Student Spotlight

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Student Spotlight

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  • Ana Garcia | Teaching to Fulfill Part of Her Purpose

    Ana Garcia is a Chicago native who knows that teaching young children and serving in a low-income community is part of her life's purpose.

  • Kerrigan Lane | Having Fun is Crucial to Learning

    Kerrigan is a freshman in the College's Early Childhood Education program. She's loved her own "classroom life" experience and the fun of learning in community. Kerrigan can't wait to creating a welcoming, inclusive, positive classroom environment for all her future students to grow.

  • Lily Greenberg | Advocating for Marginalized Students

    Meet Lily Greenberg, an Elementary Education major who feels strongly that kids of all different backgrounds deserve a teacher who they feel represents them.

  • Danté Studamire | Here to Support First-year Students

    Danté Studamire knows the value of sounding boards in life. In his relatively short time here at Illinois, he can already point to a handful of mentors and faculty who are helping shape his goals, vision, and future academic pursuits. (Not to mention his Ph.D. dissertation!) This year, the Office of Minority Student Affairs has appointed Danté to serve as a mentor to College of Education first-year students who are finding their way. He's part of the College's academic advising team, and is excited to meet Education students and learn about their ideas and passions.

  • Julie Ross | Passionate About the Next Generation of Learners

    As the 2021-2022 school year kicks off, we introduce you to Julie Ross who is thrilled to be back on this bustling campus this fall! She's even more excited to one day lead her own classroom of crazy busy middle school students. Learn more about why Julie loves Education at Illinois!

  • Xochitl Mondragon | Reflection and Gratitude

    As the school year comes to a close, we reflect on our growth and look to the future. Elementary Education senior Xochitl Mondragon is taking this time of reflection to show her gratitude to the educators that got her where she is today. From formative years spent with outstanding grade school teachers, to the inspirational difference teachers made on her young niece, to the guidance and "pure heart" of professors in the College of Education, this Teacher Appreciation Week (and every week) we celebrate teachers. Now, as Xochtil says her goodbyes to Illinois, she prepares to join the ranks of impactful educators everywhere.

  • David McCormack | "Everyone Has Dignity"

    Senior David McCormack has enjoyed his time on campus with involvement in Best Buddies, the Newman Center, and intramural sports. Most of all, he cherishes his experiences in his chosen field of Special Education. He recalls the beginnings of his affinity for special education back in high school, "I decided that I'd want to follow this passion and start to devote my life to it." Now, David is looking forward to starting his professional career as a Special Educator in a classroom of his own at Lincoln Jr. High this fall.

  • Sharon Stagaman | Finding Her Niche

    Graduation is just around the corner for Elementary English and Spanish major Sharon Stagaman. Since watching her father become an educator in her childhood, Sharon knew she wanted to follow in his footsteps one day. But carving your own path is no small task, and Sharon credits finding her niche in the education field to the diverse learning experiences at the College of Education. "I feel really prepared to graduate with experiences at different types of schools across grade levels, and I feel so lucky that these experiences started junior year to help me solidify that teaching is what I want to do."

  • Kapri Dowdell | Advocate and Inspire

    As her senior year comes to a close, Special Education major Kapri Dowdell has her eyes set on her future as an educator. After graduation, Kapri is heading home to Chicago as an elementary school teacher in Chicago Public Schools, with plans to return to school for a Master's in Administration in a few years. When asked about her dream job, Kapri stated, "I want to be a principal or have a higher power in our education system to advocate for our students with special needs for academic, emotional, and mental support."

  • Lesly Ortega | "Teaching is the only path for me"

    Junior Lesly Ortega feels that the path to teaching is the only one for her, and has felt this way since childhood. As an English major and Secondary Education minor, Lesly has enjoyed her courses in and out of the College of Education, and looks forward to returning to her high school as an English teacher as soon as possible. When she's not in class or studying, Lesly enjoys checking out the local restaurants and greeting her peer's pets on the quad.