Students win national fellowship to pursue degrees in education

Gabriela Hernandez ’11 and Oscar Moreno ’11 were recently granted the Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color (WW-RBF). There were 25 students selected nationally to receive this award.

Fellowship winners are granted a $30,000 stipend to complete a master’s degree in education. The 25 recipients were chosen through a highly competitive selection process after having been nominated by the College’s liaison to the WW-RBF fellowship, Molly Magavern.

Hernandez is an art history major with a concentration in Africana studies. “I was so excited the day I found out that I got the fellowship,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to attend some of the best credential programs in the country as well as be part of a group that shares the same commitment to education. I have already been invited to online forums with the rest of the fellows, so I know that I will have tons of support from the foundation throughout graduate school.”

While still unsure about which graduate program she will attend, Hernandez said she wants to teach secondary social studies, likely either in her hometown, San Francisco, Calif. or in New York. “I chose secondary education because of past internships where I worked as a Spanish and dance teacher at Breakthrough Collaborative, a summer enrichment program for middle school students,” she said.

Moreno is an American studies major who is completing two concentrations in Africana studies and Latino studies. “I feel that the WW-RBF Fellowship, besides being a blessing, is a testament to the hard-work ethic my parents instilled in me and an affirmation that their struggles in this country are not in vain,” Moreno said. “It also means that I can pursue my passions and increases the skills I need to become an effective educator. Given the many challenges in urban education, I need all the preparation I can get.”

Moreno is currently most interested in attaining a master’s degree in education at either UCLA or NYU. “After graduate school, I would love to teach social sciences in Southern California, preferably Los Angeles,” he said. “However, I’m open to teaching in any big U.S. city; I can’t do the small town environment anytime soon. My decision to pursue a career in teaching is rooted in my personal experience with urban education and the incredible positive influence a few gifted teachers have had on my life and accomplishments.”

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