Penn GSE students recognized for their work in education

May 31, 2016

As the academic year closes, Penn GSE students and alumni have received awards and recognition in Philadelphia and around the world for their continued efforts to improve education. Among those whose work has recently received attention:

Amber Daniel
 Amber Daniel, an Ed.D. student in Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education, is a recipient of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Program Fellowship. This award will fund her dissertation research and writing for three years. “I entered the doctoral program at Penn GSE to address the need for more highly qualified teachers in mathematics education,” said Daniel. “The work I have set out to do builds the capacities of teachers in under-resourced communities.” Hauser, who works closely with Janine Remillard, Abby Reisman, and Rand Quinn, is a mathematics educator and researcher. “It is important to me that I stay rooted and connected to teaching and schools on a deep and personal level,” said Daniel.

Frances Kvietok Dueñas
 Frances Kvietok Dueñas, a Ph.D. candidate in Educational Linguistics, is the recipient of the 2016-17 Inter-American Foundation Grassroots Development Field Research Fellowship. This award supports Ph.D. candidates conducting field research in Latin America and the Caribbean. Dueñas’s research examines the new regional language education policy in the Peruvian Andes, and its effects on language policy, Indigenous family language socialization, and youth language practices in urban contexts. “Frances is deeply committed—she urged me to offer a course exclusively focused on Indigenous education and language revitalization,” said Nancy Hornberger. “The course was a great success and is now offered regularly.” Dueñas is also the recipient of Penn’s Latin American and Latino Studies Graduate Student Field Research Grant.

Ben Koch
 Ben Koch, a 2015 graduate of the Penn GSE Teach for America program, was one of 40 educators across the country chosen for the Gooru Innovations Fellowship. Koch — a high school Spanish teacher at the new, non-selective Building 21 High School in Philadelphia — will have his Spanish One course featured on Gooru’s online platform of curriculum development as a model for educators to adopt.

Melanie Young with Superintendent William Hite
 Melanie Young received the School District of Philadelphia’s 2015-16 Superintendent’s Award for Outstanding Service, in recognition of her volunteer work for the district. Young graduated this month with her Master’s in Teaching, Learning, and Leadership with a Middle Years Certification in Social Studies and a minor in Urban Education. This summer, she will teach ACT/SAT preparatory classes in China, and begin as a 7th-grade mathematics teacher at Southwark School in Philadelphia in the fall. “Melanie is deeply curious about student learning and tireless in her effort to reach and engage her students,” said Reisman. “Her future students will be very lucky.” Alex Bird, a recruiter for the School District of Philadelphia, praised Young for her service to students. “We’re so impressed with Melanie,” Bird said. “And excited to publically recognize her extensive record of service.”

Bear St. Michael
 Bear St. Michael, a senior urban education minor, received the School District of Philadelphia’s 2015-16 Superintendent’s Award for Outstanding Service. St. Michael taught mathematics in local high schools, and served as a volunteer for after school clubs for elementary school children. The urban education minor, a collaborative program of the School of Arts and Sciences and Penn GSE, is an interdisciplinary undergraduate minor bridging classroom and community.


Jennifer Goulston Zwillenberg
 Jennifer Goulston Zwillenberg, an Ed.D. graduate of the Reading, Writing, and Learning division, was featured in the American Libraries Notable Dissertations.  Zwillenberg’s dissertation, “This Text Matters: Students’ Experiences with Independent Reading,” focuses on the adolescent view of what makes interesting reading and how teachers can build upon that knowledge. She worked closely with Vivian Gadsden and Ebony Thomas, as well as Susan Lytle and Diane Waff. “Penn GSE was a perfect fit for me,” Zwillenberg said. 


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