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President and New Class
Announced at WW Academy

2018 Teacher Candidate Bios (PDF)

FOR RELEASE: Tuesday, May 29, 2018
CONTACT: Patrick Riccards (@Eduflack) | [email protected]  |  (703) 298-8283

WW Academy Welcomes Its First Class of Aspiring Teachers to the Master’s Degree Program

CAMBRIDGE, MA (May 29, 2018) – As the Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning prepares for its July 1 launch as an independent not-for-profit institution following its three-year incubation at the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, it welcomes its first class of master’s degree candidates.

“WW Academy students will help change higher education, K-12 instruction, and our nation’s approach to teaching and learning,” said Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and the inspiration behind the Academy. “Each member of this first cohort of WW Academy students brings strong background in the STEM disciplines, a commitment to teaching and learning, and an unwavering belief in demonstrating the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed as a teacher of record from day one.”

The WW Academy, in collaboration with MIT, is reinventing teacher education for the 21st century. Teacher candidates progress through a problem-based, individualized, adaptive curriculum by mastering core teaching competencies. WW Academy students experience the challenge-based curriculum in a blended environment, including online and face-to-face learning. Candidates are also immersed in clinical settings throughout their formal education in both Boston-area public schools and outside-of-school-time (OST) environments. Throughout their first two years of teaching they receive continued mentoring and professional development.

In late 2017, the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education approved the Academy’s application to establish a mastery-based graduate school of education. The followed approval from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to offer an initial, post-baccalaureate license for middle and secondary school teachers in biology, chemistry, and math.

Among the first class of master’s candidates entering the WW Academy this fall are ten Design Fellows, who have spent the 2017–18 academic year helping to develop the competency-based program, and test all curriculum, assessments, games, simulations, and other components. They now continue in the school’s inaugural class as degree candidates.

The 2018 Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning class includes the following:

  • Mustafa Abdul-Rahim* Dartmouth College, engineering sciences, 2004, engineering, mechanical design, and environmental engineering, 2004; Dartmouth College, M.E.M., engineering management, 2006
  • Breauna Campbell* Olin College, engineering, 2017
  • Nicholas Cerini Boston University, mechanical engineering, 2017
  • Katie Dunn Massachusetts Institute of Technology, economics, 2018
  • Greta Farrell Massachusetts Institute of Technology, economics, 2018
  • Zoe Heasley Bethel College, mathematics, 2018
  • Jason Heitler-Klevans* Oberlin College, physics, 2017
  • Kirstin Holm College of Wooster, chemistry, 2017
  • Ji-Young Kim Wellesley College, chemistry, 1997; University of Illinois at Urbana, M.S., chemistry, 2001
  • Doyung Lee* Olin College, engineering, 2017
  • Xheni Mucelli University of Massachusetts Boston, biology, 2018
  • Genevieve O’Connell* Columbia College, neuroscience and behavior
  • Murphy Page University of North Carolina Asheville, mathematics, 2015; Tufts, M.S., mathematics, 2017
  • Ji Sun Paschal Pennsylvania State University, chemistry, 2018
  • Lucinda Robinson* Carleton College, mathematics, 2014
  • Katarina Rolf* Carleton College, biology, 2015
  • Jane Strauch* Yale University, statistics, 2017
  • Xavier Tirado* Oberlin College, biology and sociology, 2017
  • Alexandra Trunnell* Vassar College, physics and astronomy, 2017
  • Victoria Valencia Worcester Polytechnic Institute, mechanical engineering, 2011

* indicates those who were also WW Academy Design Fellows

The WW Academy’s efforts are built, in part, on the Woodrow Wilson Foundation’s ongoing efforts in teacher and education leader preparation. Currently, the Foundation partners with five states—Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, and Ohio—to offer the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships. Working with 28 universities in those states, the WW Foundation is redesigning teacher education to center on a master’s degree program that integrates a yearlong clinical experience and three years of mentoring. The Foundation is also working in three states—Indiana, New Mexico, and Wisconsin—on the WW MBA Fellowships in Education Leadership, using a similar model to recruit and prepare the next generation of school and district leaders.

Earlier this year, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative announced a major grant to support the Academy’s efforts in mastery-based education and personalized learning. CZI joins the Amgen Foundation, Bezos Family Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Simons Foundation, and several anonymous major donors that have supported the development of the WW Academy.


About the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
Founded in 1945, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation ( identifies and develops the nation’s best minds to meet its most critical challenges. The Foundation supports its Fellows as the next generation of leaders shaping American society.

About the Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning
The Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning ( seeks to transform teacher education by creating a model to prepare teachers and school leaders to succeed in the diverse classrooms of today and to shape and lead the schools of tomorrow.

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We’re a new kind of teacher education program, one that is tailored to your skills and knowledge, focusing on what you need to know and be able to do as a teacher in a real-world classroom. By earning your M.Ed. from the Woodrow Wilson Academy you’ll enter the teaching profession well prepared to meet the challenges of today’s classrooms—and to shape tomorrow’s classrooms, too.

Trustee Fellowship deadline: May 1, 2019

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