Interviewer: Emily Talley, SED 2016
MEET THE DIRECTOR:
Emily: How long have you lived in Boston?
Stephanie: I’ve lived in Boston since Fall 2007 when I first moved to BU to attend SED. I’ve moved from Boston to Brookline to West Roxbury, where I currently reside.
E: How many years have you been with Boston University?
S: If you count my time as a student I’ve been at BU for nearly 8 years.
E: Where do you most want to travel in the world?
S: For those who’ve been in my office, you’ll notice that there’s quite a massive world map – traveling is a big interest of mine and my current goal is to hit all 50 states. My most recent trip was to Utah in March to cross another state off the list. However, if I had to pick one place in the world that I really wanted to visit it would probably be Cuba, my family is from there and while it’s quite controversial I have a strong desire to return to my family’s homeland and see the roots of our heritage.
E: Do you speak any foreign languages?
S: I speak Spanish fluently and some beginner French, I’m working on becoming more fluent in it! When I was little I always wanted to speak 5 languages by the time I was 30… I’m now realizing I may have to extend the amount of time on that goal or getting moving quickly but I absolutely love learning foreign languages.
E: How would you describe your hero, or your biggest inspiration, in 3 words?
S: Confident, reflective, (takes) initiative
E: Do you believe in world peace?
S: Although it’s often difficult to be optimistic given the news we see and hear on a daily basis, I do believe that world peace is possible one day – perhaps not during my lifetime though.
E: How do you define cooperation?
S: I believe cooperation involves listening to others, being genuinely honest, compromising, and working together.
ON STUDENT SERVICES…
E: When did you join the Office of Student Services team?
S: December 4, 2014
E: What is your role as director in relation to the SED student body?
S: I serve as a transitional advisor during orientation to make sure that students are enrolling in the right classes for their first semester on campus. I’m the advisor for the Transitional Mentors, SED Student Government, Dean’s Hosts, and Graduate Student Association. I work with students who are interested in transferring to SED or adding an SED dual degree or minor. Finally and most importantly, I advocate and support students throughout their time at BU and beyond. I meet regularly with students about anything and everything. I’ve had conversations about how to improve grades, what types of internship to look for, how to overload on credits, etc. I love meeting with students and working with them to make sure that they have the resources they need to be successful here at BU.
E: What’s one way that you’re reaching out to the School of Education student body?
S: I’ve been trying to get to know many students by attending clubs and organization events here in SED (please feel free to send me dates and times of meetings or events – I’m always looking for things to attend). In addition, Laura Johnson and I held an ice cream meet & greet to kick off the semester where we were able to meet many students informally – while also eating ice cream!
E: What’s one way that you want students to reach out to you?
S: Since starting in December I’ve been working to meet with as many students individually as possible. I’d love to have even more conversations about what students needs are and how their experience is going in SED – please have students email email@example.com with a list of dates and times that they’re available so that we can chat about academic program, career aspirations, how things are going this semester, really anything at all!
TAKE A STANCE!
E: Where do you stand on the Teach For America debate?
S: I think it’s great that TFA students in the New England area get to learn about their content area, teaching pedagogy and methods here at SED. They bring a different perspective into the classroom, which I think we all benefit from.
E: Do you think that it is better to educate English Language Learners in separate “pull out” classes with explicit language-learning based instruction, or keep them alongside their peers with total language immersion?
S: Having been an English Language Learner myself I personally benefited from total language immersion and being in the classroom alongside my peers. I spoke Spanish at home until I started Pre-K and then began learning English – and quickly! However I have also known many students who preferred and benefited from pull-out classes. I believe that both have their merits and work well for different types of learners.
E: What is one piece of advice you have for students going into a professional or academic meeting?
S: Arrive at meetings prepared! Show up with a pencil, an outline of what you plan to discuss or for an academic advising meeting show up with your tentative class schedule and possibly even a tentative four-year plan. Also, ask questions! Advisors are more than willing to help but you have to ask questions to get their advice!
E: Do you have any words of wisdom you want to share with the SED student body?
S: Take full advantage of the time you have here at SED and BU – if you want to add a minor or study abroad or join an intramural team – do it. This is your time to explore so use your time wisely and make sure you cram in as much as you can into your time because it does go by quickly.