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.


GSE’s Warm, Supportive Environment: Q&A with Caroline Brachfeld and Chelsea Atlas

Caroline Brachfeld and Chelsea Atlas

Caroline Brachfeld (left) and Chelsea Atlas (right)

What motivated you to pursue your doctorates in Counseling Psychology? What are your career goals?

Caroline: When I entered the program I thought I would probably end up wanting to do mostly clinical work in the future, but since being here at Fordham and being involved in research, I have been surprised how much I truly enjoy research, especially qualitative methods.

Chelsea: I definitely agree with a lot of the things you’re saying. My career goals are also changing. I definitely want to do clinical work, but I am still unsure of the specific population I would like to work with or setting I want to work in. It has been an incredible journey so far at Fordham. I am seeing myself grow as a clinician and researcher, and I am really starting to gain more confidence in my skills in both roles.

Why did you choose Fordham?

Caroline: I chose the Fordham GSE program for its social justice orientation, it’s very warm and caring atmosphere and the research interests of the faculty members. I chose Fordham because I felt so comfortable here, but I am surprised by the fact that I have made really close friendships and feel like I have support from these friends throughout this long haul!

Chelsea: Like you, I chose Fordham because of the warm and supportive environment as well as the emphasis on multiculturalism and social justice. I really see those emphases in every aspect of my experience.

You both started your externship this semester at the Pace University Counseling Center. How is that going?

Caroline: I am very happy at my field placement. At Pace, I am seeing individual clients weekly, running a stress management group once a week (with Chelsea!), and doing different outreach projects. So far, I have enjoyed seeing individual clients most and working with my supervisors to figure out who I am as a clinician.

I am looking forward to having steady clients and really building a therapeutic alliance. I am also excited to start doing outreach projects, which is something I have always enjoyed doing. At Pace we are also given the opportunity to “guest lecture” an Introduction to Psychology course, and I will be doing that in November!

Chelsea: I am also really enjoying working at Pace. The site has been extremely supportive, and they are very committed to trainees’ personal and professional development. My work at Pace so far has been very challenging and rewarding. I, too, enjoy seeing individual clients and building unique relationships with each of them. I have wanted to be a therapist since early childhood, so it feels like a dream come true to be finally doing direct clinical work. I have already learned so much about the counseling process and about myself. I can see myself growing every day as a clinician, and it has been really exciting to see that!

What have been your favorite classes at GSE?

Caroline: I would have to say my favorite classes have been Theories of Counseling II with Dr. Keitel and, currently, Correlational Analysis with Dr. Thanos Patelis. Thanos explains everything so clearly and effectively.

Chelsea: The classes at Fordham have been great. They have enhanced my counseling skills and my multicultural awareness and knowledge and have given me the foundation to be an effective clinician and researcher. My favorite classes have been Group Counseling, Theories of Counseling, and Multicultural Counseling. I tend to really enjoy the more practice-oriented courses.

Can you talk about your research experience at GSE?

Caroline: Getting on a research team in our program is a very simple process since the professors really want you to join their teams and gain experience.

When I got to Fordham last year, I joined Eric Chen’s research team and worked on his study about the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) legislation and how it affects undocumented immigrants. I helped recruit participants and transcribe qualitative interviews. Now, we are in the data analysis phase.

Additionally, Eric is my mentor for research apprenticeship. I just began my project on homeless runaway young women and how they perceive their identity in their family in the past, present and future.

Chelsea: I definitely agree with Caroline about the ease of joining research teams. The faculty is very open to accepting students on their teams and they are very committed to teaching students the intricacies of the research process. Joining a research team is a great thing for new students to do because it builds a sense of community and enhances research skills quickly.

I joined Dr. Jackson‘s Participatory Action Research team and it has been a great experience. I worked on developing a new preliminary validation study of the Success Learning Experiences Questionnaire (SLEQ-UM) as adapted for urban middle school students.

What I like about the research team in particular is the service component. We are going in to low-income, culturally diverse middle schools and essentially providing students with success-based career counseling in addition to collecting our data. Dr. Jackson’s team really embodies the philosophy of the Counseling Psychology program and the Jesuit mission of social justice and service.

Dr. Rhonda Bondie at Harvard GSE’s Project Zero Conference

Last week, Dr. Rhonda Bondie, assistant professor of special education, presented two workshops at the Project Zero Perspectives: Zeroing in on Learning conference in Amsterdam. The conference was presented by Harvard University Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero and the Center for the Advancement and Study of International Education (CASIE).

Her first workshop centered around her research on assessing individual and collaborative thinking during group learning. In her second, Dr. Bondie presented a model project in providing Tier II interventions and challenging learning to all student in partnership with educator from St. Paul’s School in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Learn more about the conference.

Counseling Psychology Student Accomplishments

Dr. Amelio D’Onofrio is happy to announce that the following Counseling Psychology Doctoral Students have been selected to participate in the 2015-2016 phase of the HRSA grant Structured Intervention Program for Children in Inner City Schools Exposed to Chronic Stress

  • Maja Bergman
  • Shannon O’Neill
  • Jeanna Pagnotta
  • Matt Spieler
  • Melda Uzun
  • Hannah Wertz

Congratulations to Counseling Psychology doctoral candidate Allyson K. Regis, recipient of the inaugural 2015 Outstanding Alumni Award, Psychology Department, Stony Brook University!

Teaching Practices in Guatemala

Dr. Marshall George, Chair of the Division of Curriculum and Teaching, and Alyson Fitzpatrick, School Psychology doctoral student, visited schools in Guatemala over spring break to continue their collaborative research with the organization Funsepa.

They conducted student and teacher observations and interviews and continued to learn about the teaching practices in Guatemala.

Dr. George, Dr. Abigail Harris, and Alyson hope to use their findings to provide recommendations to the Funsepa and the Ministry of Education in Guatemala on how to best utilize technology in their classrooms.

CLAIR Celebration of Research

df3e3-fordham1What are your plans for April 22? We suggest you include a Celebration of Research!

The CLAIR program invites you to come celebrate our students and their research.

April 22
4:00-8:00 pm
Lincoln Center Campus

Please join us for an evening of light snacks and an introduction to contributions that our students are making to bettering learners and learning.

Please contact Fran Blumberg at for more information and to learn how you may be part of this event.

"Education Professor Finds Value in Off-Topic Questions"

“You can’t learn the answer if you don’t ask the question. So why do teachers ask all the questions in the class?

Molly Ness, Ph.D., associate professor in the Graduate School of Education’s Division of Curriculum and Teaching, wants teachers to embrace the innate curiosity that might lead children to ask questions such as ‘When you lose weight, where does it go?'”

Read more about Dr. Ness’s work on inquiry-based instruction in Inside Fordham.