SESP Welcomes New Students, Faculty

SESP Welcomes New Students, Faculty

SESP Undergrads 2014

The School of Education and Social Policy is welcoming 35 new undergraduates and 136 new graduate students with orientation activities this fall. New this year, the entire SESP community is invited to a SESP-wide poster session on September 23, as well as an all-school welcome back social on September 30.

For the 2014-15 academic year, three new assistant professors are joining the SESP faculty. Jolie Matthews and Shirin Vossoughi are new to the Learning Sciences faculty, and Terri Sabol is joining the Human Development and Social Policy program.


The 35 new undergraduates participate in Wildcat Welcome orientation from September 16 to 22. Four new students are transfer students from other universities. Of the 31 freshmen new to SESP, 10 are majoring in social policy, eight in human development and psychological services, eight in learning and organizational change, and five in secondary teaching. 

A highlight of the welcome week for incoming undergraduates is a dinner at the home of Dean Penelope Peterson on September 18. SESP Wildcat Welcome activities also include a dean’s convocation on September 17, individual advising, registration, tours and group meetings. In addition, freshmen meet with their SESP peer advisers, 16 upperclass volunteers selected for their leadership abilities: Diane Arthur, Bobby Barnes, Alexandria Bobbitt, Luke Cianciotto, Caroline Gold, Kayla Goldenberg, David Hong, Halimah Jones, Sanchita Kanthadai, Meg McPherson, Sloane Middleton, Eric Morales, Ian Pappas, Nicole Reed, Shoshi Shapiro and Sarah Thompson.

"SESP gets to welcome students from the most talented and diverse freshman class Northwestern has ever brought to campus," says Andrew Linnehan of the Office of Undergraduate Admission. "I am looking forward to seeing the great change and impact that this group of students can make at both Northwestern and across the world."

Human Development and Social Policy
The Human Development and Social Policy (HDSP) doctoral program welcomes four new students this fall, beginning with an orientation on September 19 to introduce students to the program and to student perspectives. The incoming HDSP students learn about the program and take part in a lunch, technology overview, campus tour and happy hour at Tommy Nevin's Pub. These students have special research interests ranging from early childhood development to personal identities to parenting practices and school-family interaction.

Learning Sciences
The Learning Sciences program is welcoming seven new master’s students and six new doctoral students, a diverse and talented group with backgrounds in science, education, policy, business and educational technology. The Learning Sciences orientation on September 19 introduces incoming students to faculty, staff and current students. It also includes a program overview, course preview, discussions with current students, lunch and technology overview. New students meet their mentors and tour campus before a happy hour for both doctoral programs. The entire Learning Sciences community gathers for a BBQ on September 20 at the home of Miriam and Bruce Sherin.

Master of Science in Education
The Master of Science in Education (MSEd) program has 52 new students this year — with 26 students focusing on secondary teaching and eight focusing on elementary teaching. Ten students are pursuing the teacher leadership curriculum, and 10 students are completing a master's degree after pursuing the NU-TEACH alternative certification program. At the MSEd orientation on September 22, new students meet faculty, staff and each other. They also begin to consider questions to explore in their master's project research. The MSEd fall party is on September 26.

Higher Education
The Higher Education Administration and Policy Program is welcoming 35 new master's students — 24 full-time and 11 part-time — who are interested in many different areas of higher education administration, from study abroad and admissions to campus diversity, change management, development, athletic administration and career services. Incoming students come from a range of schools, including Brown, Harvard, Vanderbilt and University of Michigan. MSHE held four virtual orientation sessions for new students in the spring and summer, and an on-campus orientation is September 22. A welcome party will be held at the home of director Lois Trautvetter on September 26. 

Master of Science in Learning and Organizational Change
The annual retreat for the Master of Science in Learning and Organizational Change Program (MSLOC) from September 5 to 7 featured community building and education as the year kicks off with the MSLOC Foundations course. Of the 32 new students in the MSLOC program, eight are part-time students who live outside of the Chicago area and are earning their degrees through the alternative schedule option, which combines distance learning and on-campus class meetings. An additional cohort of new students began the coaching certificate program in May.

While new students are admitted in the spring and fall, the retreat and the Foundations course in the fall bring the entire cohort together as part of building the strong learning community that is a hallmark of the program. Students come from diverse professional backgrounds, both corporate and not-for-profit, and from locations coast to coast.

All-SESP Events

The entire SESP community is invited to a poster session from noon to 1 p.m. on September 23 in Annenberg Hall and an ice cream social at 3 p.m. on September 30 on the lawn east of Annenberg. This welcome event, featuring socializing and ice cream sundaes, is co-sponsored by SESP’s student organization, Promote 360, which is dedicated to enhancing the well-being of minority and underrepresented students.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 9/18/14