Hometown: Livonia, MI
What are your career plans? As an elementary education major, I plan to have a classroom of my own one day. I would love to teach 3rd grade, but I am open to whatever opportunities come my way and will try to make a difference wherever I end up. I plan to continue my career by earning my masters degree in special education.
How are you funding your education? I am paying for school with a combination of help from my parents, student loans, and an OU academic scholarship.
Do you work while going to school? If so, tell us about that work. I have worked every year while attending OU. Earning money while also gaining experience in my field has always been very important to me. I currently work at the North Oakland YMCA in the ChildWatch department as well as nanny for multiple families in the area. Although it has been difficult at times, I value the experiences I’ve gained while working while going to school.
What student organizations and/or sports are you involved in? I am currently the president of Oakland’s chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, the International Honor Society in Education. This is the first academic year for our chapter, so I am very excited to bring it to life as OU’s only education honor society.
What is the best thing about OU? I love that OU has all of the “amenities” of a large university but still has the feel of a small university. I never wanted to go somewhere that was overwhelming and huge; I wanted to get to know the campus and the people on it. I can definitely say that is the case with OU.
What are your plans for the summer? I spend my summers taking classes so that I can graduate on time. I also spend a lot of time working to save money for the following school year and gain as much experience in my field as I can. This summer was no different! I took an intensive 5-week, 8-credit course that was taught at Graham Elementary School in Avondale and gave me the opportunity to work with many students. Additionally, I worked at the YMCA as well as a nanny for multiple families.
What do you love most about your major? I love that the elementary education major places such a focus on hands-on classroom experience. By the time I receive my student teaching placement, I will have spent 4 semesters in classrooms learning from experienced teachers. I don’t think that I would receive such experience at any other university, and I am extremely grateful that OU is so different.
What is your favorite OU tradition? Basketball season! I’m a big OU basketball fan and I look forward to the start of the season every year. My friends and I all attend the games together and it is definitely my favorite OU tradition.
Why did you pick OU? I initially picked OU for its proximity to home. Initially I didn’t want to go away to school, but OU gave me a great compromise. I got to experience both dorm life and living on my own while being just 40 minutes from home.
How does technology play a role in your education? The Educational Resources Lab (ERL) provides access to so much technology for students in my major. From equipment for projects and assignments, to SMART boards to practice on before using them in a classroom, the ERL and their technology have made my education so much richer. I feel like I am a better-prepared pre-service teacher because of the technology I have had access to.
How have alumni played a part in your education? My mom graduated from Oakland in 1994, and she was the one who encouraged me to go to OU. I love that I get to go to school where my mom did, and she enjoys sharing her own OU memories with me. Without my mom’s recommendation, I probably would not have applied to Oakland – but I am so glad that I did!