On November 7th, the Graduate School of Education and the Fordham Office of Development hosted a reception to celebrate the first recipient of an endowed scholarship made possible by a generous donation from Dr. Valerie A. Rowe, an alumnae and former professor at GSE, with her husband, Jack Rowe (a professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and a former chairman and CEO of Aetna Inc.).
Rowe enjoyed a four-decade career as an educator that began near Rochester, New York, in the Rush-Henrietta Central School District, and ended at GSE, where she received her doctoral degree in 1996 and was a faculty member until 2010. Last fall, she and her husband made a $530,000 gift to the University to establish an endowed scholarship at GSE. It is one of the largest gifts ever received by the school in its 95-year history.
The Valerie A. Rowe Endowed Scholarship Fund will support students in the Master of Science in Teaching (M.S.T.) program, which Rowe coordinated on Fordham’s Westchester campus.
“As a faculty member, I knew we didn’t have a big pool of scholarship money to attract the best students, and I wanted to help change that,” Rowe said. “I focused on M.S.T. students because they go through the program so quickly. They want to become teachers, and the majority of them have worked in other fields. It takes a lot of nerve to switch careers, so I want to make it easier for them to go through the program and make that transition.”
Maria Teresa Castillo is the first recipient of the Scholarship. She began her undergraduate studies at Fordham in 2007 as a Dance major, and her love for dance, the arts and working with children motivated her to become a childhood education teacher through Fordham’s 5-Year Integrated Teacher Education Track. She is presently a student teacher in the Childhood Special Education Program where she is instilling in children the motivation to grow intellectually, artistically, and socially.