MSU announces first group of fellows preparing to teach math, science in urban schools

May 12, 2011

Twelve aspiring science and mathematics teachers will begin their professional preparation at Michigan State University this summer as part of a new statewide fellowship program focused on preparing future educators for jobs in high-need classrooms.

Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the inaugural cohort of fellows selected to complete the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellowship, which includes a $30,000 stipend and admission to a master’s-level teacher certification program at one of six Michigan universities.

Gail Richmond and Maureen Donegan at the Fellows' announcement

Across the state, 92 Fellows were picked from more than 1,500 applicants based on their diverse backgrounds in math or science-related fields – and a passion for becoming great teachers.

“In these challenging economic times, it is more important than ever that we have teachers of science and mathematics who not only are well prepared, but committed to supporting the learning of children in schools with the greatest need,” said Gail Richmond, associate professor of teacher education and director of the fellowship program at MSU.

The MSU cohort includes, for example, a former professional forester, new college graduates majoring in chemistry and physics, and researchers and laboratory technicians with experience in tutoring and youth leadership. Maureen Donegan, a Fellow representing MSU during today’s announcement in Lansing, has received degrees in biology and psychology, led workshops on peer pressure for adolescents and studied neuroscience as an intern at a global pharmaceutical company.

MSU will prepare the teacher candidates specifically for careers in urban school districts. The program begins with coursework on campus later this month, followed by full-school year internships in Detroit and Grand Rapids this fall.

Fellows must commit to teach in urban schools for at least three years, during which they will receive on-the-job mentoring and complete requirements for a master’s degree.

Here is the MSU cohort of WKKF-WW Michigan Teaching Fellows and their primary teaching areas (visit the MSU program site for full bios and photos):

• Edna Carter of Saranac, biology
• Levens (Evan) De Back of East Lansing, physics
• Dominic DeMarco of Wallingford, Conn., physics
• Maureen Donegan of West Bloomfield, biology
• Benjamin Garlets of Grand Rapids, mathematics
• Ann Schultz of Whitmore Lake, biology
• Elliot Sedlecky of Grand Rapids, biology
• William Seniura of Grand Rapids, mathematics
• Matthew Sheick of Clio, biology
• Gregory Smith of Lansing, biology
• Stephen Stauffer of Battle Creek, chemistry
• Ian Zang of Flushing, biology

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation launched the WKKF-WW Michigan Teaching Fellowship in 2009, providing $18 million in support. The other Michigan universities participating are University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Western Michigan University, Grand Valley State University and Wayne State University.

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