Education Students Named to “30 Under 30” List

Photo by Patrick Verel

Photo by Patrick Verel

Two Fordham Graduate School of Education (GSE) students have been honored by the International Literacy Association (ILA) for their efforts to advance literacy for all.
Alex Corbitt, 26, FCRH ‘12, GSE ‘13, and John Maldonado, 25, FCRH ’13, a doctoral student, were named to the ILA’s second annual “30 Under 30” list, an honor bestowed to teachers, authors, volunteers, researchers, social entrepreneurs, and leaders from 12 countries.

Maldonado, a Rego Park, Queens native who graduated with a double major in psychology and English, became a NYC teaching fellow and taught special education at P368K Star Academy in Brooklyn. He is working towards a doctorate in contemporary learning and interdisciplinary research while teaching English at his alma mater, Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens.

He said being named to the list is a validation of what he called the “ugly hours” that all teachers put in—time when they put in extra hours at home, trying to figure out how to best convey information to their students and how to attend to their additional needs.

“As educators, we don’t often get the credit we deserve,” said Maldonado, who is interested in equity and culture, and the roles they play in education. He noted that, beyond his teaching he worked to increase his students’ technological literacy, “in order to give them more career and life opportunities.”

“To be recognized for that work is really validating,” he said. “I’m lucky to be the recipient. But a lot of teachers are doing the same thing.”

Read the full post at Fordham News.

“Inquiring minds want to learn: Empowering his students is the goal for Bronx literacy teacher

For the October issue of New York Teacher, Linda Ocasio focused on GSE alum Alex Corbitt, who was named to the International Literacy Association’s “30 Under 30” List. In the past two years, three GSE students or alumni have made the ILA 30 Under 30. Corbitt joins CLAIR student John Maldonado in this year’s list. Last year, alum Madison Payton was named. Read the full article at the UFT website.

image via UFT and Miller Photography

Arizona is geographically — and culturally — far from New York City. But when the 8th-graders in Alex Corbitt’s Teen Activism class watch a documentary called “Precious Knowledge,” about Tucson HS students fighting for the right to study their Mexican heritage, it resonates deeply. Many of Corbitt’s students at the Bronx School of Science Inquiry and Investigation/MS 331 in Morris Heights are from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico or Ecuador, and they have plenty to say on the topic.

“We can learn about both American and Latino history, past and present,” says Destiny.

Pedro is bothered by an Arizona legislator in the film who calls the Latino studies program seditious and anti-American. “He said it’s anti-American, but isn’t it more American to fight for what you believe in?” Pedro asks.

It’s a good question. And for Corbitt, it’s all about the questions.

“The goal is not to do the thinking for them,” he says. Corbitt, an ELA teacher, believes literacy is not just about reading and writing but about empowering students to become “critically engaged citizens” and that includes questioning the world around them.

In September, Corbitt, age 26 and in his fourth year of teaching, was named to the International Literacy Association’s “30 Under 30 List,” which recognizes “rising leaders” from 12 countries, including teachers, nonprofit leaders, authors, researchers and others at the start of their careers who are promoting “literacy in all its forms to those who need it most.”

John Maldonado, a teacher at P 368/Star Academy in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, also was recognized for his work helping students with autism develop literacy skills.

Read the full article at the United Federation of Teachers website.

PBIS Intervention Workshop for PES Students, Faculty, and Staff

ProjectREACHTuesday, October 11, 2016
Lowenstein Building, 12th Floor Lounge, Gerald Corrigan Conference Center

Workshop 1
4:50-6:50 p.m.
Tier 1 Interventions

Workshop 2
7:00-9:00 p.m.
Tier 2 & 3 Intervention Strategies

Presented by Dr. Laura Riffel
Dr. Laura A Riffel has over 30 years of experience as a general education and special education teacher, resource teacher, state program leader, director of a day clinic, and a parent. Dr. Riffel has studied general education, special education, behavioral interventions, applied behavior analysis, and cognitive and multiple disabilities.

Currently, she is the director of Behavior Doctor Seminars and travels the world sharing behavioral ideas with others who work with children with challenging behaviors. Her website is

This workshop is free and open to all students, faculty and staff. Seats are limited.

Please RVSP to Linda Cheung by October 1, 2016 at


Project REACH, a federally funded grant, is proud to present this professional development workshop. Any question or concerns about the project activities can be addressed to Dr. Su Je Cho (

Back to School: How to Be the Best Advocate for Your Child

Shirly Ulfan with students at Aleph Bet Academy, a preschool she founded last year. Photo by Irene Ulfan-Coopersmith


It’s the start of a new school year. As a parent, you want to give your child every chance to succeed. But what’s the best way for you to help? How can you work with teachers and other school staff—who, let’s face it, see more of your child than you do—to make sure your favorite student is getting what they need?

FORDHAM magazine checked in with some alumni of the University’s Graduate School of Education—professionals who work with students ranging in age from preschool to high school—to ask them for some guidance. Here’s what they had to say.

Read the full story in Fordham Magazine.

Webinar: Innovations in Education: Wednesday, August 17

f4d58-bondieDr. Rhonda Bondie will be a panelist for an Innovation in Education webinar on Wednesday, August 17th from 4-5pm EST.

Learn from leading experts about innovations in education. The webinar will include guidance and advice from five panelists, as well as ample opportunity to ask the speakers questions.

Gain insight about educational needs, solutions, and innovations. What are the best strategies for early childhood education? How can schools best inspire and motivate creativity and quality learning? How do programs connect with and offer opportunities to talented low-income students?

Leading experts will discuss a range of education topics which are applicable to anyone interested or involved in education in the U.S. or internationally.


Educator Measures Upside of Educational Diversity in Classroom

photo by Patrick Verel

When teachers greet new classes this fall, the odds are good that the students they encounter will vary not only by cultural background but also in academic proficiency.

Akane Zusho, PhD, associate professor of school psychology in the Graduate School of Education (GSE), said that such diversity is something to be appreciated, not overcome.

“How do you get teachers to not teach to the middle? To differentiate their instruction so that they’re not boring the kids at the top and leaving all the kids at the bottom behind? It’s not easy,” she said.

To help teachers work with students of varying academic abilities, Zusho has partnered with Rhonda Bondie, PhD, assistant professor of curriculum and teaching at the GSE to create All-Ed (All Learners Learning Every Day), a network of instructional routines pulled from research on learning and motivation.

Motivation has long been a focus of Zusho’s research. In order to determine what motivates a student, said Zusho, a teacher needs to get to know their students’ strengths and interests and to help students understand how they think about a particular topic. But many teachers never delve deep enough.

Teachers, she said, “just assume students know something when they come in because they taught it yesterday … they don’t reconfirm their students’ knowledge.”

“When they start a lesson, for example, do they actually get a sense of what students already know? Because from the psychological perspective, we know that makes a huge impact on how kids learn.”

Read the full post at Fordham News.

GSE Talks Innovation in Education Models with Students from Zhejiang University


This week, Fordham GSE hosts a group of students from the College of Education at Zhejiang University, located in Hangzhou, China, as part of their American Innovation and Entrepreneurship Summer Camp. The students spent a week touring Los Angeles prior to coming to New York and then will spend a week in Hawaii.

While at Fordham, they will meet with various faculty members and administrators from across the university, as well as visit the JCC Manhattan and the Brooklyn Waldorf School, to learn about the systems and models of American education. ZJUstudents1Fordham lectures will cover topics such as innovation in teaching and learning, entrepreneurship, innovative educational models, and historical and comparative education systems.

On Tuesday morning, the group spoke with Drs. Marilyn Bisberg and Tiedan Huang about Fordham and early childhood education in America before touring the Rose Hill campus and speaking with Kate Kennon of the Gabelli School of Business.

The group prepared a presentation to introduce Fordham to Zhejiang University (ZJU), a leading research university in China with seven campuses and over 48,000 students. The university boasts strong international partnerships and over 700 undergraduate and graduate programs.



Tread Carefully in Teen’s Social Media Spaces, Says Researcher

Teenagers haven’t left Facebook, but they’re more involved than ever in a virtual archipelago of social media spaces that educators can take advantage of—if they tread lightly, a researcher told educators on July 13.

“We need to unpack the myth … that young people are technological wizards. There certainly are some who are, but not every kid is like that. I think before we use these

spaces in the classroom, we have to think about why we’re doing it, and what we’re walking into,” said Amanda Lenhart, speaking at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus.

Lenhart, a researcher with the Data & Society Research Institute, delivered a keynote, “The Shifting Landscape of American Teens’ Social & Digital Media Use,” at the fourth annual Developing Digital Literacies Conference, hosted by the Graduate School of Education.

“If [educators] ask young people to use a social space, we want to give them options so they don’t necessarily have to have their personal space invaded by the academic and vice versa.”

She tackled topics such as the rise of the smart phone, and teens’ need for constant access, texting, relationships, and privacy.

Read the full article at Fordham News.

Get more insights from conference participants via #FordhamDLC on Twitter.

“A Salute to ‘Old Glory’ from the Eyes of a 7th Grader”

Photo via the VAntage Point blog

Joseph Pizzo is a member of the Fordham Digital Literacies Collaborative, led by Dr. Kristen Turner. He is an English teacher at Black River Middle School in Chester, NJ and an adjunct professor at Union County College and Centenary College. The following excerpt is from Joe’s guest post on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs VAntage Point blog.

Patriotism is a belief that inspires us to pay tribute to all who have sacrificed by serving our great nation.  Patriotism also recognizes the bravery both of those who have served and the families, friends, and fellow citizens who have supported the efforts of our brave men and women of the military.

As a middle school English teacher of 42 years, I have encouraged my students often to recognize the fact that it is only through the efforts of our dedicated military personnel that we are able to live in a society in which our freedom is guaranteed and defended daily.  Whenever the opportunity presents itself to recognize our military, I encourage my students to do so.  It is that encouragement that led my student Michael to author one of the finest tributes to our flag that I have ever had a student produce.

Let me explain how this poem was created.  During May of 2015, I assigned Lois Lowry’s novel The Giver to my seventh grade integrated language arts class to read.  We discussed the importance of color and the prominent place color plays for the main character Jonas.  After my students wrote their poems, I gave them the opportunity to use technology to celebrate color in a more vivid manner.  The students created online animations and a couple of iMovies.  When I saw the potential to use technology for this project, I decided to expand the use of technology on a larger scale when I would be teaching Lowry’s novel again this May.

Read the full post at the VAntage Point blog.

Learn more about digital literacy and integrating technology into the classroom at the annual Fordham DLC conference on Wednesday, July 13th.