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Intellectual Contribution/Faculty Tribute Award Recipient: Nancy Schoolcraft, MBE'09

Nancy SchoolcraftWhen Nancy Schoolcraft, Ed.M.'09, arrived in Cambridge, Mass., from her hometown in Indiana, she says she chose to let Harvard get into her blood. In particular, Schoolcraft enjoyed her inspirational classmates, especially in the Mind, Brain, and Education Program (MBE). Their diversity and experiences brought new perspectives to Schoolcraft's views on education.

"Nancy has brought a wonderful combination of experience and thoughtfulness to the MBE Program," said program director Professor Kurt Fischer. "She knows a lot about instruction, especially in math, and she knows how to cut to core issues in discussions of teaching and learning. Her contributions to the dialogue in her classes were always deep and interesting."

Upon learning that she would be honored with the Intellectual Contribution/Faculty Tribute Award for the MBE Program, Schoolcraft answered some questions about her time at the Ed School and her future.

What was your goal upon entering the Ed School?
I wanted to look for links between language and mathematics, including in the brain. It was my hope that I would find clues that would help all of my mathematics students by focusing on students of Hispanic backgrounds.

Is that goal any different now?
The goal remains the same, but the breadth has changed. Now, I focus on all students with English language deficits which is much more global.

What was your favorite class and why?
Bruno della Chiesa was a visiting professor from France who rocked my world. International perspectives were shared freely and openly in a classroom environment that fostered deep thought about lofty ideas. The class was small but diverse, and students, all students, had no doubt that their ideas were valued. The globe became smaller for me as my own world became bigger.

How did you stay inspired throughout the year?
Every day I walked over the Charles River and looked at the spires and the beauty of Cambridge. On campus there were smiling faces to greet me and professors who were thought provoking and caring. At my apartment I had peace and quiet, and my family was never further away than the nearest phone or Internet connection. Just being here was inspiring.

Any special study spots on campus (or off)?
In the fall, I had a wonderful spot on the banks of the Charles where I took a blanket to study.

What advice do you have for next year's students going through your program?
Don't get behind in the readings! HT-100 will give you a broad overview and framework. Choose other courses to strengthen your weak areas and to build on your personal interests.


2009 Intellectual Contribution/Faculty Tribute Award Recipients

Suzannah Holsenbeck, TEP

Elisha Brookover, L&L'09

Mangala Nanda, IEP'09

Andrew Cabot, SS'09

Nancy Schoolcraft, MBE'09

Joe Baker, EPM'09

Kathy Yang, L&T'09

Angelica Brisk, AIE'09

Melissa Mayes, R&P'09

Jerome "Jay" Green, HDP'09

Ashton Wheeler Clemmmons, SLP'09

Terri-Nicole Singleton, TIE'09

Emily Almas, HE'09


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