Future Leaders: TC's Talented Students
[ THE LAST WORD: TC STUDENT VOICES ]
Rebuilding Through Education
I have valued education from a very young age. I spent many childhood summers in my hometown of Sarajevo, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a small but beautiful country that is still recovering from the devastating 1992-1995 war. Although my family left a year before the war, I was deeply affected. I recall this once-thriving city, which not long before had hosted the Winter Olympics, overrun with peacekeepers. My most vivid memory from those early years was pulling off Disney stickers in my grandmother’s kitchen only to realize they covered bullet holes. With each visit, I witnessed the country mending: first, the airport rebuilt, then, fewer soldiers in the streets, and finally, buildings restored. But I wondered: how to ensure no child grows up during war or its aftermath?
“At TC, I have learned to use economics as a tool for understanding individual and educational decision-making. I’ve helped TC’s Campaign for Educational Equity champion all children’s right to a sound, basic education. I believe even more strongly that education catalyzes social change.” — Emina Omeragic
During college, I volunteered at Children are the Pillars of the World, a Sarajevo-based NGO that promotes educational and ethical values in children. Their dedicated teachers inspired me to enroll in TC’s Economics & Education program in Fall 2014, confident of making a meaningful societal contribution. However, it was only upon reading Dewey’s words in Zankel Hall — “Education is the fundamental method of social progress and reform” — that I fully understood education’s transformative power.
At TC, I have learned to use economics as a tool for understanding individual and educational decision-making. I’ve helped TC’s Campaign for Educational Equity champion all children’s right to a sound, basic education. And now, as a development professional, I’m watching our faculty and students tackle public education in Brazil; prepare professional development schools in Poland; train Kenya’s teachers and mentor refugees; and more.
Today, with Bosnia’s political and economic situation still appalling, and with the country losing its most talented youth to a massive brain drain, I believe even more strongly that education catalyzes social change. I vow to uphold TC’s core values so that all children may grow up in a healthier, smarter, equitable and — now more than ever — more peaceful world. —Emina Omeragic
Emina Omeragic (M.A. ’17, Economics & Education) currently serves as Associate Director of Major Gifts & International Fundraising in TC’s Department of Development & External Affairs
[ CLASS ACTS ]
Learning to Teach Caring
An oncology nurse relies on faith, compassion and, now, TC
As a Clinical Nurse Specialist at New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Wayne Quashie has witnessed inspiring recoveries and wrenching deaths. His faith — in nursing and in God — sustains him. “I can’t stop patients from dying, but I can ease their suffering and support grieving families.” Quashie came to the United States from Trinidad at 19. He put himself through school in nursing and public health and enrolled this past fall in Teachers College’s new online nursing education doctoral program to better teach “young nurses with limited life experience how to connect with patients and families facing the unknown of a cancer diagnosis.” He was “ecstatic” to receive TC’s Cynthia Davis Sculco Scholarship. “Teachers College was the only place where I could hone my teaching skills.” —Robert Florida
Published Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017