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Checking In: Class of 2010

[[{"fid":"38311","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"2010","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"2010"},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"alt":"2010","title":"2010","style":"float: right; margin: 5px;","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]The 2009–10 academic year was a big one at the Ed School. The Learning and Teaching Program welcomed its first students to the newly launched Instructional Leadership Strand, the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University formed the Strategic Data Project, and then-Dean Kathleen McCartney announced the creation of the Ed.L.D. Program. The Askwith Forums welcomed notable guests such as Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and children’s author Eric Carle; and Harvard’s newly minted Teach For America corps members were surprised by Bill Gates at a HGSE reception.

In the days leading up to Commencement 2010, the HGSE website highlighted 13 master’s students – all recipients of the Intellectual Contribution/Faculty Tribute (ICFT) Awards – their work at the Ed School, and their hopes for what lay ahead for them in the field of education. Part of an impressive class already making indelible marks on the field, the ICFT winners were among the 679 graduates at the 2010 diploma ceremony addressed by McCartney: “You make us hopeful,” she said. “We know the future is in good hands — your hands.”

Now, five years into that “future,” we caught up with some of the 2010 ICFT class. Here is a snapshot into the lives and careers of some of these alums.

Jen LeheJennifer Lehe
Arts in Education
Current city: Columbus, Ohio
Current job: Manager of Strategic Partnerships, Learning Department, Columbus Museum of Art
Career highlights: Building a collection of really touching notes from her kindergarten students; facilitating a discussion on challenges and opportunities to promoting human rights in journalism at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva

“I will be focusing on the ways in which our museum can support teachers who are hungry to make their classrooms incubators of creativity. In my role, I oversee our Teaching for Creativity Institute, which I am planning to expand from a summer model to a true, year-round institute. Moreover, as director of the Making Creativity Visible initiative, I have the pleasure of working with classroom and museum educators over the next 18 months to develop and disseminate tools that will help teachers to model, foster, and assess creativity and make that learning visible.”

[[{"fid":"38231","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Chike Aguh","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Chike Aguh"},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"alt":"Chike Aguh","title":"Chike Aguh","style":"margin: 5px; float: left;","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]Chike Aguh
Education, Policy, and Management
Current cities: Laurel, Maryland/Washington, D.C.
Current job: Director, Education Advisory Board
Career highlight: Visiting community colleges in over half the states in the union to think about how technology can help solve the college completion challenge

“In the long run, after a multi-sector career, I would love to end up in public service working on education and economic policy as a senior policymaker.”

[[{"fid":"38241","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Matt Crellin","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Matt Crellin"},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"alt":"Matt Crellin","title":"Matt Crellin","style":"margin: 5px; float: left;","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]Matthew Crellin
Higher Education Program
Current city: Boulder, Colorado
Current job title/company: Senior Associate for Strategy and Analytics, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS)
Career highlight: One of the principal engineers of outcome-based funding strategies in several states during the past few years for NCHEMS, leading to multimillion dollar budget increases to support colleges and universities at a time when such resources are essential to access and affordability.

My time at NCHEMS has demonstrated that, to be a really innovate policy thinker and practitioner, you need to be able to leverage many ideas, concepts, data, and skills to generate unique perspectives and answers — and you can't do it alone! HGSE and the Higher Education Program crafted an unparalleled level of preparation to be this type of practitioner — and it's led me to a place I never thought that I would be in five years time.”

[[{"fid":"38251","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Celina Benavides","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Celina Benavides"},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"alt":"Celina Benavides","title":"Celina Benavides","style":"margin: 5px; float: left;","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]Celina Marie Benavides
Human Development and Psychology
Current city: Claremont, California
Current job: Director of nonprofit, Project Vistas – Family Child Care Higher Education Academy, which provides family child care providers in Los Angeles County access to higher education and professional development training; doctoral student in Positive Developmental Psychology at Claremont Graduate University
Career highlights: At Project Vistas, assisting a marginalized, nontraditional student group, while overseeing budget, managing program operations, coordinating staff, and fulfilling targeted outcomes; Basic Research Scientist of the Year award by the AS&F Foundation and Claremont Graduate University

“In the middle of my first master’s program, I began working with young children and realized the importance of reaching students at a young age to shape their long-term trajectories.  Ever since, I have been pursuing research and program initiatives that facilitate the building of developmental assets in young people, as well as fostering connections between families, schools, and communities. Although my intent to influence others’ educational success has remained consistent, my approach has evolved. Upon reflection, in many ways I drew from my parents’ work. They have devoted themselves to enhancing the lives of students and families in Southern California, by utilizing a holistic model that incorporates culture, language, familial ties, and community resources.”

Jill Carlson
International Education Policy
City: Oakland, California
Current job: Director of Individual Giving at Aim High, an award-winning summer learning program in the greater Bay Area founded by a HGSE alumnus
Career highlight(s): Relaunching Students Helping Students at Room to Read, and being able to mobilize students (and their families) all over the world to raise awareness and funds for literacy and girls’ education; cheering on Deb Gittler, Ed.M.’10, from afar as she continues to build and grow ConTextos in El Salvador

“[This year we] celebrate Aim High’s 30th summer with our amazing students, teachers, board, staff, and leadership councils. [I hope to] continue to find game-changing ideas in education and the people who love to invest in them to better communities.”

Kelly A. (Brizendine) Blair
Language and Literacy
Current city: Chicago
Current job: Education Consultant (Literacy, Curriculum, Assessment, Technology)
Career highlight: Leading a team of managers and instructional designers in the development of K–12 digital curricula and assessments in math, science, social studies, and language arts. In one academic year an individual lesson was used over 94,000 times by K–5 students across the country

“I never expected to be in educational technology but now that I am, I love it. I'm fascinated by the possibilities that intelligently designed digital curricula and assessment present…. Five years ago I wouldn't have imaged any of the amazing things that have occurred in my career. I'd like to continue to explore the bridge between instructional design, coaching, and technology in any way that I can.”

[[{"fid":"38261","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Therese Arsenault","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Therese Arsenault"},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"alt":"Therese Arsenault","title":"Therese Arsenault","style":"margin: 5px; float: left;","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]Therese Arsenault
Learning and Teaching
Current city: San Francisco
Current job:  Math/Science Teacher and Instructional Leader, Gateway Middle School
Career highlight: Becoming the founding math/science teacher at Gateway Middle School four years ago

“Working collaboratively with colleagues, we have grown our school one grade at a time into a place that teachers, students, and families want to be. My work has focused on developing engaging math and science curriculum, team teaching, supporting teachers as they grow in their expertise and area of interests and most importantly, cultivating a culture of curiosity where my students see themselves as authors of their own learning.”

[[{"fid":"38271","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Lynneth Solis","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Lynneth Solis"},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"alt":"Lynneth Solis","title":"Lynneth Solis","style":"margin: 5px; float: left;","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]S. Lynneth Solis
Mind, Brain, and Education Program
Current city: Cambridge
Current job: Doctoral Student, Human Development and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Career highlight: Collaborating with researchers at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia to study object play experiences of children in socioeconomically diverse preschools in the city

I hope to develop a research career that informs educators, nonprofit organizations, and governmental agencies in the design of formal and informal educational opportunities and interventions that are culturally relevant, sensitive to children’s contexts, and encourage a strong foundation for all children’s lifelong learning.”

Ameer Kim El-Mallawany
School Leadership Program
Current city: Los Angeles
Current job: Director of Family & Community Engagement, Partnership for Los Angeles Schools
Career highlight: Serving as the founding principal of Columbus North International School — a world language and international studies themed lottery high school in the Columbus City Schools district in Columbus, Ohio — for four and a half of the last five years

“My former principal (from the second school I taught at) reached out to me last summer and asked me to come out to Los Angeles to work with her in what is one of the largest turnaround organizations in the country. I explained to my students that sometimes in life you seize opportunities to lead; sometimes you seize opportunities to follow those whom you deeply admire and in whom you truly trust and believe.”

Evren Gunduz
Special Studies
City: Cambridge
Current job: CEO/Founder, Enjoy Life Leadership; Full-time Leadership Teacher, Hopkinton (Massachusetts) Middle School
Career highlights: Goldin Foundation Award for Excellence in Education 2009; Teaching Our Leadership Education program in France and Luxembourg in 2012

“[My plan is to] continue to learn and grow as an educator and person. Keep working hard to educate, inspire, and empower students across the globe to become positive leaders.”

[[{"fid":"38281","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Shawn Mahoney","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Shawn Mahoney"},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"alt":"Shawn Mahoney","title":"Shawn Mahoney","style":"margin: 5px; float: left;","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]Shawn Mahoney
Technology, Innovation, and Education
City: Columbus, Ohio
Current job: Chief Academic Officer, McGraw-Hill Education
Career highlights: Completing Ph.D. in Educational Technology; leading a world-class product design and development team; serving on the revision committee for iNACOL National Standards for Quality Online Courses; co-presenting at SXSW with Robert Atkinson, Chris Hoadley, and Jeff Bergin on LX Design

“My future plan is to continue to focus on learning science in service of the art of teaching. The real story is the power of education to transform the human experience and enable individuals to reach full potential — focus on the learner and the learning.”


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