Introducing the new GSE Newsroom

hand-truck-564242_1280We’re moving!

Join us at the new GSE Newsroom:

The updated newsroom will include faculty, students, and alumni news, as well as feature articles, event announcement, professional development opportunities, and more.

This site will be live as old posts are migrated to the new site but be sure to bookmark the Newsroom for all your future GSE news, events, and announcements.


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.

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.

“How we pervert compassion in schools”

florinarodovFlorina Rodov ’07 (Adolescence English) is a former high school English teacher. She founded and is the co-executive director of Authentic Manhattan, a nonprofit providing after-school programs for low-income, gifted students. Read her full piece, “How we pervert compassion in schools” on

When my family and I were new immigrants who’d just moved into our first apartment in New York, a windowless studio in Queens, a distinguished doctor and his teenage daughter paid us a visit. The doctor was a volunteer with the Jewish nonprofit HIAS, which resettled Soviet refugees like us in the 1970s and 1980s. The second his daughter laid eyes on our donated, urine-stained couch, she exclaimed, “They’re so poor!” I was only 3 at the time, but still I averted my eyes in shame and refused to interact with her for the duration of her visit.

Luckily, I never experienced such pity or judgment in school. The public schools I attended included students who were Russian, Israeli, Pakistani, Turkish and Egyptian immigrants, among students from an array of other backgrounds. Few of us had money and many of us had problems: parents who struggled to find work, missed the old country or suffered from depression. But our teachers never felt sorry for us. They expected us to succeed despite our adversities.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the case today — or at least it isn’t among those in the worlds of education, politics, nonprofits and the media, who bombard us with images of low-income children as unteachable. Many of these people have a sick obsession with the word “poverty;” they shout it on Twitter, nod when they hear it from talking heads on TV, whisper it over lattes and trumpet it as an excuse for failure.

Read the full article at

Dr. John Lawry ’72 on the Importance of Caring in Teaching


Dr. John Lawry ’72 (Educational Psychology)

Dr. John Lawry ’72 (Educational Psychology) is professor emeritus at the former Marymount College of Fordham University. He recently published “Talking Back: Caring Still Matters: ‘Teaching is an act of Love’ – Pope Francis” in Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education.

In it, he responds to results of a recent Gallup poll indicating that “63 percent of the respondents had a professor who made them excited about learning, only 27 percent had a professor who cared about them, and only 22 percent had a mentor who encouraged them to pursue their goals and dreams.” Dr. Lawry goes on to discuss why caring is important in teaching why there may be a “crisis in caring” in American higher education. Read the full article.

Read Dr. Lawry’s previous publications:


U.S. News Ranks Fordham GSE #45 in Nation


In its America’s Best Graduate Schools, 2017 edition, U.S. News and World Report ranked Fordham GSE #45 among 180 U.S. Schools of Education. This rank marks a fourteen spot jump over last year’s #59 ranking.

View the full list.

With [the Every Student Succeeds Act], States Should Partner with Districts

ac260-schoolclipProfessor Mike McGill published an article in EdWeek on the opportunity for federal, state, and local collaboration that recognizes school and community distinctiveness under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

States are now in a position to move beyond yesterday’s top-down policies and to create an unprecedented kind of collaboration that’s essential for real school improvement. To do that, they must foster—and Washington must support—an ongoing, authentic dialogue across all three levels that respects the strengths and wisdom of each one.

This dialogue must start with the understanding that there’s no single education problem in America. What works depends heavily on what is at the local level. Instead of acting as if all schools were failing and could be improved by the same strategies, policies must recognize the differences among them. The very best policies will enhance the distinctiveness and originality of every school and its surrounding community.

Read the full article

“Why I Wouldn’t Teach Huck Finn Anymore: Course Design as a Sociopolitical Act”

Rebekah Shoaf is an adjunct professor, founding member of the Digital Literacies Collaborative, and Teacher Development Coach with the NYC Department of Education. In a post for the Writers Who Care blog, excerpted below, she writes about how her experience watching Fruitvale Station caused her to think critically about her students’ interests, and whether texts like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn aligned with those interests.

I was watching Fruitvale Station. It was July 21, 2013, a week after the George Zimmerman verdict was announced and four months after a student at my school was killed by the police in Brooklyn. As I sat there, overcome by this true story of a young Black man losing his battle against oppressive social forces, I decided that I would not—could not—assign The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in my twelfth grade English class again. That realization began to unravel the way I thought about my course as a whole, from the texts we read to what my students wrote and for whom.

Fruitvale Station is a feature film about the last day in the life of Oscar Grant III, a young Black man who was killed by a police officer in an Oakland train station on January 1, 2009. He was unarmed, handcuffed, and lying face down on the ground when he was shot in the back. At the time that I saw the film, I was an English teacher at a small public high school in New York City. Roughly ninety percent of our students were Black and/or Latino/a, more than two-thirds of them were male, and more than eighty-five percent qualified for free or reduced lunch. They could have been Oscar Grant III, Trayvon Martin, or any of the other young people of color who have been tragically killed by police officers and armed civilians. They were–quite literally–Kimani Gray.

I assigned Huck Finn several times in the ten years that I was a teacher. I thought it was a worthy text for twelfth graders to read because I believed it had a decidedly anti-racist, anti-slavery message and because it is a foundational work of American literature. My students wrote required essays comparing and contrasting the novel with other texts we studied. Everyone—they, me, parents, administrators—seemed content enough. Fruitvale Station opened my eyes.

Read the full story at the Writers Who Care blog.


Juanita de Guzman Gutierrez ’96 Publishes “Speak Tagalog: A Basic Primer”


Juanita de Guzman Gutierrez as a Novice

Juanita de Guzman Gutierrez (Reading Literacy MSE) published Speak Tagalog: A Basic Primer with Outskirts Press. The book covers the basics of conversational Tagalog, as well as the language’s history, its alphabet, and prayers.

Tagalog is the primary or secondary language for a majority of Philippines residents. Since approximately 93% of Filipinos are Catholic, Gutierrez included Holy Rosary prayers for readers.

“This book would make a valuable addition to high schools, universities, and consular offices—for those seeking to further diplomatic relations, continue their adult education, or even for children of Philippine mixed marriages who want to study their mother tongue. It’s good to be a linguist!” says Gutierrez.

Gutierrez spent ten years teaching English and journalism, and serving as the school newspaper adviser in the Philippines before moving to New York City in 1987 to teach. For the next nine years, she taught in the Archdiocese of New York and then spent fourteen years teaching in the New York City public schools.

coverAfter her teaching career, Gutierrez became a pre-post postulant and postulant at the Monastery of Holy Mary in Rockville, Virginia. She was unable to continue her religious life due to family illness and now spends her time traveling and writing books. Read more about Gutierrez and her book, Speak Tagalog.

When asked whether she wanted to send a message to the Fordham GSE community, Gutierrez replied “Go, Fordham, you’re the best!!!”

Demystifying the Business of Performing Arts


It’s been six years since Fordham and the Juilliard School first collaborated on a course focusing on the business of the performing arts.

Now course instructor William F. Baker, PhD, the Claudio Acquaviva SJ Chair and Journalist in Residence, has compiled a new book that culls some of that class’s major notes.

Baker, together with Evan Leatherwood and Warren Gibson, PhD, has published The World’s a Stage: How performing artists can make a living while still doing what they love (American Management Association, 2016). The book follows the storied history of the performing arts and finds that, while the artists’ world has changed, their struggle to make a living has not.

Read the full story at Fordham News.