Scholarship Recipients

2018 Recipients

Recipients who were available to attend the DVEC luncheon 5/23/18 (L to R):
Kurt Deixler, Danielle Viverito, Rosetta Davis, Claire Yujin Choi

Claire Yujin Choi, University of Delaware – Pursuing BS in Elementary Education, Concentration in Special Education, Class of 2019
Claire has a GPA of 3.938. She previously attended Korea University for two years where she studied International Relations before transferring to the University of Delaware. Claire is fluent in both English and Korean, and also knows Spanish and Japanese. Since arriving at UD, Claire has worked as a Library Aide at the Education Resource Center, an office assistant in the School of Education and as a Teacher at the Delaware Korean School. She also held various teaching-related roles in Korea, including a preschool teaching assistant, English mentor and English teacher. Claire also participated in a rigorous 12-month internship with the US Embassy in Seoul as a Youth Coordinator, planning programs on U.S. foreign policy, culture and society; English language learning, and digital media. At UD, she has also been involved with ASPIRE (Academic Support Program Inspiring Renaissance Educators), Kappa Delta Pi (Education Honor Society) and Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. In her essay, Claire shared her personal experience of growing up in the U.S. as the child of Korean immigrants, and then having to move with her family to Korea in 10th grade and the challenges of acclimating and completing high school there. The language and cultural barriers she experienced, combined with the similarities and differences she identified between the Korean and American educational systems, inspired her to transfer to UD and pursue a career in education, with a goal to serve as a role model and advocate for minority students. I have no doubt that Claire will achieve this, as one of her recommenders stated “she has the drive, the skills, the intellect, and the positive personality to become a successful teacher.”

Rosetta Davis, Cairn University – Pursuing BS in Elementary/Middle-Level Education (4-8) and Bible with a Minor in TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages), Class of 2019Rosetta has a cumulative GPA of 3.97. In 2009, Rosetta graduated from Community College of Philadelphia with an Associate’s degree in Elementary Education. While at CCP and in the years prior to enrolling at Cairn, Rosetta worked full-time as a School Coordinator for the Philadelphia Anti-Drug/Anti-Violence Network. In her time at Cairn, she has been a Tutor with the Academic Resource Center, a Teacher Assistant with Northeastern Community Church – Northeastern Grow Program, and has observed and student taught in multiple schools. Rosetta is a member of Alpha Chi Epsilon (Teacher Education Club) at Cairn and was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at CCP.  In her essay, Claire talked about her experience working with inner-city middle and high school students through the GIFT program (Growing in Female Traditions) and how she became aware of the impact that building relationships with students has on their learning and growth. She adopted the motto “building relationships to build character” and is committed to creating a nurturing learning environment that holistically educates. Rosetta’s recommenders described her using terms such as inspiring, diligent, committed, honest, inquiring, engaged, creative, articulate, humble and ambitious. She was referred to as a “light to people around her” and I’m sure that light will shine on the future students she teaches, as well.

Kurt Deixler, University of Pennsylvania – Pursuing MSEd in Urban Education, Concentration in Social Studies, Class of 2019
Kurt is enrolled in the Urban Teacher Residency Program at the University of Pennsylvania, a unique program that is enables Teach for America participants to work full-time as teachers while completing a graduate degree and teaching certification in two years. As an undergrad, he studied Chemistry at the University of Delaware, where he was on the Dean’s & President’s List every semester and graduated summa cum laude with a GPA of 3.92 in 2016. During college, he did an extensive amount of research in the field of nanotechnology, including electrospinning nanofibers. You might ask why he didn’t then pursue a career in scientific research. Well, as Kurt explained in his essay, he had always wanted to be a teacher. He said that as a kid he loved school so much that he wanted to stay there forever. However, when transitioning to college, he had doubts, and based on his love of chemistry in high school, chose that as his major. Although he excelled at it and enjoyed it, as he was approaching graduation, he felt unsure about what career path to pursue, as he still felt drawn towards teaching. While trying to decide between teaching or med school, he applied and was accepted into the City Year program, in which he served for one year as a Math tutor at an inner city school. That experience served as the deciding factor for Kurt that he does indeed belong in the classroom, so he then applied to Teach for America and in addition to his graduate studies, he has also served as the 7th & 8th grade science teacher at Alliance for Progress Charter School, Philadelphia since September. Kurt was enthusiastically endorsed for this scholarship by both of his recommenders, with one stating that “His passion for increasing equity and quality in education is unwavering. He embodies the passion, self-awareness and commitment we hope to see in all educators entering the field.”

Shane Fitzgerald, St. Joseph’s University – Pursuing MS in Secondary Education (7-12), Concentration in Biology, Class of 2019
Shane has a GPA of 4.0. He did his undergraduate studies at Rider University, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2013. While at Rider, he was a neuroscience research assistant and a member of the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society and the Science Learning Community. He was also involved in some teaching-related activities, including serving as a STEM mentor to freshmen as well as a Group Leader/Tutor with an elementary after school program. In his senior year, Shane attended the Society of Neuroscience conference in New Orleans, where he presented a poster presentation of his undergraduate research on the effects of age and chemotherapy on hippocampal neurogenesis.  After graduation, Shane pursued a career in science, working for two years as a Research Technician at the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research and then taking his current position as a Lab Manager and Research Technician at CHOP in 2015. Shane’s research has been published in scientific journals, including Experimental Neurology and PLOS One, a publication of the Public Library of Science. In 2017, Shane decided to combine his passion for science with his interest in teaching and enrolled in the graduate program at St. Joe’s. In his essay, Shane shared that he is not only a first-generation college student but also a first generation American, as his parents had immigrated to the U.S. from Ireland. He spoke very highly of his high school biology teacher, as she provided him with invaluable guidance and support and served as the role model for the kind of teacher he aspires to be: one who creates a sense of community and belonging both inside and outside the classroom. His recommendations glowed in their support of Shane’s application, referring to him as “an exceptional, genuine, honest, compassionate human being” and a “a fine citizen of the world.”

Danielle Viverito, University of Delaware – Pursuing MEd in Secondary Special Education, Class of 2019
Danielle is enrolled in a joint bachelor’s/master’s 5 year program at the University of Delaware. She graduated in May 2018  with a Bachelor of Science in Earth Science Education with a Minor in Dance, and is continuing on to complete her master’s degree in May 2019. On campus, Danielle is a member of the student organization Secondary Educators Of Tomorrow and is the Chapter Assessment Program Chair and Standards Leader for Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority. She has done pre-student teaching and student teaching in science classrooms at both middle and high schools and has already taken and passed the Praxis I and Praxis II (Earth & Space Science Content) Exams. Danielle stated in her essay that she has always wanted to be a teacher, even having written that goal in her 3rd grade yearbook. She also shared the story of her social studies teacher her sophomore year in high school who inspired her via his daily message to the entire class of “Knowledge is power!” as well as encouraged her after an oral presentation to consider pursuing a teaching career because he observed that she had a natural gift to teach. Her recommenders also identified her natural teaching ability, with one stating that “Danielle has a presence, and projects an air of quiet authority and expertise in the classroom.”  The other recommender, her cooperating teacher for student teaching, said that “her passion for her students and teaching science lights up the room” and I have no doubt that she will continue to do so throughout her future teaching career.

Matthew Weaver, LaSalle University – MA in Secondary Education, Concentration in Social Studies, Class of 2019
Matthew previously received a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 2016. In his essay, Matthew talked about his most influential role model, his mother, who herself is a teacher. He was inspired by the stories she shared with him throughout his childhood and knew that he, too, wanted to be a teacher. After graduating from Penn, Matthew was offered an opportunity to be a Junior Fellow at Winchester College, a boarding school in the U.K. and he went abroad to teach for a year. This experience solidified his desire to pursue a career in education, and he returned last summer to enroll in the graduate program at La Salle. In addition to teaching, Matthew is also an avid rowing coach, having coached students while at Winchester, serving as the head coach for the Crescent Boat Club junior rowing team for the past five years, as well as a Graduate Assistant Rowing Coach for both the men’s & women’s rowing teams at La Salle. One of his recommenders taught a practicum course he was enrolled in last summer in which he co-taught in an enrichment program at Hatboro-Horsham High School The recommender stated that “Matthew performed exceptionally; his lessons were well-planned, supplemental materials carefully crafted, and his interactions with the students were incredibly effective and positive. It was evident that Matthew is ready for the classroom!” and I’m sure he will prove this to be true.