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2018 Transforming Lives - Developing Translational Research and Transformational Leaders


ASPIRING TEACHERS SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS Top Row (l-r): Amy Whelchel ‘19, Byrklin Quisenberry ‘19, Kathryn Wolf ‘20, Abigail Gwosdz ‘20, Bekah Howard ‘20 Bottom Row (l-r): Anna Fedewa ‘22, McKenna Mohr ‘19, Hope Harrod ‘19, Macy Melton ‘21, Savannah Gibson ‘20 Ten special education students in the college are among the first in the country to receive the Charles Butt Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers. The scholarship is part of the Raising Texas Teachers initiative by the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation. It’s a 10-year, $50 million project designed to support universitybased teacher preparation programs in addressing the needs of students, elevating the status of the teaching profession and inspiring top students to pursue teaching. The inaugural cohort was chosen from 350 candidates through a competitive selection process. This included a written application, interviews, group activities and a demonstration teaching lesson. Those chosen from Texas A&M include: Anna Fedewa ‘22 Savannah Gibson ‘20 Abigail Gwosdz ‘20 Hope Harrod ‘19 Bekah Howard ‘20 Macy Melton ‘21 McKenna Mohr ‘19 Byrklin Quisenberry ‘19 Amy Whelchel ‘19 Kathryn Wolf ‘20 Each student is committed to teaching in high-needs, Texas public schools or in hard-to-fill subject areas. They will receive an $8,000 scholarship each year, as well as ongoing training, mentorship and networking opportunities. “Teaching is one of society’s most important professions, and strong teachers are critical to the future of Texas,” said Charles Butt, founder of Raise Your Hand Texas, the Holdsworth Center, and chairman and CEO of H-E-B. Recognized as a leader in teacher preparation in Texas, the special education program in the College of Education and Human Development is one of 10 premier university programs chosen to partner with Raising Texas Teachers in its inaugural year. “Our commitment has always been to educate and prepare teachers who can provide an education filled with promise for all the children of Texas,” explained Dr. Joyce Alexander, dean. “Scholarships like this will allow us to recruit passionate and bright Texans to answer the call to teaching.” 16

A PROGRAM OF POSSIBILITIES The Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education program is fostering student passions through learning experiences on and off campus. BY HEATHER GILLIN Like most people, Dr. Krista Bailey did not know what student affairs was until she came to college. “Some people will describe our profession as a hidden one, because few people grow up saying, ‘I want to be a student affairs practitioner,’” Dr. Bailey said. Dr. Bailey graduated from Texas A&M University in 1999. She earned degrees in biomedical science and agricultural development. While she did not plan for a career in student affairs, she went on to get her masters and then doctorate in educational human resource development. Dr. Bailey worked in student affairs at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and in the Offices of the Dean of Student Life at Texas A&M. After 14 years, she returned to teach in the same program from which she graduated. Today, Dr. Bailey serves as a clinical associate professor and the director of the program, known by its former and current students as SAAHE. SAAHE is a two-year graduate program in the Department of Educational Administration and Human Resource Development. The program attracts students from across the nation seeking a comprehensive education combining assistantships and internships with theory-based classes. Dr. Bailey emphasizes that this model is a distinguishing factor of the SAAHE program. “Throughout the different courses our students take, they are applying theory to practice and practice to theory. When they leave our program, they are very prepared,” Dr. Bailey said. PARTNERS ACROSS CAMPUS A lot of this practice is thanks to an on-campus partnership with the Division of Student Affairs. The division embraces SAAHE students, creating experiences in the form of assistantships and internships. “Our partnership with the division solidifies a holistic learning experience for students. They learn so much in the classroom from the faculty they work with and from each other. They also learn through all the professional development experiences with the Division of Student Affairs,” Dr. Bailey said. Students are also able to seek opportunities outside of the division to find an experience where they can focus on their passions. “When I first got into student affairs, my goal was to help students of color, help them feel welcome on campus, help them feel like they need to be involved and help them find a home,” Charles Frazier, a current student and graduate assistant at the Marilyn K. Byrne Student Success Center said. “To do that, you need to help create a campus climate that is inclusive of everyone.” 17

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