Abdoulie is a Senior at Wabash College in Indiana, where he is majoring in political science and minoring in religion and architecture. He is also a member of the mens soccer team at Wabash. He aspires to become a diplomat. At Wabash, Abdoulie is member of several student organizations such as the Malcom X Institute of Black Studies, Investment Club, Muslim Student Association, and African Student Association. He has a deep interest in diplomacy, international relations, and politics.
When Joann was a kid, she was all about nature documentaries. She spent Saturday mornings with Jack Hanna, PBS, and the Discovery Channel. Her most sought-after subject was, for some reason, birds. Any type of bird was her jam: songbirds, wild birds, birds of prey. She frequently checked out a bird documentary from her elementary school library that was unsurprisingly always available. While watching a program one morning, the narrator, in her lilting English accent, informed Joann that the common parakeet may be more special than she thought: they could learn to talk, just like people! Sort of. More like parrots. But worse. And males are better at it. But Joann didn’t know these limitations and so she set forth to teach her quiet, aging, female parakeet to speak like Oprah Winfrey (her favorite person at the time).
I vividly recall memories of my mother teaching me a language considered foreign to my native Ghana. I wondered why I had to learn several native languages but my mother constantly reminded me of how important it is to see learning as a path that leads to different avenues of opportunities. With this principle in mind since childhood, I have developed a lifelong interest in learning. I have also discovered that sometimes the best form of learning starts by simply identifying the opportunities around you and using that as a means of growth and development. As an aspiring educator, I am inspired by the work I do, which revolves around innovating new ideas and technology to create a more collaborative and inspiring space for lear...
Lorraine LaPrade can best be described as a “Jack(ie) of all trades.” She is a newby librarian, performance artist, and self-defense instructor. She holds a M.S. in Library Science from Long Island University, CW Post, and a M.A. in Women’s Studies from Claremont Graduate University.
Andrew Visser is a Welsh born Video Producer and visual storyteller, based in New York. Having graduated from Columbia University with an MFA in Film, he produces various video and multimedia story content for EdLab and the wider Teachers College community.
His work on Seen In New Yorktells compelling narratives about the myriad of educational opportunities and experiences in New York state. Through the Spotlightseries he explores the ways in which educational leaders engage and utilize innovative teaching methods in a unique, experiential setting.
I used to make architectural models. It is a small but essential industry that is devoted entirely to making people who cannot read technical drawings understand what the building they depict looks like. I made tiny versions of office buildings, commercial spaces and landscapes. For some reason it is much easier for someone to accept a very small building on a table and project all of their hopes and intentions onto it, than a two-dimensional technical drawing.
My job was not so much to make the most realistic version of a miniature office tower, it was to connect a person to a future reality so that they could make decisions, and for some reason everyone seemed to understand models.
What I found was that those Ah Ha! moments were very satisfying to create. Anyone who’s ever tried to explain a concept knows the distress of being met with glazed or frustrated expressions and, hopefully, the spark o...
Dominic Wright is currently a freshman at Binghamton University. He plans to eventually major in mechanical engineering and in the near future hopes to become an aeronautical engineer. In order to pursue this career path upon completion of his under-graduate degree he hopes to attend grad school and study in-depth where aerospace technology is concerned. Dominic has also been a player for South Bronx United soccer club. For the past three years he played as a winger, his most recent achievement includes being a part of the 2018/19 premier league winning team. He also plays soccer on the high school level where he has been a part of a City winning team and state runner ups. During high school he was also a part of the National Honors Society. At EdLab, he works with the Digitization Queue team to archive Teachers College’s historical documents to enhance research opportunities for members of the community.
Barry is part of the DigiQ team at EdLab. As part of his duties, he is responsible for fulfilling all patron requests through Docdel. Additionally, he works on archiving over 100+ years of Teachers College material to enhance research opportunities for members of the community. He played club soccer at South Bronx United where he captained his team during his last two seasons. He's a big fan of the Spanish giants Real Madrid and dreams of experiencing a European match on their home turf. Barry is currently a rising senior at Saint Lawrence University double majoring in Government and French. During his spare time, Barry enjoys listening and making music.
I wrote and illustrated my first book when I was five years old. “No Socks for Sally” was a four page saga starring my family’s yellow labrador, Sally. The story follows our protagonist, Sally, as she grapples with the tempting allure of snacking on socks and the iron fisted rules imposed by human authority. In a wise effort to quell the conflict between human and dog, our author offers an enlightened alternative to socks: one shakily drawn tennis ball. With the simplicity of this singular illustration the author at once restricts our imagination and simultaneously begs us to look beyond the page, to see a world rife with objects appropriate for canine palates. Just as the plot thickens, the story ends abruptly and illegibly. The author’s failed attempt to spell one crucial word as it sounds leaves us with a mysterious cliffhanger, “Come on Sally, let’s go outside ______.”
During my high school years at Eagle Academy in the Bronx, becoming a leader was instilled into us since the first day of school. Every action was geared towards us becoming leaders. The goal was to serve as role models for our younger colleagues. We were trained to be confident and voice our opinions. My experience at Eagle Academy was instrumental in bringing me out of my shell. It provided me with the confidence to thrive in any environment. My name is Saleem Sallah and I am currently a sophomore at Monroe College majoring in Computer Information Systems. I was born in Kumasi, Ghana and spent half of my early childhood growing up between Kumasi and The Bronx. At EdLab, I am part of the Digi Q team and charged with digitally archiving Teachers College’s historical materials.
One of my earliest memories in life is traveling with my grandmother back in my native Ghana. As a self-made woman who didn’t receive a formal education, she never missed an opportunity to remind me about the importance of learning. She informed me that she “learned” everything she knew about running a business by always listening to others, questioning when she didn’t understand, and helping those in need. Though she passed away over 20 years ago, these principles have stayed with me all these years. It forms the cornerstone of all the work that I do at EdLab and beyond.
As head of recruiting, I am constantly learning new ways to make the process easier for the organization and prospective employees. As a researcher and a member of publishing team, I seek feedback and advice on my work from colleagues to improve my research and writing skills. All of this also requires me to ask tons of questions. The process of learning is a lifelong adventure—an adventure that...
Kim Kefgen creates and produces new learning projects in The Smith Learning Theater, and leads the services team and education program at the Gottesman Libraries, both at Teachers College. Before coming to TC, she was the Director of the Samberg Institute for Teaching Excellence at Columbia Business School where she worked on teaching and curriculum development, and led the initiative for effective and appropriate adoption of technologies for successful teaching. She also worked in New York as a professional theater producer, director and production manager for over fifteen years. As a parent of a daughter in the NYC public school system, she has served on School Leadership Teams and PA Executive Boards. Ms. Kefgen holds a BFA in Theatre from Otterbein University, an M.A. in Higher and Postsecondary Education from Teachers College, and an M.B.A. from Columbia University. She is an enthusiastic participant in our times.
Devin is a Library Services Associate at EdLab. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland College Park with a BA in English Language and Literature. Realizing a passion for music and the arts Devin began attending Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA in 2009. Shortly after Devin began a professional career playing the guitar in Boston as well as NYC. As his thirst for touring and performing began to dwindle, he started working at TC in the summer of 2016, eager to provide books and research assistance to the future teachers of the world. In his spare time he's still been know to teach children music as well as play some of his own tunes at various Brooklyn establishments.
Well, there’s the hazy childhood memory of sitting in the back seat of the car in the library parking lot, nestled between what seemed like stacks of books as tall as me on either side. I remember sunlight and the absence of the outer layers I’d have to wear for three quarters of the year (there’s an aphorism about my corner of Central New York, “There are only two seasons: winter and the fourth of July”), so it must have been summer, and those books were probably propelling me through that year’s summer reading contest. My people hail from warmer climes, and both of my parents teach, so that may have something to do with why that sunny, impromptu book fort stands out among my earliest memories.
There’s meeting, as a fresh college grad, with some of the folks who became my longest, closest friends (also in one case, an enemy) to send books to people in prison. For the rest of our time in that building, our space overlapped with a zine library that has since spawned ...
Last summer, my husband and I took our weekly walks to our local farmer’s market. When I am not traveling we always include the Farmer’s Market in our Saturday plans. The popularity of Farmer’s Markets in our area speaks to a whole fascinating disruption in how we buy and consume food that adds flavor to local communities, neighborhood interaction, and the joy of city and suburban life.
On this particular Saturday, I was approached by a woman who complimented our family dog and spoke in pleasantries for a few minutes. She then said, “I hope you don’t mind my asking, but I thought it was you. We went to high school together and you started the Save the Children Club. I want you to know that as soon as I started working, I started supporting Save the Children and still do. You really impressed me with that club. Thank you.”
Well, I was impressed. A small act of giving can have wide and long ripple effects in ways far beyond our knowing. The bake sales...
JOHN C. HUME. After graduating from Sarah Lawrence College with a concentration in performing arts, John moved to Boston Massachusetts where he worked at both the Rotch Library for Architecture and Urban Planning and the Barker Engineering Library at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2004, he moved to New York where he decide to pursue his dream of working in professional theater and he held numerous positions at several notable Off Broadway theaters in the intervening years. In the summer of 2014, John returned to his first love, the libraries, and he is thrilled to be part of the services team at The Teachers College Library. As a performer John has appeared in numerous stage productions including: Vera, or The Nihilists (Prince Paul Maraloffski), The Bacchae (Tiresias) and Oscar Wilde’s Salome (Herodias) all with Femme Fatale Theater. He’s also known to New York audiences for his high-octane cabaret shows which have been presented at Feinstein's/54Below, The Duplex, T...
When I was young, I spent whole afternoons looking at the world map. With the pencil in my hand, I never tired of drawing the outline of the unknown land and imaging the bottomless pit on the ocean floor or the past civilization lost in the rainforest.
As a User Experience Engineer, Sabarish is helping redesign and implement the various digital products of EdLab and the Gottesman Libraries, including the Library website and Library mobile app, PocketKnowledge, the EdLab website, Rhizr, and Vialogues, among others. He is helping unify the look and design of these products to give a consistent experience for our users.
Sabarish has a Master’s degree in Human-Computer Interaction from the University of Michigan, School of Information (Ann Arbor, MI) and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science & Engineering from Visvesvaraya Technological University (Bangalore, India). He has nearly ten years of technology experience spread across a creative agency, i...
Jacqueline (Jackie) Heltz is a Vermont-born filmmaker proudly residing in Queens, New York. She studied at McGill University before completing her graduate degree in Media Studies at The New School. As an Innovation Fellow at the Gottesman Libraries and five-year-fixture of EdLab’s video team, Jackie has cherished the opportunity to speak to current trends and national conversations through her work; utilizing media in order to address issues that matter like immigration, inclusion, social justice, the environment, and women’s voices. Various web series such as Seen in NY, Learning Theater Spotlights, The Voice, Changemakers, Art at the Library, and Strange Prize produced alongside her talented teammates serve to highlight unique educational opportunities and innovative educators in locations as seemingly distant as the Rikers Island Prison Complex or as close as the college’s very own Smith Learning Theater. Jackie is passionate about issue-driven documentaries and narratives; hopi...
Dr. Hughes’ educational research focuses on media and social infrastructure. As a philosopher, he writes about how conceptions of excellence influence creative practices and artistic traditions. He holds a B.A....
In Indian culture, the importance of education and teachers are emphasized and respect towards them is inculcated in children. As with me, at a young age, I began to respect the value of education and the importance of teachers, who I feel have the ability to impact the lives of their students, even after they grow up. Such impact makes it a vital cog in the overall development of a child and society as a whole
I am a MS in Data Science Candidate at the Data Science Institute at Columbia University. Though with a Computer Science educational background, I am interested in the applications of Data science in the field of Social Sciences, Public policy, Political Sciences and Education. I count teaching as one of my passions.
In my free time I read about current affairs and history and passionately follow cricket.
On a September night in Atlanta, I was robbed at gunpoint by a handful of Atlanta local teens, the youngest 15 and the oldest 18. They stole my friend’s car, my phone, and my apathy towards education. The experience did not leave me empty or scared but passionate to find a way to serve every student's beaming and sometimes flickering, potential. Since then I have been on a mission to create educational programs and artistic devices that teach students the importance of life skills and pathways to success rather than mere rote memorization.
My robbery experience propelled me to use my knowledge of maker labs and art to facilitate workshops for adolescents to develop programs that revolve around making, creative technologies, and the relationship between inquiry-based projects and career development.
Jessica Blum is a doctoral student in Education Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University. She joined the EdLab after nine years of rewarding work in alternative education programs in New York and Ohio. A former high school English teacher and K-12 administrator, Jessica is committed to developing innovative teaching tools and strategies, student- and staff-friendly learning environments, and effective professional development for teachers and leaders in at-risk settings. She currently holds a B.A. and M.A. in English Literature.
Samba Doukhansy is a Junior at Keuka College in upstate New York. He is majoring in business management and minoring in finance. At EdLab, he works with the Digitization Queue team to archive Teachers College’s historical documents to enhance opportunities for staff, students, and faculty research. A big soccer fan, he played club for South Bronx United and is currently a member of the Keuka College mens soccer team.
Hui Soo Chae is Senior Director for Research, Development, and Strategy at the Gottesman Libraries. In that capacity he leads the consulting, research, publishing, and software product development initiatives. As a co-founder of the EdLab, he has played a key role in creating the context for cross-disciplinary collaboration as the foundation for the EdLab innovation agenda.
Dr. Chae has led the development of a number of learning applications, including the Vialogues (www.vialogues.com) video discussion tool and the Rhizr (www.rhizr.com) content curation environment. His publishing initiatives have included development of the mobile publishing platform for the New Learning Times (www.newlearningtimes.com).
He has also pioneered an accelerated model to speed the delivery of ...
I was very slow at speaking when I was young. Most times conversations had moved to the next topic before words finally got to my mouth. And what’s worse, no matter how hard I tried I’m always very bad at remembering others’ names and faces while I have impressively good memories of everything else, which made conversations even harder for me.
So unlike other kids playing and interacting with each other, I spent most of my childhood painting at different places, sitting for hours and drawing people at hair salons, garages and temples. I was kind of forced to do that practice in the beginning and didn’t enjoy it that much. However, it did teach me how to observe the world, how people are different and have their own different stories. And gradually, it did help me find my own way interacting with others, through those paintings. It helped me build a connection with my “models” . I probably wouldn’t have ...
Back in 2004, I was the only student in my high school who had the permission to borrow more than one book from my school’s library at a time.
Libraries played an important role in my life, and over time, the definition of this “library” changed in my mind to represent large repositories of knowledge in general. I believe that, with the rapid growth of information technology, traditional libraries need to evolve to embody this more generalized definition. And this implies development of online tools, easy access to information across the globe, and enabling learners to learn smoothly and efficiently.
My role at EdLab, Gottesman Libraries is to enable this transformation through my work in the development and research team.
Allen is Senior Librarian, Library Services. He provides in-class (and in-library) library information sessions for a variety of College courses; one-on-one research consultations; and email and in-person reference service. Allen compiles and maintains research guides specific to the College’s departments, programs, and courses; these are posted on the Learning at the Library blog on the Gottesman website.
Allen received a BA and an MA in English literature from Cornell University, and an MS in library Services from Columbia University. He is interested in promoting and supporting research mastery among students and researchers (a few steps beyond “information literacy”), and he finds contributing to library users’ fluency in the use of rich resources very gratifying.
Here is his story:
In graduate school, I gradually realized that the price of being able to immers...
Before I started high school I ask myself, “are you planning to go to college after high school ?” My immediate and initial response was “no”. College sounded so far and felt like a dream. Throughout my two years of high school, I seldom thought about college. I just didn’t see the end goal. I wanted to complete high school and figure the rest out. However, like most things in my life, it came back to soccer. I’ve been playing the game ever since I could walk. It has taught me so many life lessons such as collaboration (it is the world’s game), discipline, and commitment, among others. I saw some of my club teammates visiting colleges and excited about the prospect. This, along with conversations with my coaches, parents, and teachers, got me excited about college. I worked harder than ever before to make sure I become the first in my family to finish college. I am currently a freshman at Monroe College on a full scholarship. I am also on the men’s soccer team and majoring in Comput...
I had a mother who made lists. Didn’t matter whether it was for the grocery store or to insure smooth running for a golf tournament or a set of notes for her boss at the alumni house on campus at the university where she was assistant to the director. There were lists all over our house growing up – on the fridge for us kids, on the counter top for my father, on the table where my mother did crossword puzzles with definitions for new puzzle words.
Small wonder then that I made lists as well – starting in seventh grade, when I went to the dreaded middle school dances – I would list the “to dos” in tiny handwriting by time (2:30 pm – leave school; 2:45 – do homework; 3:30 – take bath; 3:50 – dry hair, etc.) – sometimes by the minute. My mother took a polaroid of one of my lists and hung it on her bulletin board (she was so proud). This carried on through college when I was juggling several extracurricular activities and my social life while trying to graduate with ho...
I moved to Brooklyn, New York two years ago after graduating from Berklee College of Music, where I studied drum set performance and music business.
I've wanted to work at a library again ever since my experience working for the Berklee Library and Media Center. I love reading, playing and seeing music (of course), biking, cooking, and am always interested in acquiring new skills and hobbies. I'm here helping library patrons by day and out playing shows at night.
Kalliopi Mathios has a BSEd in Elementary Education from Loyola University Chicago with middle school endorsements in history and English. She taught in the Chicagoland area for four years before completing her MLIS at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2014. Before joining Teachers College, Kalli worked as a MyLibraryNYC school outreach and supervising librarian, and as a collection development librarian specializing in the curation of K-12 classroom and school libraries. Through previous work with Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), and in collaboration with Brooklyn Public Library's award-winning Teacher Lab, Kalli developed an online module introducing teachers to digital archives, with best practices for classroom use. She has presented at the DPLA national conference as well as the K-12 Archives Education Institute at the National Archives in New York. Currently, she is the Acquisitions and Mat...
Lauren is a science and tech journalist by day and a Gottesman Library Services Associate by night. She likes to write about a lot of things, but mostly covers how technology affects our health, behavior, education and culture. She attended NYU's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program and received a Master's degree in journalism. For fun, she collects comic books and browses digital library archives.
Tolkien on my lap and, I lie barefoot in the big fisherman’s hammock, watching the morning light trickle, loving the way the ripples in the pond play underneath the ash and weeping willow, listening to the wind in the trees. Instead of my book, I read the reflecting leaves that vary in color from the shade to the sun, ponder the years ahead, and think how lucky we are to be back in my mother’s home state so many miles from Chicago. If I cast my eyes far enough, I can just about see dragonflies shimmering above the pink and white lily pads, their fragile wings brightly, steadily beating at speeds that defy the glorious leisure of a Maine summer and sudden passing of my young father.
It’s the beginning of August and school seems as far away as the midnight moon. My three brothers and I hook catfish for breakfast, race bullfrogs at the shore, swing like Tarzan into the leech-y watery deep, cannonball from the dock, skyrocket from construction sand, collect little bund...
English is my dad’s second language, learned informally through a combination of movie-watching, “Inglés Sin Barreras” VHS tapes, and water cooler conversations at the medical device company where he’s worked since I was born.
Self-conscious over having what he perceived as an inadequate understanding of the English language, my dad would make me comb through his every work presentation, lab report, and email in search of grammatical errors, tonal awkwardness, and really just any indication that he wasn’t as well-educated (though I’m sure he was just as smart!) as his peers. He questioned every edit I made — Why this word and not that one? Why does this require elaboration, and why does this need to be deleted? Is there a more elegant way of saying what I want to say, and what, exactly, makes your proposed phrasing better?
It was in this way that I learned not only how to be an efficient and detail-oriented writer, but also a compassionate commun...
Emily is a musician, audio engineer and artist from Orlando, FL. She's spent most of the last decade in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Boston, Montreal, or on tour. In addition to music making, she loves mixing and mastering audio, baking, shooting film photography, video collaging, graphic designing and painting (when space allows). She's spent time working with books and technology in various retail environments, as well as cataloguing media as a DJ. She's always found comfort in the quiet and inspiring environments of libraries and all of the aforementioned interests and experiences have brought her here to EdLab. Emily is a mother of two cats and she hopes that number grows in the future.
I was born and raised in Thailand. I grew up in a family that strictly emphasized and passed on an important set of values: generosity, honesty, integrity and kindness
and, more importantly, the value of education because we believe that having these values helps us to improve our lives and it is an investment in our future.
In order to get a better education, I moved from my hometown, Sikiu, in the northeast (Isan), to study in Bangkok, where most of the highest quality educational institutions are located.
After my high school years, I went to Srinakharinwirot University and earned a bachelor's degree in Teaching English. I started my first career as a teacher of English at Vajiravudh College in Bangkok. After three years of teaching students grades 9-12 at Vajiravudh, I realized that te...
For more than a decade, I performed cabaret, choral, and a cappella music. About two years into the cabarets, I first experienced performance anxiety. My right leg shook uncontrollably from the knee down. It was as if it wasn’t part of me. I firmly anchored my foot and soldiered on. To my surprise, no one was the wiser, but I wondered how I would manage, going forward.
The experience unnerved me. I considered keeping it to myself. Instead, I talked to my peers. At the next show, months later, I steeled myself. Nothing happened. In fact, I never again experienced performance anxiety. I credit that to not having kept my problem a secret.
Simone believes in the power of reinvention.
Simone Schloss graduated from Simmons College in 2017 with an MLIS, and honors from Beta Phi Mu, the International Lib...
Matt Taylor is a designer, inventor, teacher, facilitator, sailor and entrepreneur. He has focused a fifty-two year career on the application of architectural design methods to solving complex, systemic problems found at the intersection of physical environments, ecologies, organizational practices and visionary ideas. This work involves business processes, tool-sets and software programs, and includes their expression and utilization in the design, construction and use of virtual and physical environments for collaborative work and sustainable creative living. The components of these environments, and the environments themselves, are designed and built in regards their fit with, and long term impact on, social-economic-ecological systems.