavette Coney (M.A. ’14) has developed workshops and presented widely on the topics of teacher self-reflection and implicit bias. Her presentations include “The 21st Cen­tury Missing Link: Teacher Education and Professional Development,” at Kingswood Oxford Leadership Institute for Educators of Color, and the keynote presentation at the Fayerweather School in Cambridge. The anthology Social Justice in English Language Teaching features Coney’s research.


Elizabeth Wong (M.A. ’97), a National Board Certified Teacher in English as a New Language, has been teaching and doing teacher leadership work in a New York City public elementary school for over 19 years. She was also granted a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching fellowship to study in Singapore.


Kimberely Durall (M.A. ’15) is the English Language Arts department head at Hendrick Middle School in Plano, Texas. She took part in her district’s reading advisory commit­tee, which changed reading intervention across the middle grades.

Michele Haiken (Ed.D. ’06) published Gamify Literacy: Boost Comprehension, Collab­oration and Learning (ISTE 2017), which provides tips on applying gaming techniques to improve literacy and deepen student collaboration and critical thinking.

Biobehavioral Sciences


Martha Eddy (Ed.D. ’98, M.A. ’95) delivered a webinar at TC on her latest book, Mindful Movement: The Evolution of the Somatic Arts and Conscious Ac­tion (Intellect, Limited 2016). Eddy is a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist, licensed Teacher of Body-Mind Center­ing and Certified Movement Analyst.

Gayle E. Hutchinson (M.A. ’84) was named President of California State University, Chico in March. The 12th president in the University’s 130-year history, she is the first woman to hold the job.



Bernadine Gagnon (M.S. ’02) CCC-SLP, is the Chief Clinical Supervisor at Teachers Col­lege’s Edward D. Mysak Clinic for Communication Disorders and oversees the Mysak’s Aphasia Clinic. She publishes in peer-reviewed journals and speaks at conferences nationally.

Counseling & Clinical Psychology


John Bickford (Ed.D. ’72) is a guardian ad litem for a family court in South Carolina.

Silvia Mazzula (Ph.D. ’10, M.Phil. ’08), Associate Profes­sor of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, has been selected to provide a field scan on behalf of RISE (Research, Integration, Strategy and Evaluation) for Boys and Men of Color. Her goal is to understand key interventions and policies that improve life outcomes for Latino boys and men of color.


David Gangsei (Ph.D. ’77) re-tired in 2016. He served as Clinical Director at Survivors of Torture, International in San Diego, where he oversaw psychological, medical, social and legal services to asylum seekers and refugees from more than 50 countries. He was also an international clinical advisor with The Center for Victims of Torture in St. Paul, where he worked with local NGOs in Africa and Central and Eastern Europe.

Noel Leyco (M.A. ’80) was recently appointed as Under­secretary for Finance and Ad­ministration at the Department of Social Welfare and Develop­ment in the Philippines.



Richard Campagna (M.A. ’92) is currently delivering a series of seminars, courses and workshops titled “The Role of Karaoke and Existentialism in Life, Love and Learning.” Campagna has served on TC’s Alumni Council.

In January 2017, Alison Desir (M.A. ’16), founder of Harlem Run, completed a 240-mile run from Harlem to Washington D.C. in support of Planned Parenthood. Desir and a team of three other women ran approximately two marathons per day, arriving in the capital on Inauguration Day.

Patricia Glick (M.Ed., M.A. ’96), a New York State Li­censed Behavior Analyst, is the co-owner of a licensed pro­fessional agency that provides Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services across Long Island. Her company is opening a center-based program in Islandia, New York.


Health Education doctoral stu­dent Ian Levy (M.Ed. ’14, M.A. ’13) was named the 2016 New York State School Counselor of the Year by the New York State School Counselor Associa­tion for his work in creating a hip-hop therapy counseling program at a Bronx high school.

Curriculum & Teaching


Marvin Lynn (M.A. ’96) was named Commissioner of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. He is currently Dean of the School of Education at Indiana University South Bend.


Rachel Elin-Saintine (M.A. ’13) teaches at Miquon School in Conshohocken, Pennsyl­vania. She has also begun her own painting business, 3 Little Pigments. She paints murals for babies’ nurseries and chil­dren’s play spaces in homes.


Hinda Gewirtz (M.A. ’61)is publishing a new book on aging, The Last Taboo: Aging in America.

Education Policy & Social Analysis


James Salamon (M.A. ’15) became a Data Analyst at The New School in January 2017. He works with Institutional Re­search and Academic Planning to achieve continuing student enrollment goals.

Health & Behavior Studies


Led by CEO Debra Wein (M.S. ’94), Wellness Workdays held the 2017 Emerging Trends in Wellness Conference — its fourth annual conference — in April 2017.


Major General Irene Trowell-Harris, USAF Ret. (Ed.D. ’83), took part in “A Proud Heritage of Service: People of Color in the Military,” a Black History Month panel at NBC Universal.

Martha Higgins (Ed.D. ’04, M.S. ’01) established, a website that deals with childhood obesity.

As artistic director of The Dreamscape Project Group, Pamela Newton Renna (M.A. ’69) builds power, authentic­ity and ecstatic experience through the arts. She is working on “River Spirits,” part of a three-year project for the Group, and teaches “Two Left Feet,” a dance class for adults.


Dr. Marek Beck (M.A. ’99), Head of Upper School Edu­cation at Renbrook School, completed his Ph.D. in Curric­ulum & Teaching at Fordham University.



Elizabeth Speakman (Ed.D. ’00) was promoted to Professor of Nursing at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA and was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing. She published Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice: Creating a Blueprint for Nurse Educators (Wolters Kluwer) in September 2016.

Linda Strong (Ed.D. ’96) of Sacred Heart University was selected to join the Nursing Board at the American Health Council.


Anne Leslie Saunders (M.A. ’77) published the sec­ond edition of A Travel Guide to World War II Sites in Italy (CreateSpace) in December 2016.


Human Development


As Director of Research at the Fontana Center for Child Protection, Amy J.L. Baker (Ph.D. ’89) is an authority on parental alienation (when a child unjustifiably rejects a parent). She has authored or co-authored eight books and over 100 journal articles, serves as an expert in family courts and provides telephone coaching for parents. She re­cently developed a specialized outpatient therapeutic program for parents and their adult children.

International & Transcultural Studies


Laurie Cigal (M.A. ’03) has been a Spanish Teacher and an assistant to the presidents of Fortune 500 companies and nonprofit institutions. Now a grandmother, she serves in retirement as a youth mentor and outreach mission member.

Nitza Milagros Escalera (M.Ed. ’06), Dean of Diversity Initiatives at Fordham Law School, received the 2017 Giv­ing Back Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo nominated Guillermo Linares (Ed.D. ’95), a former assemblyman and longtime education activist, as President of the state’s Higher Educa­tion Services Corp. Linares has previously served as New York City’s Immigrant Affairs Commissioner. He was the first Dominican-born immigrant elected to public office in the United States.

Graduate candidates in courses taught by Professor Colette Mazzucelli (M.Ed. ’11) at New York University represent­ed the United States in the Facebook Peer to Peer (P2P) Global Showcase Event during the United Nations General Assembly. More than 150 colleagues and friends of the P2P program from around the world participated in the event.

Dina Paulson (M.A. ’10) and Mitch McEwen were married in Detroit in November 2016. Dina is Office Manager of Bright Horizons Family Solu­tions, an early education center, and a freelance writer and editor. Her work has appeared in journals including Minola Review and Flash Fiction Maga­zine and has been exhibited at Hudson Guild Gallery in New York City.

Bethany Wilinski (M.A. ’09) earned her doctorate in Curriculum & Instruction and Educational Policy Studies from the University of Wis­consin-Madison. She is now Assistant Professor in the Department of Teacher Education at Michigan State University. She is the author of When Pre-K Comes to School: Policy, Partnerships, and the Early Childhood Education Workforce (Teachers College Press 2017).

Mathematics, Science & Technology


Jeremiah Sumter, Jr. (M.A. ’04) was promoted to Prin­cipal at the Roosevelt UFSD Middle School and received his Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Hofstra University.



Kushu Dhingra (Ed.D. ’99), founder and Executive Director of talkSTEM, has started a new initiative, walkSTEM, a series of math and science walks through the Dallas Arts District to teach elementary and middle school students and their fami­lies about the relevance of math in everyday surroundings. walkSTEM is conducted in partnership with moMath in New York City.


Organization & Leadership


Gerda Govine Ituarte (Ed.D. ’84, M.A. ’76) has authored three poetry collections: Oh, Where is My Candle Hat?, Alterations Thread Light Through Eye of Storm and Future Awakes in Mouth of NOW. Ituarte has published in anthologies and journals in the U.S. and Mexico and held poetry readings in Can­ada, Colombia, Cuba, the U.K. and Mexico. She is the founder of Pasadena Rose Poets — nine published poets in Pasadena who bring “poetry within reach in unexpected places.”


SAGE has published the second edition of Becoming a Multicultural Educator: Devel­oping Awareness, Gaining Skills, and Taking Action, co-authored by William Alexander Howe (Ed.D. ’91). The book received the 2013 Philip C. Chinn Book Award from the National Association for Multicultural Education. Howe received TC’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2015.


Sarah Siegel (M.A. ’12) is lead­ing the design team for Watson Academy at IBM. She manages eight premier instructional designers and designs learning offerings for a range of IBMers.


Kleon C. Andreadis (M.Ed. ’79) has moved to El Paso, Texas to establish a new law practice.

Katherine L. Norris (M.A. ’99) published Engage in the Math­ematical Practices: Strategies to Build Numeracy and Literacy with K-5 Learners (Solution Tree Press 2016).


Joan Stamler (Ph.D. ’10) is an evaluation consultant and TC Adjunct Assistant Professor, teaching a course on the Evalu­ation of Educational and Social Programs. She volunteers with Reading Partners, which assists elementary school students.


Carol D. Birks (Ed.D. ’13, M.Ed. ’11) is Assistant Su­perintendent for Instructional Leadership at Hartford Public Schools. Birks works with a Networked Improvement Community to help school lead­ers improve student academic outcomes for 11 schools. She is Founding CEO of Erudite Educational Consulting LLC.

Monica George-Fields (Ed.D. ’15) is President and Chief Education Officer of Reimagine Excellence and Achievement Consulting House (REACH), which coaches school commu­nities that undertake school improvement and sustaining efforts.


Mildred García (Ed.D. ’87), President of California State University, Fullerton, has been elected the next Chair of the Board at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, beginning her service in 2018. García received TC’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2015.

Patrick McGuire (Ed.D. ’94), past President of TC’s Alumni Council, was named NY1’s Queens “Person of the Week” for his hours of dedication to New York Cares.


Alice Croll (M.A. ’86), CSW, is celebrating three decades of counseling practice in Hackensack, New Jersey. She is a featured professional in the Psychology Today web directory.

Since graduating from TC, Natalie Schwartzstein (M.A. ’86) has worked in fundraising, including campaign oversight and management, for New York University, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Vermont, Stanford Uni­versity and, currently, George Washington University. She has worked with schools of law, medicine, business, and arts and sciences.