Clarkson University’s first cohort of Noyce Scholars, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, has graduated. This spring, Emily Holodak, Luke Moore, Kaylee (Turner) Pietroski, and Meghan Whitehead earned their teaching certificates and in addition, successfully completed CU’s STEM Up NY Program, which is designed to support pre-service teachers for careers in high-needs school districts. Most teachers start out with limited experience teaching in high-needs school districts and are just developing their own sense of inclusivity and multiculturalism as they begin their careers. CU’s STEM Up NY Program helps scholars develop a sense of cultural competency in the context of teaching in a high-needs school district (rural and urban) while integrating educational research and building a long-lasting community of CU Noyce scholars who can collaborate, share experiences, and ultimately support each other moving forward.
Emily, Luke, Kaylee, and Meghan faced additional challenges, as did all educators, because of the Covid-19 pandemic and are now part of the first wave of teachers who will be charged with a new way of teaching and student engagement. At a time when equity and access issues are at the forefront of challenges for students, CU’s Noyce Scholars will have a unique perspective and skill set in overcoming obstacles to student achievement.
All four scholars will be starting the new academic year teaching in a high-needs school district. Emily will be teaching science at South Garner HS in North Carolina. Luke and Meghan will be teaching math at Andrews HS in South Carolina and Troy Middle School in New York respectively and Kaylee will be teaching both math and science at Kalaheo HS in Hawaii.
As Karen Marrongelle, Assistant Director (Directorate for Education and Human Resources) said in her letter to the scholars, “We aren’t yet sure what the new normal for schools will be or when that new normal will be established, but your knowledge, skills, and leadership will ensure that you and your students can thrive in the midst of this uncertainty and change. You give all of us hope for a future that is equitable, where all children can achieve their dreams.”
STEM Up NY is directed by Clarkson Assistant Professor of STEM Education Seema Rivera, Mathematics Professor Katie Kavanagh, Associate Physics Professor Michael Ramsdell, Associate Engineering Professor Jan DeWaters, and Associate Math/STEM Education Professor Ben Galluzzo. The program awards a $20,000 scholarship for students’ senior year and $20,000 for their MAT year. For students who are interested in teaching, find more information about the scholarship program at https://www.clarkson.edu/department-education/stem-ny-noyce-scholarship.