MSEd Student Sugandhi Chugani Wins Education Pioneers Fellowship

MSEd Student Sugandhi Chugani Wins Education Pioneers Fellowship

Sugandhi Chugani

Sugandhi Chugani, a graduate student in the Master of Science in Education (MSEd) program, was awarded an Education Pioneers Fellowship for a project to improve the transition to community college for Chicago students. Education Pioneers, a nonprofit organization focused on transforming K-12 urban education, selects top graduate students across the nation to support nonprofit partners and build a nationwide network of change agents.

Chugani is working at the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) District Office in the Office of Pathways to College and Career. Her project focuses on conducting quantitative and qualitative research to identify CPS graduates that transition to community college and to see how this population can be better supported to achieve successful outcomes. “Every two weeks or so, Education Pioneers brings all of the Chicago-based fellows for workshops and networking, which is one of my favorite parts of this experience,” says Chugani.

“I applied to become an Education Pioneers Fellow because it was the perfect intersection between my former career as a management consultant and my current interest and passion for classroom teaching,” Chugani explains. “Based on what I learned from my fellow SESP classmates about their Education Pioneers experience, I knew that this fellowship would be a great way to not only gain hands-on experience in the education sector and help shape my Master's Project, but also to connect with a dynamic community of leaders in education through the Education Pioneers cohort experience.” 

Chugani sees many advantages to the fellowship. “This fellowship has been a great avenue for me to learn about the Chicago education landscape and about CPS in particular, which is immensely relevant to me as I design my master's project and prepare for student practicum and teaching at two CPS high schools starting in the fall,” she says. “I am grateful for this opportunity and encourage all MSEd students to consider exploring this side of the education sector!”

The Education Pioneers Fellowship Program provides high-achieving graduate students in business, education, law, public policy and other programs with an opportunity to make an impact with an education organization. Another master’s student, Nathan Randall, is a current Education Pioneers fellow, working with an education nonprofit in Texas. Randall is a student in the Higher Education Administration and Policy Program.

For several years, SESP graduate students have won Education Pioneers fellowships. In 2011 Master of Science in Learning and Organizational Change (MSLOC) students April Bowman and William Wong won fellowships to work with a charter schools management organization in Dallas and the Chicago Public Schools, respectively. In 2009 Learning Sciences alumnus Rob Kimball (MA09) and MSLOC alumna Erica Labowitz (MS09) won fellowships, Kimball to work with the KIPP Ascend Charter School in Chicago and Labovitz to work with Partners for Developing Futures, a social venture firm that invests in charter schools. In 2008 MSLOC graduate Christine Leung (MS08) worked with City Year service corps in Boston, and in 2007 MSLOC alumna Meghan Tallent-Bennis (MS07) was a fellow with the Chicago Public Schools.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 7/27/17