Senior Allie Gilbert has truly made the most of her student experience while at Illinois. From her involvement in Epsilon Delta and Student Alumni Ambassadors to doing a pandemic-shortened study abroad semester in Spain, she's explored many opportunities to learn where her true passions lie. Now, she waits to hear back about her Fulbright Scholarship application—staying true to continuing to learn about herself, the world, and how to provide equitable education to her future students.
A little bit about Allie:
Q: Where is home for you?
A: Aurora, Illinois.
Q: What is your year and major?
A: I'm a senior in Elementary Education, minoring in Spanish.
Q: What do you enjoy about the campus experience, so far?
A: I have loved my time at Illinois so much and I am so sad it is coming to an end. I have loved getting to know new people, build relationships with faculty, and experience teaching in many different types of schools. Being involved in SAA and Epsilon Delta has also made my experience so worthwhile.
Q: How did you know you wanted to go into the field of education?
A: I have wanted to teach since I can remember, but as I have gotten older, I have realized how passionate I am about equitable education and social justice pedagogy. I really want students to see their potential and realize the impact they can make on the world.
Q: What do you enjoy about the College of Education?
A: I love that it is a small family in such a big place. Everyone knows each other and is always kind and welcoming. Of course, the free hot chocolate at the Zola Coffee Bar is always nice!
Q: Do you have a favorite professor or course? Why?
A: One of my favorite professors was Dr. Monica Gonzalez Ybarra. She has such a passion for culturally responsive pedagogy and translanguaging and it has really impacted me.
Q: What is a fun fact about yourself?
A: I'm the only one in my family with super curly hair!
Q: Tell us about any research you've done with Education instructors.
A: I did research with Dr. Hinze-Pifer my sophomore year about the relationship between officer-involved shootings and student achievement. This opened my eyes a lot to data collection. I also conducted some research for a class on incarceration as a business. As the school to prison pipeline interests me, I really loved this project.
Q: What about any study abroad trips?
A: I studied abroad during the Spring 2020 semester, when the pandemic hit, and while I didn't get to stay the whole time my experience in Spain was like no other. I truly grew as a person while I was there and learned about education from a different point of view. I encourage anyone to study abroad if possible because you gain so much that you can't possibly gain in any other scenario.
Q: Tell us about your future plans, post-graduation.
A: Currently, I am waiting to hear back from the Fulbright Scholarship about my ETA application to Uruguay! Aside from that, I will be applying to teaching positions in Chicago Public Schools and the northern suburbs.
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