Student Blogs

Wonder what it's like to be a student at Penn GSE? Want to know what your classmates are working on, or how they balance their classes with their lives?

Check out the GSE student blogs, a collection of blogs written and managed by Penn GSE students. They write about classes, assistantships, city life, working - you name it.

Students generally update their blogs weekly, so check back often! (BTW, their remarks are all their own and go live without getting "cleaned up" by the School.)

  • Fredrick Choi from Walnut, CA

    • M.S.Ed. student, Higher Education
    • B.S., Educational Studies from Vanderbilt University
    • In his own words: “Besides the faculty and staff, I chose Penn GSE because I felt as if I was a member of not just the GSE community, but the Penn community as well."


  • kendall dacey

    • M.S.Ed. student, Counseling and Mental Health Services
    • B.S., Psychology nd Child Development from Vanderbilt University
    • In her own words: “I chose to attend graduate school at Penn GSE because I loved the unique set-up of the Counseling program where I am able to complete two master's degrees in two years. I also liked having the option to complete a dual track in school and clinical mental health counseling. Most of all, I loved the professors I met during my interview and I felt a strong connection to Penn and Philadelphia."


  • Austin Jasienski from ­Las Vegas, NV

    • M.S.Ed. student, Higher Education
    • B.S., Natural Resource Science from Washington State University
    • In her own words: “When I visited Penn GSE I knew it was the place for me. The faculty members got me excited to learn!"


  • Athena Lao from ­Athens, GA

    • M.S.Ed. student, International Educational Development
    • B.A., Classics and Ethnic Studies from Harvard University
    • In her own words: “Penn is the perfect place to study the intersections of education and development: the GSE faculty are both brilliant and caring, my classmates are enthusiastic and inspiring, Penn is well-resourced and dynamic, and Philadelphia as a city is cultured and chill. It's everything you could want in a graduate school experience!"


  • anne rathell pyzocha from bethesda, md

    • M.S.Ed. student, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
    • B.A., Political Science and Russian from Indiana University
    • In her own words: “Between the phenomenal faculty and the incredible opportunities to do field work within the Penn and Philadelphia communities, I knew that GSE would be the best place for me to continue my education."


  • rachel sarnoff from santa cruz, ca

    • M.S.Ed. student, Teacher Education (Elementary level)
    • B.A., Geography and Women's & Gender Studies from Dartmouth College
    • In her own words: “I view teachers as activists toward educational equity and greatly admire Penn GSE's commitment to urban education and social justice."


  • jess schneider from carmel, ny

    • M.S.Ed. student, Teacher Education (Secondary level)

    • B.A., Journalism from SUNY Purchase

    • In her own words: “The desire to create more equity in educational opportunities has led me to pursue a career in teaching. I was initially drawn in by Penn GSE's commitment to creating socially and culturally aware teachers by focusing on urban education, but my decision to attend was really made upon hearing about the level of support and care provided by Penn's faculty and the partnerships within the Philadelphia schools and community."



  • Aya yagi from oakland, ca

    • M.S.Ed. student, Education, Culture and Society
    • B.A., French and Music from Stanford University
    • In her own words: “I chose Penn GSE and the ECS program because it just felt like the perfect fit. I'm very interested in examining how various cultural, political and historical forces have shaped and continue to shape the U.S. public school system, and Philadelphia is the perfect city to do this. The faculty and students here are not only knowledgeable and passionate about their work, but also incredibly kind and generous about sharing their experiences. I feel very fortunate that I am beginning my journey in the field of education at Penn GSE."