Elise Castillo named Ann Plato Diversity Fellow at Trinity College

Dr. Elise Castillo, Ann Plato Fellow 2019-20

The Educational Studies Program and the Public Policy & Law Program proudly announce that the Ann Plato Diversity Fellowship has been awarded to Dr. Elise Castillo, who will join the Trinity College faculty for the 2019-20 academic year. She will design a new Public Policy & Law course on privatization during the fall semester, teach the Educ 300: Education Reform Past & Present course in the spring semester, and launch a new research project on Asian-American family experiences with school choice.

Dr. Castillo’s scholarly identity is shaped by her personal experience as a second-generation Filipino-American, and her professional experiences as a public school teacher in a high-poverty New York City neighborhood. She earned her Ph.D in Education Policy from the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley in December 2018. Her dissertation research, “Progressive Education Meets the Market: Organizational Survival Among Independent Charter Schools,” featured a 10-month qualitative study of three independent charter schools in New York City, and illustrated the difficulties inherent in instituting progressive schooling in an educational environment deeply informed by market principles. In addition, she has co-authored articles in the Peabody Journal of Education and the International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy, as well as UC-Berkeley policy reports on expanding preschool in New York City, and school funding and achievement gaps in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Currently, Dr. Castillo works as a researcher at the Metro Center at New York University. Prior to pursuing doctoral studies, she taught middle and high school English in New York City and worked as a policy research assistant at Teachers College, Columbia University. She received her BA in English and Creative Writing from Barnard College, an MS in Teaching (Adolescent English) from Pace University, and an MA in Education Policy from UC Berkeley. Read more about her work at https://elisecastillo.com.

Trinity College’s diversity fellowship is named for Ann Plato, a 19th-century author and teacher of African American and Native American descent, who lived and wrote in Hartford. She was the second woman of color in the United States to publish a book, and the first to publish a book of essays and poems, titled Essays: Including Biographies and Miscellaneous Pieces, in Prose and Poetry (1841).

Learning to Be Latino: Book Talk with Prof. Daisy Reyes, March 7th 2019

Professor Daisy Reyes, from her website

Daisy Reyes, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Latin American Studies at the University of Connecticut, will speak about her recent book, Learning to Be Latino: How Colleges Shape Identity Politics (Rutgers University Press, 2018).

Join us on Thursday March 7th, 2019 from 12:15-1:15pm (Common Hour) in Terrace Rooms ABC, 2nd Floor of Mather Student Center, Trinity College, Hartford CT.

Open to the public. Light lunch provided. Co-sponsored by Educational Studies, Urban Education Initiatives, Enrollment and Student Success, and La Voz Latina.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Learning to Be Latino, sociologist Daisy Verduzco Reyes paints a vivid picture of Latino student life at a liberal arts college, a research university, and a regional public university, outlining students’ interactions with one another, with non-Latino peers, and with faculty, administrators, and the outside community. Reyes identifies the normative institutional arrangements that shape the social relationships relevant to Latino students’ lives, including school size, the demographic profile of the student body, residential arrangements, the relationship between students and administrators, and how well diversity programs integrate students through cultural centers and retention centers. Together these characteristics create an environment for Latino students that influences how they interact, identify, and come to understand their place on campus. Drawing on extensive ethnographic observations, Reyes shows how college campuses shape much more than students’ academic and occupational trajectories; they mold students’ ideas about inequality and opportunity in America, their identities, and even how they intend to practice politics.  

Learn more about Professor Reyes and her new book at:

Video documentary & panel on “Unlikely” college access, Feb 6th

Trinity College will screen the documentary “Unlikely,” an investigation of America’s college dropout crisis and the barriers students face in their pursuit of an education and meaningful career on Wednesday February 6th at 7pm at Cinestudio, located on the Hartford campus. Following the film, a panel discussion with higher education professionals will be moderated by Robert Cotto, Jr., director, urban educational initiatives, Trinity College. Featured panelists will include Roxanna Booth Miller, co-executive director, Hartford Youth Scholars; Angel Pérez, vice president, enrollment and student success, Trinity College; and Richard Sugarman, president, Hartford Promise. Co-sponsored by the Office of the President and the Educational Studies Program at Trinity College. Both the film screening and panel discussion are free and open to the public.

Learn more about the video: https://www.unlikelyfilm.com/

For a brief synopsis, visit: http://bit.ly/UnlikelyAtTrin

View the trailer:

Dr. Elise Castillo lecture on Ed Studies & Public Policy, Jan 31st

Source: Berkeley Review of Education

Dr. Elise Castillo will deliver a research presentation, “Progressive Education Meets the Market: Organizational Survival Among Independent Charter Schools,” on Thursday Jan 31st, 2019 from 12:15-1:15pm in McCook 201 conference room at Trinity College, Hartford CT. Dr. Castillo recently earned her Ph.D in Educational Policy from the Graduate School of Education at the University of California-Berkeley. Her talk is co-sponsored by the Educational Studies and the Public Policy & Law programs at Trinity. Lunch is available for the first 15 people.

She also will participate in a student-led discussion from 3-3:45pm in the Underground Cafe in Mather Student Center basement.

Learn more about her work at https://elisecastillo.com/.

Community-Centered Research Panel on Feb 5th, 2019

Panel Discussion – Education Beyond Schooling: The Power of Community-Centered Research for Youth of Color
Tuesday, February 5, 2019, 12:15-1:15 (Common Hour)
Terrace Rooms B & C, Mather Student Center, Trinity College

Dr. Eujin Park

Please join us for a panel that will feature two scholars who have engaged in community-based research with youth at community organizations: Dr. Eujin Park, Research Associate, Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago and Dr. Julissa Ventura, Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Education & Department of Ethnic Studies, University of Colorado Boulder. Dr. Park studies the educational experiences of Asian Americans, racialization processes in education, and class- and race-based inequality in schools. Dr. Ventura’s research sheds light into the important, yet often invisible work of school support staff and community youth facilitators in developing Latinx students’ sense of belonging, academic identities, and critical consciousness.

Dr. Julissa Ventura

Dr. Park and Dr. Ventura will discuss how community organizations contribute to the education of youth of color in important ways, especially by nurturing and valuing communities of color. Given that schools often fall short in supporting students of color, it is essential to pay attention to spaces where essential and nurturing work is taking place. The panelists will also discuss how they have navigated relationships with community organizations as they have engaged in research.

This event is sponsored by the Educational Studies Program and the Dean of Faculty Event Fund. A light lunch will be provided.

Questions? Contact stefanie.wong@trincoll.edu or erica.crowley@trincoll.edu.

Download the event poster below:

New Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of Educational Studies Stefanie Wong

The Educational Studies Program at Trinity College is pleased to announce that Jia-Hui Stefanie Wong has been selected as our newest tenure-track Assistant Professor, effective September 2019. Currently in a two-year visiting contract position at Trinity, Professor Wong stood out in our urban and global education faculty search, which attracted a very talented pool of over one hundred applicants.

Assistant Professor Stefanie Wong

The search committee praised Professor Wong’s excellence as an innovative instructor and guide for undergraduate student researchers. Her teaching discussion on her Educ 320: Anthropology and Education course demonstrated her skill in scaffolding assignments for small teams to conduct ethnographic research on campus to enrich the course readings. Furthermore, she is preparing to teach a new course, Educ 305: Immigrants and Education, with community-learning research opportunities that will engage Trinity students with diverse Hartford organizations, to creatively connect urban and global elements. Professor Wong also has received high marks from many students, especially women and people of color, on her ability to listen and engage in reflection and dialogue.

The search committee also recognized Professor Wong’s “high promise as a scholar,” based on her dissertation research as well as current and future publications. Her dissertation, “White Dominance in Diverse Schools: The Possibilities and Limits of Multicultural and Social Justice Education,” was based on a 16-month ethnographic study of how students and teachers perceive and challenge inequalities at a racially and socioeconomically diverse high school. The study explored how commitments to equity created some opportunities for students and teachers to critically understand and challenge oppression, yet also perpetuated White supremacy and other structures of power. Drawing on critical race theory and critical Whiteness studies, she argues that “even in multicultural and social justice education, the interests and needs of students of color, immigrant students, and LGBTQ+ students continued to be sidelined.” Professor Wong also has co-authored an article on the racialization of Asian American immigrant students in the journal Educational Studies, authored a chapter for a book that will be published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2019, and has additional journal manuscripts and a book project in development.

Professor Wong’s interdisciplinary training and field-based experiences make her an ideal fit for Trinity College. Professor Wong completed her joint Ph.D. degree in the Department of Educational Policy Studies and the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As an undergraduate at Swarthmore College, she majored in Educational Studies and Political Science, minored in Chinese, and collaborated with faculty on an ethnographic study that she later presented at a research conference. This experience not only shaped her desire to pursue graduate school, but also her dedication to create similar fieldwork and research opportunities for undergraduate students. Professor Wong is also dedicated to advising and mentoring students, especially students of color and first-generation college students. She adds, “My commitment to equity and justice is central to my work. As an Asian American woman and second-generation immigrant, I have experienced firsthand what it means to be part of educational institutions that were not designed for people like me. In my teaching, research, and other parts of my life, I am deeply committed to working to transform institutional and societal structures in ways that challenge systems of oppression.”

Educ 350 Teaching & Learning with Profs. Jack Dougherty and Kyle Evans

Professors Jack Dougherty (Educational Studies) and Kyle Evans (Mathematics) are teaming up to redesign Educ 350: Teaching and Learning, to be offered on Fridays 1:15-3:55pm in Spring 2019. The course will delve into topics such as curriculum standards, assessment, and equity, with a special focus on science and mathematics education. For the Community Learning  component, pairs of students will design and teach two inquiry-based lessons in Hartford public elementary or middle schools during our class time, and create web portfolios that combine writing and video of their teaching and student learning. See past examples of Trinity student teaching portfolios on the web by Elaina Rollins ’16, Christina Raiti ’16, and Emily Meehan ’16.

Prerequisite is Educ 200: Analyzing Schools, or permission of either instructor. To request permission, email a one-paragraph statement of interest to either Prof. Jack Dougherty or Kyle Evans, or speak with them during office hours.

Alumni Update: Nicole George ’18 Reflects on Educ Senior Research Seminar

Nicole George ’18 at her Ed Studies senior research presentation at Trinity College

We love hearing from Educational Studies alumni, especially when they offer to share news about their life adventures after Trinity with broader audiences, as Nicole George ’18 does below:

I am currently a full time graduate student in the School of Social Work at Virginia Commonwealth University. This is my first semester and have been required to do many written assignments within this field. I am interning at the Richmond Department of Social Services while taking four courses on campus, and am looking forward to becoming more involved with refugee and immigrant children. The Ed Studies courses I took at Trinity has been a lifesaver! I truly feel prepared. My courses involve a lot of research focusing on varying populations and Ed Studies prepared me to work with various groups of people. In particular, my Ed 400: Senior Research Seminar has been one of the most beneficial courses in preparing me for graduate school. One thing I would tell the current Ed Studies Majors is that the final research project may seem difficult and time consuming, but if you plan to go to grad school after Trinity, you will be thankful to the entire program for encouraging you to do research and gaining that independence. THANK YOU ED STUDIES FACULTY AND STAFF!

Learn more about Nicole George’s Educ 400 senior research project, “Navigating Survival Skills in a Predominantly Latin American School.” See her presentation slides and video and final draft in the Trinity College Digital Repository.

Neve Rivera ’20 on Study Abroad at DIS Copenhagen

Neve Rivera ’20, a dual major in Educational Studies and International Studies, shares about her Fall 2018 study-away experience at DIS Copenhagen, Denmark

Photo of Neve Rivera (second from right) with classmates tasting Turkish tea for the first time. She writes that her DIS Copenhagen class field studies include touring neighborhoods of Denmark known to be cultural areas. “The areas we have visited so far are predominantly filled with immigrants who are Muslim and/or from Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan. On this very day, we were on our way to tour the Imam Ali Mosque located in Nørrebro.”

My time in Copenhagen has been a whirlwind with many challenging yet transformative experiences. My core course is “Children in a Multicultural Context.” The title seems pretty self-explanatory, but it’s not as simple as it seems. Being placed in a Red Cross Asylum Center for Unaccompanied Minors for my practicum every Thursday while also having opportunities to explore Danish classrooms of all ages, my amateur understanding of multiculturalism in child development and education has delved into areas that have made me much more open-minded and critical of the social and political complexities behind it. My course has forced me to think outside of the U.S. context of multiculturalism and, instead, focus on multicultural implications in Denmark. What does that mean? For context, in Denmark today, approximately 9% of the total Danish population (~ 5.7 million people) is of another ethnic background than Danish with the highest representations from Turkey, former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Poland, Germany, Afghanistan, and Somalia.This comprises majority of Danish classrooms to be racially and ethnically homogenous, yet the concept of multiculturalism still applies. In contrast, the United States is a nation of immigrants with a much different historical social and political background (i.e. segregation laws, Jim Crow laws, Black Lives Matter movement, DACA, affirmative action, etc.). The term multiculturalism changes in definition and with respect to social, political, and economic systems.

Specifically, being placed at an Asylum Center for Unaccompanied Minors has been the toughest yet most transformative challenge I have faced. Of the children who participate on the days I visit, it ranges between 6-14 children. Every visit brings a wave of humility, vulnerability and reassurance. I am constantly reminded of how I can use my privileges to transform the lives of children fighting to obtain their basic human rights, such as the rights to life, education, play, discrimination, and security. Here is an excerpt of something I wrote in my journal after my first visit:

These are children who travel unaccompanied for a better life and living with the fear of being rejected to have a safe, minimal lifestyle that their country of origin cannot provide them. Everything I have may be something they aspire to have solely in the fact that I have American citizenship. Our lives far apart from each other, geographically and legally – yet, we meet here, in Denmark, a place far from both of our homes. But for different reasons.

Every Thursday, before arriving at the Asylum Center, I remind myself to give my all – energy level has to be on 10! My goal is to always make each child smile or laugh at least once as a way to help distract the children from their worries at the Asylum Center. I truly believe there is a reason I was chosen to work with such a vulnerable population, but I do not know the reason, just yet. At times, I feel overwhelmed with the amount of growth I have already experienced, but it’s a feeling I encourage others to chase after. These past two months have been the most transformative time of my life!

Red Cross Asylum Center for Unaccompanied Children, photo provided by Neve Rivera.

Faculty Search: Assistant Professor in Educational Studies (Urban and Global Education)

The interdisciplinary Educational Studies Program at Trinity College, located in the capital city of Hartford, Connecticut, seeks an outstanding tenure-track Assistant Professor in the area of Urban and Global Education. The successful candidate will bridge Trinity’s dual strengths — urban engagement and global learning — by teaching and researching in areas such as anthropology of education, immigrants and schools, bilingual or multicultural learning, comparative education, and/or ethnographic methods. In addition, the candidate will teach one section of the introductory urban education course with participant-observation placements in nearby Hartford public schools, and contribute to the Community Action Gateway for first-year students. Applicants should hold a doctorate in education or a social science discipline before the position begins in August 2019, as well as teaching experience and a research program. Excellent opportunities to collaborate with the Anthropology Department, the Center for Hartford Engagement and Research, the Center for Urban and Global Studies, the Center for Caribbean Studies, the Consortium on High Achievement and Success, and the Office of Study Away at Trinity. Teaching load is 2/2 for the first two years (and 3/2 thereafter) with a one-semester leave every fourth year. Competitive salary and benefits, plus a start-up expense fund. Learn more about the Educational Studies Program and Trinity College.

Educational Studies majors dinner, Trinity College, April 2017

Apply by September 30th 2018 at https://trincoll.peopleadmin.com/postings/search to receive full consideration. Submit a cover letter (connecting your teaching and research interests with our urban liberal arts college), CV, graduate school transcripts (official or unofficial), a sample syllabus, a sample of scholarly writing, and contact information (including email addresses) for three references. Once a completed dossier is submitted, automatic emails will be generated to each reference provider, directing each referee to a unique URL where he or she must go to upload a letter of recommendation. Applicants using Interfolio (or other dossier service) should provide the appropriate unique Interfolio email address for each reference letter writer.

Trinity College is a coeducational independent, nonsectarian liberal arts college with approximately 2,200 undergraduate students and 200 faculty members, located in Hartford, Connecticut. Candidates should have a strong commitment to undergraduate and interdisciplinary teaching in a liberal arts context, and a well-articulated plan for sustained research. The College is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to attracting and supporting a faculty of women and men who fully represent the racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the United States. We seek applications from minorities, women, and other under-represented groups.