Sima Petilli, a preschool special-needs educator and participant in SLU’s LEAP-to-Teacher program who recently earned her master’s degree at Lehman College, was not going to let anything stand in her way of becoming a certified teacher – not even the sudden, mid-semester transition to working, studying, and full-time parenting from home in response to COVID-19, all while also preparing for the edTPA, a challenging certification exam requiring prospective teachers to submit a portfolio of lesson plans, videos, and written responses.
“It’s very easy to get confused and overwhelmed, but in reality, the edTPA is like a wave. You ride from one wave to another,” Sima said of her experience tackling the different portions of the test. Read More
Gena-Fae Fillingham was born and raised in a small farm town in Nebraska, where her mother taught her to care about the most vulnerable in her community. She worked as a certified nurses’ aide throughout her senior year in high school, and later attended nursing school where she graduated with honors and was certified as an LPN. She worked as a charge nurse in a nursing home in Brooklyn, and simultaneously volunteered for the charity “Hope for Kids,” which seeks to raise awareness and increase the number of children receiving up to date immunizations. Read More
Tracy Rogers (MA/Urban Studies) is a frontline health care worker at an area hospital in Brooklyn, a hot zone for the coronavirus outbreak. The hospital opened a supply depot to support the newly created COVID units, and Tracy runs it. Her job is to track the equipment—blood pressure machines, IV pumps, etc.—and make sure everything is working,
cleaned and ready for the next patient who needs it. She also outfits staff with PPE and other necessary supplies. Read More
It’s a tough time to be in journalism. Revenue sources are dwindling and new layoffs seem to be announced every day — and the COVID-19 pandemic sent another shockwave through the industry. That’s where Nastaran Mohit comes in. As organizing director of the NewsGuild of New York, Mohit works to unionize the staff at newspapers, magazines and online publications, so that reporters, editors and social media staff have access to the benefits and protections they so sorely need. The NewsGuild, a sector of the Communications Workers of America, represents more than 24,000 journalists and other media workers across the U.S. and Canada. Mohit has led successful campaigns to unionize publications including The New Yorker, the Los Angeles Times, New York Magazine and BuzzFeed. Here’s a window into the life of a busy union organizer.
Liam Lynch (M.A. Labor Studies 2015) is on the front lines of the COVID-19 response. Not in a hospital, but in a classroom. Not wielding a stethoscope and a thermometer, but a Powerpoint presentation and the law. Liam works as a Safety & Health Specialist with the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH), a non-profit comprised of workers, unions, community-based organizations, workers’ rights activists, and health and safety professionals committed to defending every individual’s right to a safe and healthy workplace. Read More
KenDell Jackson is a graduate candidate in the URB MA program, and recipient of a 2019 University Student Senate Graduate Peer Mentor Scholarship. KenDell was interviewed by SLU Advisor Samina Shahidi.
What is the University Student Senate Graduate Peer Mentor Scholarship, and how did you get involved with it?
The University Student Senate Graduate Peer Mentor Scholarship is a recognition for students that have shown academic excellence, scholastic dedication and overall contributions to the improvement of student life. The CUNY SLU advisement team provides frequent updates on upcoming activities and opportunities. Like many of us being so busy, I ignored many of the previous emails suggesting that students apply for Graduate Mentor Scholarship opportunities. I hadn’t considered the Scholarship as a viable option. I was certainly wrong. I decided to submit an essay describing my journey and how working with youth via Track & Field is my unique contribution to improving my community. It started with just training my daughter and it blossomed into working with over 50 young people in the Bronx. Mentoring youth while enrolled in a Graduate program has helped shape my perspective on community and urban needs. It’s also great to inspire both youths and their parents that if Coach K. can manage work, school and coaching, they can too. Just a few months later I received notice that I had been selected as a scholarship recipient. I recommend to my fellow students: don’t be fearful of taking a chance on yourself. Read More