Second group of aspiring math, science teachers begins Woodrow Wilson fellowship

June 13, 2012

The second class of W.K. Kellogg Foundation Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows at Michigan State University includes a former cancer researcher, a computer programmer and a veterinary assistant. With a vast variety of experiences, the group of 11 aspiring teachers joins others across the state who are rising to meet the challenge of improving education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The 2012 cohort of Fellows, announced today by Gov. Rick Snyder, includes recent college graduates and career-changers with strong backgrounds in the STEM fields. Making a commitment to teach for three years, each of the 74 recipients of the highly competitive WKKF-WW Michigan Teaching Fellowship (64 enrolling in 2012 and 10 deferring their enrollment) will receive $30,000 to complete a cutting-edge master’s degree program preparing them to teach in Michigan’s high-need urban and rural secondary schools.

“Great teachers and great teaching can make all the difference for our students, their educational growth, future success and quality of life,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “The W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellowship is making tremendous strides toward the goal of providing children across Michigan access to highly effective educators in these critical subject areas, and I commend this work and look forward to its continued role and achievements.”

The 2012 class of Fellows were selected from a pool of more than 2,000 applicants. Along with MSU, they attend Eastern Michigan University, Wayne State University, Grand Valley State University, University of Michigan and Western Michigan University. These universities partner with local school districts where Fellows learn to teach in real classrooms from the beginning of their master’s work, just as physicians learn in teaching hospitals. The nine partner districts for these clinical placements, up from seven last year, include Battle Creek, Benton Harbor, Detroit, Godfrey-Lee, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Wyoming and Ypsilanti.

New MSU Fellow Fletcher Daniels, a chemistry graduate from Detroit, joined associate professor of teacher education Gail Richmond, who directs the fellowship at MSU, at the celebration at the Capitol this morning. The full cohort began taking courses together on campus last month. They include:

  • Abigail Strietmann from Cincinnati, Ohio; degree in biology
  • Reed Ebmeyer from Middleville, Mich., degree in human biology
  • Benjamin Weaver from Birch Run, Mich., master’s in organic chemistry
  • Fletcher Daniels from Detroit, Mich., degree in chemistry
  • Rachael Nye from Sterling Heights, Mich., degree in zoology
  • Matthew Oney from Aurora, Colo., Ph.D. in plant biology
  • Kelyn Carlson from Grand Rapids, Mich., degree in biology
  • Clinton Bartholomew from Olathe, Kan., Ph.D. in cell biology
  • Amy Ong from Novi, Mich., degree in chemistry/biochemistry
  • Rochell Mahaley from Piscataway, N.J., master’s in comparative medicine & integrative biology
  • Damian Khan from Arima, Trinidad & Tobago, master’s in physics

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation launched the WKKF-WW Michigan Teaching Fellowship in 2009, providing $18 million in support.

The College of Education’s Department of Teacher Education began preparing the first cohort of MSU Fellows last summer, placing them in teaching internships during the 2011-12 school year. Nine Fellows are expected to receive their teacher certification sometime this year. They are looking for their first full-time teaching jobs and will continue coursework to complete their master’s degree in Teaching and Curriculum.