New Master of Science in Education Fellows Announced

New Master of Science in Education Fellows Announced

The School of Education and Social Policy announces 11 new graduate fellows for the 2013-14 academic year. John Anderson-Lynch, Thomas Clark, Sean Guo, Jonathan Holcomb, Zachary Karasek, Amanda King, James Megahan, Christine Meng, Joshua Paschedag, Amy Stuenkel and Lisa Weber are all students in the Master of Science in Education Program. Their fellowships were established to improve education by supporting outstanding future teachers.

Fitzgerald Fellows – Amanda King, Christine Meng

Amanda King

Since 2007, when Amanda King earned her BA in psychology from Grinnell College, she has worked with children of various ages as a tutor and a nanny, including during a year in Austria. For five years she has also been managing director of Prologue Theatre Company in Chicago, which tells historical stories from underrepresented voices. Now King wants to share her passion for science as a middle school science teacher, ideally in a Chicago public school, and she applied to SESP’s MSEd program as a way to ensure her future success in the classroom. “I am immediately drawn to and understand the importance of discussion and reflection-based education,” she says. “SESP’s reputation and the rigor of the master’s degree make the program the undeniable leader in teacher training.”

After earning a certificate in teaching English as a second language from London Teacher Training College, Christine Meng was a Fulbright Fellow in Taiwan last year, teaching English to fifth and sixth graders. In 2012 Meng earned her BA in music and English literature

Christine Meng

from the University of Virginia, where she graduated magna cum laude and received two scholarships. Meng is pursuing SESP’s MSEd program for training in order to become a great elementary school teacher. “I want to devote my time, energy, and career to teaching young children,” she says. “I am excited to explore various theories and perspectives on the way children learn, so I can effectively reach the students that traditionally slip through the cracks.”

The Marjorie Gosselin Fitzgerald Fellowship is awarded for studies in elementary school teaching. Fitzgerald Fellowships were created by a gift from Marjorie Gosselin Fitzgerald (BS49) and Gerald F. Fitzgerald of Barrington, Illinois. Marjorie Fitzgerald student taught in Evanston and Winnetka when she was a student in the College of Education and is committed to providing support for aspiring elementary school teachers at SESP.

Kappa Kappa Gamma Fellow – Lisa Weber

Lisa Weber

Lisa Weber has found herself drawn to teaching ever since she began working in public schools as a speech-language pathologist four years ago. Weber brings seven years of experience in public school settings in Chicago public schools and suburban settings, where she provided speech-language services. Attracted to the classroom setting, she wants to work with one group of elementary school children year-round. She says, “I am very passionate about the importance of language skills needed for academic success in all curricular areas, and my goal would be to integrate and embed language learning into the curriculum within my classroom.” 

The Kappa Kappa Gamma Fellowship was established by a group of Northwestern alumnae who are members of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. The goal of the more than 50 donors is to contribute to high-quality elementary education that will have an impact on the lives of children in years to come. To attract the best and brightest to elementary education, the fellowship is awarded to an outstanding MSEd student who intends to teach at the elementary school level.

Keenan Fellows – Sean Guo, Jonathan Holcomb, Zachary Karasek, Joshua Paschedag
Sean Guo, who wants to be a high school mathematics teacher, earned a law degree from the University of California after completing a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He has worked as a law clerk, paralegal and tutor. Guo, who says he has gained an appreciation of mathematics, notes, “Whether it is finally understanding algebra or appreciating how mathematics applies to everyday life, I want others to experience this kind of connection with mathematics.” Tutoring has shown him the need for “individually caring for each student and catering to the needs of particular students.” As he takes the first step toward his “dream job” of being a high school mathematics teacher, Guo applied to Northwestern because of its high-quality education standards in teacher preparation.

Jonathan Holcomb

Jonathan Holcomb holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Minnesota. He has been a teaching assistant in the Department of Chemistry at Cornell University and the University of Minnesota, as well as a technical aide at 3M, and has had volunteer experience in education. Determined to be an educator, Holcomb left a doctoral program in chemistry because he says his interest in chemistry will be best served by “helping young students make their own discoveries.” He is impressed with the efforts of SESP to “prime its students to be not only teachers but also researchers in education,” and he is impressed with the importance SESP places on experience in both urban and suburban settings. He also appreciates SESP’s comprehensive training and outreach efforts in STEM education.

Zachary Karasek, who completed an intensive Spanish language course in Spain and earned a translation certificate from the University of Chicago, wants to teach high school foreign language. He graduated with honors from the University of Missouri with a degree in Spanish and economics and has served as a volunteer tutor in English language learning programs and volunteer translator at medical clinics. Karasek wants to pursue SESP’s MSEd degree to become an "accomplished professional.” He says, “The importance of highly qualified instructors at every level of education is evident, and I hope that, given this and other like opportunities, I will count myself as one.”

Joshua Paschedag earned a master’s degree in biology and a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He has worked as a teaching assistant and research assistant in the Department of Cell Biology and published in scientific journals. Paschedag is passionate about science and about sharing it with others. He wants to impart an understanding of how science shapes our existence and to encourage students to pursue careers in science. He says that MSEd will complement his experience with “practical and theoretical education knowledge.” He appreciates the MSEd program’s focus on areas he finds important, such as reflection and inquiry, connecting theory to practice, and collaborative learning.

Because of the critical importance of preparing reflective and knowledgeable teachers, a gift from Carol Keenan established the Keenan Fellowship to support the preparation of outstanding elementary educators. Carol W. Keenan (BS59) of Chicago taught at the Latin School in Chicago after majoring in education at Northwestern University.

Weinstein Fellow – Thomas Clark
Thomas Clark says he applied to the MSEd program, with its unique emphasis on reflection, because “because I believe it will prepare me to become an observant, reflective and flexible high school English teacher.” He says, “I would like to lead a classroom where students feel that they are exploring a piece of literature together, learning at once about themselves, about one another and about the world around them.” Clark, who graduated magna cum laude from Carleton College in 2005, has been working as exam coordinator at Golden Gate College of Law in San Francisco.

The Julia Weinstein Fellowship was established to support the preparation of outstanding educators. Julia Weinstein (MS87) of Scarsdale, New York, whose gift established this fellowship, emphasizes the importance of excellent teachers to help young people reach their potential.

Scott Fellow – Amy Stuenkel
Amy Stuenkel, who earned teacher certification through SESP’s NU-TEACH alternative certification program, has taught mathematics at Wendell Phillips Academy High School in Chicago since 2010. “My interest in teaching in a high-needs school stems from my desire to help those in need of guidance and direction, but also in my certainty that I can make a difference by using my knowledge and experiences,” she says. “Helping children to achieve their dreams in the face of all types of adversity is, perhaps, one of the greatest endeavors one can undertake.” She is pursuing a master’s degree to build her knowledge of current educational practices and better serve her students. Learning more about discussion, inquiry and differentiation through Northwestern’s “high-quality instruction from extremely knowledgeable and passionate teachers” is especially important to her.

The Mary Lou and John Scott Fellowship was established by Walter Scott, a 1955 Northwestern graduate and professor, in honor of his parents. Created to have an impact on inner-city education, the fellowship supports students training at Northwestern for teaching in urban schools.

Morton Fellow – James Megahan
“Historical knowledge and cultural literacy have provided my life with a source of significant meaning and contentment, and it is my desire to encourage similar acquisitions of knowledge and truth in others, with the hope that they can enjoy and share its rewards and benefits throughout their lives too,” says James Megahan, who wants to teach history and social studies in an urban district. Megahan, who wants to teach high school history and social science, especially appreciates the MSEd program’s emphasis on the social contexts of education. He graduated magna cum laude with a BA in history from Truman State University in 2011, and has worked as an online enrollment counselor for a local school of health management. 

The Lorraine H. Morton fellowship, intended to support excellent candidates who want to pursue a career in teaching, was named in honor of Lorraine Morton (MA/MS42) of Evanston, Illinois. Morton is a SESP alumna who was the mayor of Evanston for 16 years and the principal of Haven Middle School for 12 years.

MSEd Fellow – John Anderson-Lynch
John Anderson-Lynch has served in schools in Guatemala, Japan and the United States. Anderson-Lynch, who has a BA in history of art and architecture from Brown University, most recently worked as a special education apprentice teacher with middle school students. He is changing his career from consulting to elementary education because of his desire for both problem solving and a mission he can be passionate about. He says, “I am both happy and proud to be committing to my teaching career by pursuing a master of science in education degree at Northwestern University.” He selected Northwestern for its commitment to academic excellence and opportunity to learn though its network of schools and collegial interaction with fellow students. He seeks to be “the kind of middle school teacher a student remembers for life.”


By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 12/9/15