Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

2011 Class of Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellows Announced

Release Date: 
May 9 2011

Today (May 9, 2011)  at the Indiana Statehouse, Governor Mitch Daniels announced the 2011 class of Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellows. The Fellows are accomplished career changers and outstanding recent college graduates in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (the STEM fields) who will prepare for math and science teaching positions in the state’s urban and rural schools.

Each of the 54 Fellows selected will receive a $30,000 stipend to complete a special intensive master’s program at one of four Indiana partner universities—Ball State University, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Purdue University, and the University of Indianapolis. The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation of Princeton, N.J. administers the program.

Thirteen of the Fellows will enroll at IUPUI, one in the Purdue School of Science, five in the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, and seven in the IU School of Education.

“The IUPUI program is unique in that Woodrow Wilson Fellows select one of three degree programs: the M.S. in Education, M.S. in Mathematics, or M.S. in Engineering Technology Education,” said Kathy Marrs, director of the Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship program at IUPUI. “Combined with an option for Dual Certification in STEM and Special Education, made possible by additional U.S. Department of Education Teacher Quality Partnership funding, our Woodrow Wilson fellows aim to close the achievement gap in high need schools by providing a high quality STEM education to all students.”

All four universities have redesigned teacher preparation to prepare teachers in local classrooms, the way physicians learn in hospitals and attorneys in law offices. Programs also include intensive emphasis on specific teaching approaches for the STEM fields. After a year of classroom-based preparation, Fellows commit to teach for at least three years in a high-need Indiana school, with ongoing support and mentoring.

“It is well-recognized that high quality STEM education is a national need in preparing tomorrow’s citizens. Since Indiana was chosen to be the first state to launch the Woodrow Wilson fellowship program, I am pleased to see that IUPUI has successfully implemented the program and is steadily delivering on its promise of training STEM teachers,” said IUPUI Executive Vice Chancellor Uday Sukhatme.

The new Fellows will begin their master’s work this summer and will be ready to enter their own classrooms in fall 2012. Teachers from the first class of WW Indiana Teaching Fellows, named in 2009, are already working in classrooms around the state, and teachers from the 2010 cohort are now ready for their own classrooms.

“The multiplier effect, the ripple effect of what this program can do, we are already seeing,” says Gov. Daniels, who has championed the program since its inception. “In every school into which one of these remarkable Fellows parachutes, the quality of other teaching will go up. The expectations of the principal and superintendent for the next math and science teacher will go up. Each one of these Fellows will affect not merely the students who come into contact with them, but perhaps students who encounter a teacher who was inspired because they were in the same place with one of these teachers.”

Indiana became the first state to launch a Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship program in December 2007, with the announcement of a grant of more than $10.1 million from Lilly Endowment, Inc. to support the program. Supplemental state funding has brought the total to $13 million to date.

Founded in 1945, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (www.woodrow.org) identifies and develops leaders and institutions to address critical national challenges, working through education.

The 2011 Fellows who will enroll at IUPUI are:

Mellondie Benson, of Indianapolis, a licensed pharmacy technician;
Bereket Berhane of Indianapolis, a college professor;
David Byron of Indianapolis, an entomologist in urban pest control with major agroscience firm;
Ryan Cox of Greenwood, Indiana, a communications technician;
Jamar Crutchfield of Cleveland, Ohio, a software programmer;
Christopher Dalrymple of Indianapolis, a published research associate;
Kimberly Gordon of Indianapolis, a biologist with Eli Lilly and Company;
Kara Griffin of Indianapolis, a substitute teacher and personal tutor in math.
Harold Hermanson II of North Muskegon, Mich., a teaching assistant/guest lecturer;
Ashley Lynn of Indianapolis, a college proctor/grader;
Randee Owens of Chicago, Ill., a biology mentor;
Shakoor Siddeeq of Indianapolis, an engineering application and product designer/consultant; and
Eric Sprague of Brownsburg, Indiana, a lab technician and analytical chemist in corporate and clinical settings.