Student Spotlight

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Student Spotlight

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  • Sean Gardiner | Opened Eyes

    Sean Gardiner, a Junior in English and Secondary Education, has learned so much on his undergraduate journey. His favorite lessons so far are the tough truths of the inequality in our education system. Sean says this of his Identity and Difference in Education class, "It truly opened my eyes to the imbalances in our education system and in our world today as a whole. I have recommended it to many of my friends, even those that are not in the College of Education."

  • Kennedy Record | a Voice for the Voiceless

    Sophomore Kennedy Record is living life as an Illinois student to the fullest. She loves cheering on the Fighting Illini, checking out the local coffee shops, and most of all, she loves her work with children with disabiliteis. Kennedy says, "I desire to be a voice for the children who feel voiceless, someone who will fight for them when they cannot fight for themselves"

  • RJ Schlesinger | Breaking the Mold

    Senior RJ Schlesinger's skills and interests are totally unique. At Illinois, RJ doesn't have to fit into one category-he can make his own! Through research, courses, and mentorship from his professors, RJ is taking all he has learned and sharing it by becoming an educator. RJ says "I want to teach! It’s equal parts exciting and terrifying, but I am up to the challenge!"

  • Haley Allen | Learning Along The Way

    Despite all of her research, trainig and studies, senior Haley Allen still felt uneasy about taking over a classroom of her own. That is, until her mentors in the College of Education taught her a very valuable lesson; you will always be learning along the way. Haley says, "Because of my instructors, I now feel prepared for the many unknowns that come with teaching young children."

  • Claudia Kobylarczyk | Paying it Forward

    Senior Claudia Koblarczyk fell in love with education through her experience as a tutor. Her adoration of literature, passion as a mentor, and guidance from educators and peers has set her on the path to success. Now, she's paying it forward with plans to return to her alma mater, Reavis High School, as an English Teacher.

  • Morgan Murphy | A Childhood Dream Come True

    Freshman Morgan Murphy has dreamed of being a teacher since childhood.

    "I love teaching children something new and exciting. Seeing their faces light up with knowledge gives me a sense of pride and happiness."

    Read more on Morgan's goals and aspirations at Illinois and beyond!

  • Melia Watson | Making the Classroom a Home

    Junior Melia Watson explored many education paths before finding her calling in Special Education. The comfort and acceptance extended to Melia on her journey by the College of Education is something she will take with her to a future classroom of her own. For students who come from backgrounds with less opportunity, the classroom doubles as a place to call home. 

  • Diamond Dadej | Honor the Past, Better the Future

    Senior and history/secondary education major Diamond Dadej is teaching us a lot more than history in this week’s blog. Read on for a lesson in learning from those around you, pride in where you come from, determination in where you are going, and one very important reminder to carry with you throughout the semester;
    “Nothing is impossible for an Illini.”

  • Raina Kutliroff | Finding Your Path

    When Raina started at Illinois, she thought her fun and creative spirit meant the arts was where she belonged. But she found herself missing something in her major, eventually realizing she could use her artistic skills as a full time educator, making the College of Education her new home. Raina’s story reminds us all that as we start a new school year, it's okay to not have it all figured out. Trust yourself on your journey, and everything will work out for the best! 

  • Nia Curtis: The graduate

    By now, every corner of our community has been touched by the coronavirus pandemic. As he will until the crisis subsides, Anthony Zilis spent an eighth week telling the stories of those affected. He recently spoke with Nia Curtis, Elementary Education major and soon-to-be graduate, in his 'Coronavirus and the Community' series.