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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.

  • Jack Josellis | Future Fulbright

    Jack Josellis, a history major and secondary education minor spent a semester in Spain as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant.

  • Claire Follis | Fighting Education Inequality

    Learning & Education Studies major Claire Follis is passionate about education inequality. She believes that a child's quality of education should not be dependant on the zip code they live in. That defining principle is what motivates her in both her research and professional work. 

  • Julia Rhodes | Learning in Italy

    Elementary Education sophomore Julia Rhodes is spending her Spring semester studying in Verona, Italy; and she thinks everyone should study abroad, even if only for a week-long program.

  • Amanda Navarro | Education is Powerful

    Middle Grades Education junior, Amanda Navarro knows that education has the power to change the world— and that's why she's here.

    "Since I was younger, it was the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do. I’ve always wanted to give back, whether it was through my community or surrounding ones, but I knew I wanted to do it through education."

  • Grace Seiffert | A Home Away From Home

    Special Education sophomore Grace Seiffert has always had a passion and talent for working with children; so naturally, pursuing education was the next step. While on campus and away from family, Grace says the College of Education has really become her home away from home. 

  • Danielle Golob | A Passion For SPED

    Following in her mother's footsteps, Special Education senior Danielle Golob wanted to pursue education as early as second grade. She says that getting to experience education both from her own schooling and through her mother's eyes provided her with a different perspective, solidifying her passion for education. After graduation, Danielle hopes to teach special education. 

  • Devon Jackson | A Future In ESL

    After graduating in 2021 from Middle Grades Education with a minor in Literacy and ESL, Devon aspires to pursue a career as an on-set teacher in the entertainment industry.

  • Ellen Reckamp | A Semester Abroad

    Ellen Reckamp just started her junior year as an English major, Secondary Education minor. She always knew she wanted a career that worked hands-on with other people, and with education she could really help students grow and feel empowered.

  • Mike Rotter | Illini 4000

    Special Education Junior Mike Rotter spent his summer riding a bike across the country from New York City to San Francisco with the Illini 4000 team. Every summer the group sets out on their cross-country adventure to raise money for cancer research and support services.

  • Marisol Jimenez | Outstanding Award For Outstanding Research

    Senior Learning & Education Studies Marisol Jimenez was awarded Oustanding Oral Presentation at the 2019 Illinois Undergraduate Research Symposium for her research on the reform acts in Chicago from 1980 to 2015 and their push for the standarization and accountability movement.

  • Kevin Ho | Exploring Family History With Fulbright

    Kevin Ho, an english major and secondary education minor will be headed to Vietnam this fall as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant.

  • Katie Barr | IEA Student of the Year

    The Illinois Education Association has named the University of Illinois’ Katie Barr as Student of the Year. Barr is currently a junior in the College of Education, majoring in Middle Grades Education with concentrations in Literacy, ESL, and Spanish, while also pursuing a minor in Spanish.

  • Mike Rotter | Illini 4000 Ride in Honor of Dr. David Zola

    Special Education Sophomore Mike Rotter is gearing up for his second summer with the Illini 4000 group. This year, his 4000 mile ride is dedicated to his first and favorite college professor: Dr. David Zola. 

  • David Pollak | With Teaching in His Blood

    Senior Elementary Education major David Pollak can't remember a time growing up where he didn't want to be a teacher. With an entire family made up almost exclusively of educators, he's convinced it was always in his blood. 

  • Jasmine Wong | The News-Gazette Teacher of the Week

    Elementary Education alumna Jasmine Wong was named The News-Gazette's Teacher of the Week. Jasmine is a third-grade gifted-classroom teacher at Champaign's Booker T. Washington Elementary. 

  • Natalie O'Callaghan | An Advocate For Fellow Illini

    Elementary Education Senior, Natalie O'Callaghan has loved being part of the Illini family. One of the things that has made her Illinois experience memerable was getting involved with Illinois Student Government and the UC Campus Senate as the College of Education Student Senator. She considers herself lucky to have the opportunity to advocate for both Education students as well as University students as a whole. 

  • Nancy Lazaro | President of Golden Apple Illini

    In middle school, Nancy had no idea what college was. But after one of her teachers inspired her to be an educator, she learned about Big Ten schools and Illinois.

    Today, Nancy is a Senior Golden Apple Scholar and president of Golden Apple Illini. She has also worked as a tutor with America Reads/America Counts.

  • Candace Hsu | Born To Teach

    Candace knew her purpose in life was to be a teacher from the age of seven. As a senior majoring in elementary education and minoring in speech and hearing science, she loves connecting what she learns from one field of study to another. She hopes to create a future classroom in which her students can walk in with a smile and leave feeling encouraged and empowered.

  • Sam Fishman | Student Teaching

    Special Education major, Sam Fishman is currently student teaching at Jefferson Middle School in Champaign. He says working with his 8th graders has been the highlight of his college career thus far. Sam is in a co-taught english and math period working with four students in a Tier 3 math intervention class.

  • Matthew Sondag | Inspired To Change

    Junior Matthew Sondag's choice to pursue Early Childhood Education was inspired by the quote, "To see the change, you must create the change." His goal is to create a classroom that promotes acceptance, respect, kindness, and the love of learning. 

  • Xue Yan Chen | Research Grant for Capstone Project

    Learning and Education Studies Senior, Xue Yan Chen received a $1,050 Undergraduate Research Support grant for her capstone project. She is working to develop an interactive prototype application grounded in the keyword method and usability testing to access effectiveness on Spanish vocabulary recall and comprehension.

  • Nia Curtis | A Trip to South Africa

    Last summer, Elementary Education Junior Nia Curtis took an 18-hour flight out of the country for the first time. She met her mother, a high school English teacher and Fulbright Recipient, in South Africa. Over the summer they traveled to Botswana, Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Zimbabwe.