The Programs in Anthropology at Teachers College are delighted to welcome 13 new graduate students into our department. Below, you can learn a bit more about some of the members of our first year class, many of whom will be joining the blog as contributors in the coming months.
Laura Hones is an MA student in the Anthropology and Education program. She earned her BA in Anthropology from Illinois Wesleyan University, where she conducted ethnographic research on urban intentional communities. Following her graduation from Illinois Wesleyan University, Laura spent three years working in Chicago Public Schools in partnership with City Year Chicago and SAGA Innovations, an educational non-profit. She is interested in adolescence, gender studies, and the culture of nonprofit organizations.
Christopher Sanacore graduated from Bennington College with a degree in Educational Linguistics. During his undergraduate studies, he focused on integrating the fields of critical theory, sociolinguistics, discourse analysis and anthropology. He has worked as an English language instructor and elementary school assistant in Boston, Massachusetts and was a part of a special projects course on the U.S/Mexico border that brought him to Tucson, Arizona and Nogales, Mexico alongside students from Bennington College and Williams College. His senior thesis centered around second language acquisition and digital media interactions to help second language learners acquire informal linguistic proficiency. Most recently, Chris served as an Americorps member with City Year in Providence, Rhode Island, where he worked as a mathematics instructor for English language learners. He is now working on achieving his Masters in Anthropology and Education with a focus on the intersections between education policy, school violence and pedagogy through a linguistic anthropological lens.
Tizoc Sanchez was born with a second name: Fernando. One refers to pre-hispanic Mexican heritage and the other to his Spanish heritage. Being a mixture, or mestizaje, has influenced his approach to life and to research. Tizoc first developed an interest in education while teaching reading and writing skills to adults living in the remote rural zones of Mexico. He later studied literacy pedagogy with a focus on philosophy and educational theory. He has worked as a research assistant, a curriculum developer, and a traveling educator, working primarily with immigrant children. In addition, Tizoc has conducted workshops on nonviolence and has worked as a philosophy teaching assistant. His academic interests concern how people develop in conjunction with their social and natural environments, with a particular emphasis on how moral behavior is shaped by classroom experiences, migration, and family.
Marlee Tavlin recently graduated from New York University with a double major in Social Work and Classical Civilization-Anthropology. For the past four years, she has been a teaching assistant and co-teacher for The American Museum of Natural History’s Education Department. Her academic interests include urban education, social justice, and using museums as a tool to close the education gap facing NYC’s students.
Bader Alfarhan is a first-year Ed.M student in the Anthropology and Education program within the Department of International and Transcultural Studies. Born in Saudi Arabia and raised in Kuwait, Bader brings to Teachers College his extensive experience working with international students. Bader earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Washington-Seattle, where he majored in Anthropology and completed a double minor in Education and Diversity. In his final year at the University of Washington-Seattle, Bader completed a yearlong honors thesis exploring the lived experiences of Kuwaiti and Saudi men studying abroad in Seattle. This research inspired him to pursue graduate work focused on advocating for the inclusion of international students on U.S. university campuses. Bader’s primary research interests include international experiences, higher education, temporary migration, and the training of educators overseas.
Wayétu Moore is a writer/essayist based in Brooklyn, New York. She is the founder of One Moore Book (www.onemoorebook.com), a CBC-member boutique publisher of multicultural children’s books aimed at readers in countries with low literacy rates. She is also the founder of Moore Books Inc., a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that builds bookstores, libraries and reading corners that serve underrepresented groups. Her first bookstore opened in Monrovia, Liberia in 2015. She earned her BA in journalism at Howard University, and an MA in creative writing from the University of Southern California. She is an adjunct instructor at The College of New Rochelle. Wayétu has been featured in The Economist Magazine, NPR and BBC News, among others, for her work in advocacy for diversity in children’s literature. Her novel and memoir are forthcoming with Graywolf Press. Her writing can be found in The Atlantic Magazine, Guernica Magazine, The Rumpus, Gawker, Waxwing Literary Magazine and various other literary journals. Wayétu is currently a Margaret Mead Fellow at Teachers College, where she conducts research on the impact of culturally relative curriculum and learning aids in the elementary classrooms of underrepresented groups.
Miranda Hansen-Hunt is originally from a small town in Connecticut, though she has spent the past nine years in Philadelphia. In 2011, Miranda graduated with a BA in Anthropology from Bryn Mawr and a BA in Religion from Haverford College. She then went on to earn an MS in Education with a speciality in Elementary Education from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. Miranda is a certified K-6 educator and an ALTA certified language practitioner. After earning her MS, Miranda taught in a variety of school settings throughout Philadelphia and Connecticut. She is currently a PhD student in Anthropology and Education. Her current research interests include discipline and trauma in schools, urban education in the North-East cities, and the “savior complex” in urban education.
Corinne Kentor is a doctoral student in Anthropology and Education. She earned her BA in English from Yale University, where she was a member of the second graduating cohort of Education Studies Scholars. At Yale, Corinne worked as a public relations representative and interviewer for the Undergraduate Admissions Office, positions which brought her into contact with diverse groups of domestic and international applicants. Through fellowships associated with the New Haven Public Schools District, she served as a Spanish-language kindergarten assistant, a playwriting and drama teacher, and a yoga instructor. As an Education Studies Scholar, Corinne conducted research on the politicalization of school administrators serving in southern New Mexico, with a focused lens on the implementation of dual language initiatives. Last year, she also served as a research assistant for the Yale Law School, where she assisted an interdisciplinary committee tasked with reforming graduate grading policies. Corinne’s experiences throughout the New Haven area have heavily influenced her work as a researcher and an educator. Her current research interests include equity and college access, migration and immigration, media and ethics education, and the relationship among schools, politicians, and social justice networks.
Daniel Rudas-Burgos is an anthropologist and educator from Bogotá, Colombia. He is a research associate at Instituto Caro y Cuervo, a government-funded organization dedicated to the study of Colombian literature and linguistics. In addition, he has served as a socio-linguistic lecturer for the Department of Anthropology at Pontifical Xaverian University. Daniel earned his BA in Anthropology at National University of Colombia (2005), and his MA in Education at Pontifical Xaverian University (2011). His past research has focused on out-of-school education among young people in Bogotá, and informal communication practices among civil servants in Cundinamarca, Colombia. Currently, he is completing a doctoral program in Anthropology and Education at Teachers College with the support of a Fulbright scholarship. Daniel’s research interests center around the comprehension of reading and writing as social, cultural, and political practices. He plans to explore how vernacular reading and writing practices can help empower excluded and marginalized social groups and provide key strategies for conflict management.
Brittany Vaszlavik is a first year doctoral student in Anthropology and Education. She received her BA in Anthropology and English at Bloomsburg University. During that time, she conducted independent research on “College First Year Adjustment,” a project that won first place in Behavior and Social Sciences at the National Collegiate Honors conference. Brittany’s field study methods course was conducted in Rome, Italy where she learned Spelioarcheology. While earning her Master’s degree in Education, Counseling, Student Affairs at Bloomsburg, she continued her research on higher education, focusing on gender, diversity, leadership, and mental health. Brittany has worked with students in higher education through residence life and the Dean of Students office. She is currently working as a Teacher’s Aide in a middle school and teaching a composition course at her local community college. At Teachers College, Brittany hopes to use the lens of Anthropology to continue to study mental health issues related to suicide and violence in the education system.