After graduating from Ursinus in 2011 with B.A.’s in history and dance, and a secondary social studies certification, I joined Teach for America as a member of the New York City Corps. I was placed in a high school just north of New York City where I taught special education and social studies. I spent eight years at the school and additionally served as a mentor teacher leader and Literacy Specialist. While teaching, I earned my M.S.T in Special Education from Fordham University. In 2019, I made the difficult decision to leave the classroom and pursue my passion for education policy in Washington, D.C., where I served as an education policy fellow in the office of then-Senator Kamala Harris working on education and child welfare issues. After my year-long fellowship, I was hired as a Legislative Assistant in the office. I now serve as the Education Policy Manager for The Arc of the United States–the largest organization serving people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and their families. In my role, I advise on issues related to all aspects of education, child care, and child welfare. I interact regularly with Members of Congress and the Administration to ensure the needs of students with disabilities are included in legislation. Here is a brief podcast conversation in which I describe my work and organization: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/5-minutes-with-the-arc/id1548499991?i=1000554091869
The Ursinus Education Department prepared me both for my time in the classroom and my work in education policy. The grounding of every class in theory and history made me feel confident that I could transfer my skills outside of the classroom. I appreciate that the methods-focused courses were taken just before student teaching and only after we established a framework for “why” we teach in a particular way.