Our students bring commitment to education

Your support of the School of Education is reflected in the lives and the successes of our students. Donor support of scholarships and other aid helps students who come to us from a wide variety of experiences - but all with an enduring commitment to the promise of education.

Read about some of our students, the work they are doing and their aspirations. You will be inspired!

And consider making a gift today!

Cydney Bates: Always wanted to be a teacher … and a Tar Heel!

Cydney’s kindergarten teacher lit the inspiration that grew into motivation to be a teacher. It’s the reason why at the age of five, Cydney asked Santa Claus for an overhead projector! As a Carolina undergrad that devotion was strengthened, and it’s being empowered with a master’s degree!

“My undergraduate experience at the UNC School of Education was extremely beneficial to my development as an educator and I feel that it adequately prepared me to be an impactful teacher leader within my classroom and district. This experience is what intrigued me to seek the advanced degree program offered by the UNC School of Education.” Click here to read more...

Stefanie Bordeaux: Strengthening skills in math instruction

Stefanie has been teaching for 12 years, but wants stronger skills in teaching mathematics. She came to the School of Education to obtain licensure as a K-5 mathematics specialist. A Susan Friel Graduate Stipend is helping make that possible.

“I have found that I walk away with a deeper understanding of my role as an educator and new ways to challenge myself as a teacher. I think an important component of this program is how our professors challenge us to question and analyze our own teaching, and develop our own questions to pursue.” Click here to read more...

Montine Chen: A desire to help children with autism

Montine came to us from Taiwan, knowing that Carolina offered strengths in research in the field of helping children with autism and their families. Being an international student, she isn’t allowed to work. The Charles S. Templeton Scholarship makes it possible for her to continue her studies.

“UNC is known for its research energy, but before coming here I didn’t realize that the energy doesn't come from the facilities, the funding or the beautiful campus and weather. Instead it comes from the people, who are always willing to share knowledge, exchange ideas and support one another through good times and bad.” Click here to read more...

Beth Coleman: Deepening her understanding of teaching and schools

Beth knows the School of Education well, as she is now working on her third degree from us – a Ph.D. in cultural studies and literacies. She has used what she learned at Carolina in her work teaching in first-grade classrooms. Now she is working to more thoroughly examine questions about the contexts of education. A Carol and William Malloy Travel Award is providing her opportunities to gain experience sharing her research.

“No matter whether I pursue a tenure-track faculty position, head back to a first-grade classroom or do something in between, I know that my graduate school experience has transformed and shaped how I see teaching, education and more broadly the world. I hope that I continue to develop as a critical educator seeking equity and justice, and that in doing so I work in ways that invite others to do the same.” Click here to read more...

Joshua Conger-Kallas: Helping build networks to improve learning

Joshua graduated this spring with a master’s in the art of teaching and has ambitions of becoming a leader in schools. He has already worked to help establish connections between preservice teachers here at Carolina and in Germany, with participants learning from each other about best practices. He plans to do more of that sort of work. The Gerald Unks Travel Fellowship helped him develop that calling.

“I chose the UNC School of Education because its conceptual framework — “Preparing leaders in education for equity and excellence in a democratic society” — aligns well with my teaching philosophy and what I believe to be the goal of education: to provide equal access to quality public education for all children. I expected that the school’s high quality research, diverse service-learning options and inclusive community would lead me to critically discern, evaluate and expand my comprehension of topics so that I could maximize my potential as a teacher.” Click here to read more...

Kara Crumpler: Travel experiences helped light desire to teach

Kara had an early experience with children on a mission trip to Ghana before her first year at Carolina. Using sticks and rocks, she gave a rudimentary lesson in math. “One child looked at me with great excitement in his eyes; it was clear that the light bulb had finally come on as he grasped the concept. On that day, I decided that teaching is what I want to do with my life.”

The Gerald Unks Travel Fellowship gave Kara an additional opportunity to travel, going to Hamburg, Germany for a portion of her teaching practicum.

“Without this scholarship, this experience would have remained a dream, but instead it is a reality.” Click here to read more...

Caroline Dunevant: Opportunities at Carolina fuel the dream to teach

Caroline has a lot of younger siblings, an experience that endeared her to caring for children. “I love taking care of people,” she says. She also knew for a long time that she wanted to come to Carolina. New she’s setting off into the world after graduating from our child development and family studies program.

“I hope to be a teacher who advocates for families and children, in order to improve all aspects of their lives.” Click here to read more...

Alex Ford: Pursuing a career of meaning

Alex is driven. She’s achieved membership in Phi Beta Kappa, the Golden Key International Honour Society and has made Dean’s List every semester of her Carolina career. The Frank R. Comfort Scholarship helped her stay focused on her school work. Now she plans to take her drive and use it to inspire students.

“I hope to be a teacher who shows my students that learning can be a fulfilling experience for each of them and that all of their contributions matter. Specifically through social studies, I want to empower students to think critically and independently and work collaboratively. I want to prepare my students to take an active and positive role in the society in which they live.” Click here to read more...

Michelle Gay: Has been amazed by experience at School of Education

Michelle grew up in a home of Tar Heels and knew that Carolina would push her, challenging her to achieve and to become the best teacher she can be. The Carole and Samuel Roebuck Scholarship helped her focus on her work – especially during her student teaching practicum.

“This scholarship has allowed me to concentrate all my energy on learning how to create effective lessons that address all my students’ needs. I have been able to focus on grading papers and working together with my coordinating teacher without worrying about having to leave early to get to work.” Click here to read more...

Jeremy Godwin: Grappling with big questions

Jeremy has worked as a teacher in middle and high schools. That’s when he’s been asked some tough questions as his students wrestled with topics involving race, class, gender and sexuality. That led him to divinity school at Yale.

Now he intends to build a career in which he can continue to examine questions regarding the intersections of religion and race within contexts of education. The Samuel L. Holton Graduate Fellowship is helping him as he pursues his Ph.D.

“My hope is to continue my own research in this area and to raise awareness in our field about the importance of studying religion, not only in terms of how it might be taught in classrooms but also how it works in our society in pedagogical terms. If we are going to take seriously our commitment to social justice, then we must have a better understanding of how religion (and religious persons and communities) might play a role in that pursuit.” Click here to read more...

Meghan Harter: Striving to become an academic scholar

Meghan has worked as a teacher, teaching English language arts and as a special education teacher. A recipient of a Samuel Holton Fellowship, Meghan now is working on her Ph.D. in cultural studies and literacies, with aspirations of becoming an education researcher or working in disability services.

“Out of all the schools that I applied to, I knew that UNC would provide me with the best education to achieve my goals,” she says. “I have found both UNC and my adviser, Dr. George Noblit, to be extremely supportive. All the classes and research I have participated in have been very challenging and rewarding.” Click here to read more...

Alex Humphries: Loving the School of Education

Alex Humphries loved learning as an undergraduate how to teach mathematics at Carolina. Now she's back for more instruction, pursuing a master's degree, because she wants to provide even greater support for children learning math. Click here to read more...

Alison Hunt: Finding new ways to express love for teaching

Alison is using the V. Mayo and Norma Melvin Bundy Scholarship to help her obtain a bachelor’s degree on the way to becoming a teacher. She knows it’s work she is meant to do and the scholarship support is helping her get there.

“I knew that I wanted to make a difference in the lives of as many children as possible, and one way I can do that is by becoming a teacher. I want to be an advocate for early education because I understand its importance and the effects it has on children. I strive to make learning fun for students and help create a strong base for their further education.” Click here to read more...

Alex Johnston: A desire to help students achieve

Alex learned from working in rural high schools in Virginia that some students need extra attention and encouragement to apply to college. As the School of Education’s first recipient of a Dean Smith Opening Doors Award, Alex is able to concentrate on her studies in the Master of Education in School Counseling program.

“I was beginning to question whether coming to UNC and paying out-of-state tuition was the best decision for me. In the midst of this discouragement, I was notified of being awarded the Dean Smith Opening Doors Award and was immediately moved to tears. I am continuously grateful for this award. Not only has it benefited me financially, but also it has solidified my sense of purpose and belonging here at UNC.” Click here to read more...

Eda Karacul: Developing expertise to help more children

Eda has come a long way to Chapel Hill. From Turkey, she went to the University of Texas at Austin for her master’s degree. Now she’s getting a Ph.D. in school psychology so that she can help more children.

“My experience at the UNC School of Education has been wonderful. I have been able to connect and work with distinguished scholars, gain invaluable experience through practicum and internship opportunities and get to know amazing people with diverse backgrounds. The School of Education offers many research opportunities, professional connections and resources to develop our abilities.” Click here to read more...

Erin Kerr: Thrilled about becoming a teacher!

Erin is excited. She is looking forward to launching her teacher career ... and teaching social studies to fifth graders. The Carol Mathews Peeler Scholarship has helped her along the way.

“I cannot wait to get out into the teaching world after graduation! I’ve spent countless nights lying awake planning my future classroom and thinking of behavior support systems. I am so eager and excited to begin encouraging, inspiring and supporting children.” Click here to read more...

Sunny Lee: Seeking to provide early interventions for troubled children

Sunny has worked in psychiatric settings and came to see that some people would be helped if they received earlier support and treatment. Interventions and preventative education in school settings could have powerful results, she believes, which is why she’s pursuing a doctoral in school psychology. A Linnea Smith Innovations Award is helping Sunny reach her goals.

“The financial support has helped cover the cost of my tuition, allowing me to focus on my externship experience at an elementary school in Chapel Hill without having to take on a part-time job. In addition, the award funded my participation in a workshop on child survivors of sexual abuse, where I learned not only about identifying and providing services for children, but also about enhancing their resiliency and supporting them throughout their development.” Click here to read more...

Brittany Lenhart: Preparing for a career in global education

Brittany came to the School of Education to get the grounding to work in international education settings. Our new master’s program in international education and support from a Carol and William Malloy Travel Award have opened new doors.

“The courses offered and course of study were exactly what I was looking for to continue on toward a career in education management. I wanted to gain an understanding of global educational realities and find new role models who were involved in interesting research and projects.” Click here to read more...

Melissa McWilliams: Wanting to help parents

Melissa is getting a doctorate in school psychology. Her previous work experience taught her the importance of reaching parents and helping them more effectively engage with community mental health services to help at-risk children. The Ira and Esther Gordon Scholarship is helping her prepare for this work.

“After I graduate, I hope to work as a school psychologist in a school system and help our field develop a better understanding of how to assist at-risk parents in cultivating their children's mental health and healthy development. Someday, I hope to open my own practice to work with children and their parents.” Click here to read more...

Lynn Merrill: Extending her family’s commitment to education

Lynn comes from a long line of educators. She knows the value of honing your craft, which is why she enrolled in our Master’s for Experienced Teachers program. The Susan Friel Graduate Stipend has supported her.

“I think my dream job in the field of education would be as an elementary school mathematics coach or a lead teacher of mathematics. Regardless of what my future looks like, I hope that I continue to share what I am learning in this program with my grade-level team members, with my fellow teachers at my current school and with teachers from across the district of Orange County Schools!” Click here to read more...

Caitlin Schwagerl: Finding Ways to Help

Carolina's commitment to diversity drew Caitlin to Carolina, fueling her interest in the Minor in Education.

"After graduation, I am considering pursuing a second baccalaureate degree in nursing. Although I am not sure exactly what my path is going to be at this time, I know that I will work to pursue social and economic equity and to improve the lives of those who are less fortunate than I am." Click here to read more...

Morgan Smith: A true Tar Heel

Morgan was born among the truest of Tar Heels. Growing up surrounded by educators, she came to see the power of teaching and its impact on others. The Susan Friel Graduate Stipend has helped her as she pursued a degree in our Master’s for Experienced Teachers program.

“My goal is to be a positive role model to my students. I want to make a connection with every student I teach and inspire my students to be the best they can be. I want them to believe that with hard work and persistence, they can reach the goals that they set for themselves.” Click here to read more...

Bryan Wang: Gaining strength in pedagogy

Bryan is preparing to go off to Columbia University where he will pursue a doctorate in biology. At Carolina, he is graduating as a member of UNC-BEST, which allows students to major in math or science while also taking courses needed to obtain teaching licensure. A Dean E. Smith Scholarship was helpful along the way.

“My experience at the UNC School of Education has been nothing short of amazing. Besides being able to meet a group of like-minded individuals dedicated to the education of youth, I have had the privilege of taking classes with future teachers who are planning to teach at all grade levels as well as seasoned teachers who are pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees. This experience has been possible due to the blended nature of classes in the school while demonstrating the applicability of educational theories across the full range of educational levels.” Click here to read more...

Hannah Whited: Following a lifelong love of learning

Hannah’s career choice follows her love of learning, one that translates into a love for teaching. The Robert W. Eaves Scholarship has provided Hannah support as she pursues her dream.

“I was fortunate to have a great experience as a K-12 student in my local schools, and I would love to be able to give students the same opportunities that my teachers afforded me. My most important career goal is to be an effective teacher and create a positive, safe environment in which my students can fall in love with learning.” Click here to read more...