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SOE Graduate Student Ambassadors

The Student Ambassadors are a group of current Masters & Doctoral graduate students that want to share their experiences with prospective students and answer any questions they may have about the University of San Francisco, the School of Education, or their specific program. Feel free to contact a School of Education Ambassador to find out more!

Digital Technologies for Teaching & Learning MA

Nicole Riccardi

Email: nrricciardi@usfca.edu
Research interests: educational technology; networked learning; virtual learning environments; instructional design for eLearning
Why did you choose USF?
I'm originally from the East Coast, but wanted to complete my masters in educational technology in the SF Bay Area where the heart of technology innovation lives. USF offered me that opportunity with the DTTL program.
What has been a highlight of your program or USF so far?
Working with my fellow students and faculty is both a pleasure and a privilege. The atmosphere of collaborative learning combined with the opportunity to learn from the varied experiences of others is so rewarding. The diversity among us makes for a much richer learning experience.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
The best aspect of all SOE graduate programs at USF is the opportunity for students to tailor their academic experiences to their career and life goals. I encourage prospective students to explore all of the options the DTTL program offers and to ask questions!
What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
It's tough to choose just one, but I'm a huge fan of Burma Superstar - I could eat their tea leaf salad every day!
nicole-riccardi

Higher Education & Student Affairs MA

Amiya Powell-Hodge

Email: ampowellhodge@dons.usfca.edu
Research interests: residential education; student development; exploring barriers of equity and access for first generation students and students of color; race and diversity within higher education
What has been a highlight of your program or USF so far?
The social justice education component is something that I value most about the HESA program. It adds meaning and purpose to the work I'm pursuing and allows me to see the bigger picture. My internships and practicum experiences have also been integral components to my learning here. Since joining the HESA program I have held positions with the Student Leadership and Engagement Department as the Gradate Intern for Graduate Student Life; Student Housing and Residential Education as an Assistant Residence Director; a file reader with the Office of Admissions; and the Cultural Centers as a practicum student. Joining a program that would afford me the opportunity to merge theory and practice was essential to my decision to attend USF.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Make an informed decision. Think about what you want out of your graduate experience and don't settle for anything less. Choose a program that will aid in your professional development as well as your personal growth.
What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
I love the food trucks at Off the Grid in the Presidio. It's a huge foodie fest and I never have to play favorites because I can taste everything!
 amiya.powell.hodge

Maile Yee

Email: mayee2@dons.usfca.edu
Research Interests: first-year student transition and support; student involvement; and academic/holistic advising
What has been a highlight of your program or USF so far?
Being challenged in areas that I have not been challenged before. I appreciate the practical experience and application of our studies into the field. It makes for a well-rounded experience, which I was looking for in a graduate program.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Research what experience you would like to have. Think about which course curriculum aligns with your values, what internship experience you want to have, where you want to live for the next two years, etc. Consider all aspects of your life and if your intended field of study and environment aligns with your dreams of graduate school.
What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
The beauty of San Francisco is that there are many restaurants that are great! However, the one place that holds a dear place in my stomach is Grindz, a Hawaiian-style restaurant in the Inner Richmond. The food not only combines a mixture of my favorite Hawaiian-style flavors, but it also tastes like home.
 maile yee

Human Rights Education MA

Henriette Potts

Program: International & Multicultural Education MA with a concentration in Human Rights Education
Email: hpotts@dons.usfca.edu
Research interests: multiculturalism; bilingualism; the Afro-German movement; colorism; human rights; the New Jim Crow movement; criminal injustice; disparities in the child welfare system; the school-to-prison pipeline; trauma sensitive schools; environmental justice
Why did you choose USF?
I selected USF because of it was the only school that had a program that was everything I was looking for. Visiting the Open House and speaking with faculty and students I could feel the passion and the sense of community within the School of Education at USF which further swayed me to select USF.
What has been a highlight of your program or USF so far?
For me the highlight of the IME program has been the hospitality. From my first visit to the program every student and faculty member has been welcoming and encouraging every step of the way.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
My advice for prospective students is to explore the program and ask lots questions.
What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
My favorite restaurant is Rich Table. Every meal there is a memorable experience from the moment you sit down. The menu changes seasonally, but they always have the dried porcini doughnuts on the menu and they are amazing!!
 henriette potts

Katie Zanoni

Program: International & Multicultural Education EdD with a concentration in Human Rights Education
Email: kzanoni@usfca.edu
Research Interests: critical pedagogy; narrative-centered curriculum; education for peace, human rights, and sustainability; the role of women in peace building; conflict sensitive education; education in emergency and development contexts
Why did you choose USF?
As an educator of peace and human rights, I was instantly drawn to the International and Multicultural Education program to complete my studies using an applied approach to impact the field of education in a positive way. In reviewing the faculty profiles, I was also impressed by the breadth of knowledge that the professors offered and felt my research interests aligned with the faculty who were focused on Human Rights Education.
What has been a highlight of your program or USF so far?
The Research and Pedagogy Symposium (RAPS) was one highlight of my first year of the program. I was inspired by the work being done both on a local level and an international level by my fellow scholar-practitioners within our learning community.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
I would recommend prospective students to speak to both faculty and current students at the School of Education. In addition, sitting in a course will also offer a preview of what the content of the courses are like and gain a better understanding of the learning community at USF.
What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
Burma Superstar - the Tea Leaf salad is incredible!
 katie zanoni

International & Multicultural Education MA

Henriette Potts

Program: International & Multicultural Education MA with a concentration in Human Rights Education
Email: hpotts@dons.usfca.edu
Research interests: multiculturalism; bilingualism; the Afro-German movement; colorism; human rights; the New Jim Crow movement; criminal injustice; disparities in the child welfare system; the school-to-prison pipeline; trauma sensitive schools; environmental justice
Why did you choose USF?
I selected USF because of it was the only school that had a program that was everything I was looking for. Visiting the Open House and speaking with faculty and students I could feel the passion and the sense of community within the School of Education at USF which further swayed me to select USF.
What has been a highlight of your program or USF so far?
For me the highlight of the IME program has been the hospitality. From my first visit to the program every student and faculty member has been welcoming and encouraging every step of the way.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
My advice for prospective students is to explore the program and ask lots questions.
What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
My favorite restaurant is Rich Table. Every meal there is a memorable experience from the moment you sit down. The menu changes seasonally, but they always have the dried porcini doughnuts on the menu and they are amazing!!
 henriette potts

International & Multicultural Education EdD

Katie Zanoni

Program: International & Multicultural Education EdD with a concentration in Human Rights Education
Email: kzanoni@usfca.edu
Research Interests: critical pedagogy; narrative-centered curriculum; education for peace, human rights, and sustainability; the role of women in peace building; conflict sensitive education; education in emergency and development contexts
Why did you choose USF?
As an educator of peace and human rights, I was instantly drawn to the International and Multicultural Education program to complete my studies using an applied approach to impact the field of education in a positive way. In reviewing the faculty profiles, I was also impressed by the breadth of knowledge that the professors offered and felt my research interests aligned with the faculty who were focused on Human Rights Education.
What has been a highlight of your program or USF so far?
The Research and Pedagogy Symposium (RAPS) was one highlight of my first year of the program. I was inspired by the work being done both on a local level and an international level by my fellow scholar-practitioners within our learning community.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
I would recommend prospective students to speak to both faculty and current students at the School of Education. In addition, sitting in a course will also offer a preview of what the content of the courses are like and gain a better understanding of the learning community at USF.
What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
Burma Superstar - the Tea Leaf salad is incredible!
 katie zanoni

Marriage & Family Therapy MA

Caroline Curran

Email: cmcurran2@dons.usfca.edu
Research interests: adolescents; anxiety in young adults; family systems; death and dying
Why did you choose USF?
I chose USF because I grew up in San Francisco and have always had a deep respect for USF. I like the small class sizes, gorgeous campus, and friendly and professional professors.
What has been a highlight of your program or USF so far?
A highlight of my program so far has been connecting with the members of my cohort over the past two years. Another highlight has been having wonderful professors multiple times. I feel like I have built nice relationships with my professors because of this opportunity.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Sit in on a class, explore possible career opportunities that various degrees provide, visit the campus, connect with current students.
What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
I have a lot of favorite restaurants! Foreign Cinema and Flour+Water in the Mission and Saru Sushi in Noe Valley. I love Saru's Popcorn Tuna!
 Caroline.Curran

Krista Hutchens

Email: klhutchens@dons.usfca.edu
Research Interests: body acceptance; life transitions; parental training and supporting undocumented and immigrant families
Why did you choose USF?
The signs around The City drew me in and once I decided to begin my graduate school journey, I investigated. I found that USF reflected similar values of advocacy that I held. When I met with the faculty prior to applying I felt welcomed and they too reflected those values. Additionally, when I consulted professionals in the MFT field, they spoke highly of the program.
What has been a highlight of your program or USF so far?
Really getting to know the professors and their many endeavors! I anticipate my trip with Project Yucatan with Dr. Joan Avis this summer will top my highlight list, planning for it sure has!
What advice do you have for prospective students?
This ties into my highlight! If you hear your professor say something interesting in class, make an appointment to learn more, folks love to tell their stories. In graduate school, our professors are our guides and one day will become our colleagues.
What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
I enjoy burritos, it is my favorite thing to eat. There is a restaurant close to USF called Panchos and I think they make one of the best carne asada burrito.
 krista_hutchens

Marriage & Family Therapy MA - Sacramento Campus

Alexis Gomez

Email: adgomez2@dons.usfca.edu
Research interests: marriage and family therapy, couples therapy, grief counseling, and human sexuality
What has been a highlight of your program or USF so far?
Learning therapeutic techniques that will be effective in therapy and actually seeing myself as a therapist. This program has given me the confidence I will need when I am seeing clients.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Your hard work will pay off in the end. If you ever feel defeated, just keep going! "Keep on, keepin' on!"
What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
Amici's, Bubba Gumps, Patxi's (try the Deep Dish Pizza!), and you have to stop at a Ghirardelli shop for dessert!
 alexis gomez

Jamie Tactay

Email: jftactay@dons.usfca.edu
Research Interests: social psychology, schizophrenia, mental health awareness and prevention of stigma, and therapeutic jurisprudence
Why did you choose USF?
I like that USF encourages their students to advocate or get involved in social justice. In addition, the class size/cohort model works well with me because it allows me to be involved in an in-depth discussion; it helps build trust within the other students, which encourages me to share personal life experiences. In addition, I knew that having a smaller class would mean that I would get the support and guidance I need from the faculty.
What has been a highlight of your program or USF so far?
The highlight of my program thus far is my orientation with my Traineeship placement, Sierra Vista Hospital. It marks the beginning of a new journey where I can apply all that I have learned from USF to real life situations.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Make sure to take good care of yourself. Self-care is the key to staying sane in graduate school and in life.
What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
Chow/Park Chow in San Francisco & Bowl’d Korean Rice Bar in Berkeley Hills.
 jamie tactay

Organization & Leadership MA

Kristine Lee

Email: kylee2@dons.usfca.edu
Research Interests: professional development in higher education; staff development; women in leadership
Why did you choose USF?
I was excited to hear about SOE at USF and the O&L program. I chose USF because O&L fit my interests as a grad student. I saw the benefit of studying O&L at USF to benefit my career and overall personal development. After attending an information session led by Dr. Chris Thomas, I made the decision to apply to USF.
What has been a highlight of your program or USF so far?
I have met some wonderful fellow students, faculty, and staff throughout SOE. I feel that the classes pushes me to think critically and apply what I learn to my work. I am fortunate to have a close group of friends/classmates where we constantly turn to each other for support both educational, professional, and emotional.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Be your own advocate for your education and your professional opportunities. While grad school seems daunting, you will be surprised how quickly time passes. Make sure you have a support system to help you get through the program.
 kristine lee

Organization & Leadership EdD

Sandie Stringfellow

Email: smstringfellow@dons.usfca.edu
Research Interests: education research and methodologies; program assessment and evaluation; organizational design and development; achievement gap; social justice
Why did you choose USF?
Flexibility with the schedule, good array of classes.
What has been a highlight of your program or USF so far?
Being a Merit Scholar, being an ambassador, being given a lot of opportunities that I probably would not have gotten at other schools.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Go for it! It might seem like it will be too much work. It is a ton of work but it is manageable and you will be glad that you stepped up to the challenge!
What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
Tough question, there are SO many amazing restaurants in the Bay Area.
 sandie-stringfellow

School Counseling MA

Eunice Esquivel

Program: School Counseling MA with PPS Credential
Email: eesquivel@dons.usfca.edu
Research interests: college and career counseling; 1st-generation college student resources; multiculturalism; staff development
Why did you choose USF?
I have read that the best companies to work for are the ones that align with your own morals and values. Personally, the same thing should apply to schools as well. When I was looking through graduate school websites, it was the University of San Francisco’s school counseling program that got me excited to learn more about them. Just like that nervousness before the first drop on a roller coaster, I knew that I wanted to apply to USF and see how exhilarating that roller coaster would be. Not many programs emphasize the importance of multicultural school settings and social justice and not many programs have a set schedule knowing that each class should build off of the other. I knew that a program that is strategic in how it teaches its students would be effective in helping me develop as a counselor who can also teach, inspire and guide students.
What has been a highlight of your program or USF so far?
It's amazing how much more I get to learn about the people in my cohort and about myself every semester. Having the opportunity to do different projects and presentations allows us to work together to become the best at what we want to be.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Make sure to try and organize your time well. Especially time for yourself and what you love to do! That helps keep you sane. Also, don't think that the workload is something you have to carry alone. Talk to your peers and work together, and look to the second years who have already gone through the same path.
What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
As a non-SF local, I can't help but love late night bacon-wrapped hot dogs! However, if you're ever down to try something new, try Burma Superstar. Their tea leaf salad and coconut water right out of a young coconut is out of this world!
 eunice esquivel

Nicole Farley

Program: School Counseling MA with PPS Credential & LPCC
Email: nmfarley@dons.usfca.edu
Research Interests: school counseling; multicultural counseling; social justice; counselor-teacher partnership; juvenile justice; bilingualism; narrative/art therapy
Why did you choose USF?
Growing up in the peninsula, I knew that I wanted to stay close to home. When researching graduate programs in counseling, USF’s commitment to social justice intrigued me. As an undergraduate of Criminal Justice Studies, I connected with their mission statement and immediately wanted to enroll. Everything from the website to the faculty, to coordinators and admission staff were very helpful in answering questions, and I felt extremely confident in meeting admissions requirements. In all honesty, after attending an Open House, I knew that USF was for me, and it was the only school that I applied for. Also, a conflict that I found in common with most other schools was scheduling. I truly appreciated that USF adhered to a “teaching weekend” schedule that allowed me to work, intern, and take classes. I also liked that I seemed to have more time to complete assignments! In addition, the cohort model was yet another factor. I enjoyed the idea of having a more personalized/individualized learning experience, and getting to know my professors. Having come from a larger school (SFSU), this was not always an option and I have always wished that it could have.
What has been a highlight of your program or USF so far?
Learning so many different skills and being able to successfully apply them within real-life situations!
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Try not to be so hard on yourself! Finding a balance between being a graduate student, working, (potentially) interning, and maintaining some semblance of a social life can be HARD! Give yourself a break and find your source of self-care (e.g. exercise, music, hobbies, etc).
What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
I'm a big fan of the Old Jerusalem Restaurant in the Mission neighborhood. My favorite dish is the vegetarian plate!
 Nicole Farley

Jaymie Frazier

Program: School Counseling MA with PPS Credential
Email: jmfrazier@dons.usfca.edu
Research interests: multi-cultural counseling, empowering caregivers, advocating cross-cultural systems, and college/career counseling
Why did you choose USF?
I chose USF because I felt the school’s social justice initiative aligned with my own values. After doing my research, I felt the SOE School Counseling Program was the perfect fit for me, because of the class weekend schedule (so I could work while going to school), length of program (2 years), and the small classroom sizes. When speaking to peers and alumna of USF prior to applying, I heard nothing but great things about the campus and the amazing faculty who are known to pay close attention to their students and care for their education. Lastly, I believe that USF understands the importance of multicultural insight and appreciation, which cannot be overstated, especially in a diverse, urban community like San Francisco.
What has been a highlight of your program or USF so far?
One highlight from my first year of graduate school is participating in the School Counseling Program's social justice initiative, where students in the department collected and distributed supplies, games, and donations to several schools throughout the Bay Area.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Take advantage of all of the wonderful resources available! To ensure that you are getting the most out of your time at USF, I highly recommend checking out everything from on-campus support (such as the Learning & Writing Center, Career Services Center, and Counseling & Psychological Services) to direct supervision and support from the faculty and staff in your department.
What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
This is a hard question to answer, because there's so many restaurants and dishes to choose from! But if I had to narrow it down to my top 3, it would be the following: San Tung for their dry fried chicken, Fattoush for their Mansaf, Mi Lindo Peru for their Lomo Saltado. Enjoy!
 jaymie frazier

Dani Hollister

Program: School Counseling MA with PPS Credential
Email: dkeerikoolparn@dons.usfca.edu
Research Interests: self-injurious behaviors in adolescents; school counseling; dialectical behavior therapy; grief & trauma within adolescents; school counselor advocacy; multicultural counseling
Why did you choose USF?
I selected USF because the Counseling Psychology dept. had a diverse and in depth curriculum. Not only was the School of Education located in a gorgeous part of the USF campus, but they also gave me the opportunity to have amazing networking and fieldwork opportunities.
What has been a highlight of your program or USF so far?
Collaborating with students from multiple backgrounds and making lasting personal/professional connections.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Network at your internship placement as much as possible. You'll learn a lot from not only your mentor counselor but other professionals within the school district.
What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
Dim Sum at Hong Kong lounge II.
 dani keerikoolparn

Special Education MA

Stephanie Alvarez

Email: saalvarez@dons.usfca.edu
Research interests: elementary education; social, emotional, and behavioral disorders; supporting emotionally-disturbed students in the general education classroom; differentiated instruction; integrating arts into curriculum
Why did you choose USF?
I really liked the small cohort model for the Special Ed. Program as well as hearing how much support is provided by the professors, supervisors, and staff of USF (and after being in this program for almost a year, I can say now that all of this is true). I also liked that this program allows you to work as a paid-intern in a Bay Area school while still attending USF.
What has been a highlight of your program or USF so far?
There have been two highlights of my program at USF so far. One includes my amazing cohort I can rely on to support me when times get tough, share ideas and lesson plans, and give helpful advice that I could use in my own classroom. Not only have I learned so much from these 17 other people, but I have formed friendships with them that will last a lifetime. Additionally, the second highlight of my program are the professors and the fieldwork supervisor that have guided me through and taught me so much about Special Education. They support me in every step of the way, and they also teach me things during class that I can apply the next day in my own classroom. Learn by doing!
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Do your homework: research all different special education programs in other schools and compare them to USF, and you will see how great of a program USF has. Yes, I know it cost a lot, but if you are passionate about special education and making a difference in a child's life, it's worth it. I couldn't be happier with the choice I made to attend USF for graduate school.
What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
Being born and raised in the Bay Area, it is really hard to pinpoint one, singular favorite restaurant, as I am a huge foodie and have about 20+ favorite restaurants around here. I'd say if you come to San Francisco, you have to go to Sang Tung Restaurant in the Inner Sunset and order the Dry Fried Chicken Wings. Forewarning: there is always a long wait, but totally worth it.
stephanie alvarez

Special Education EdD

Yvette Mere-Cook

Email: yrmere2@hotmail.com
Why did you choose USF?
I chose USF because the mission of the University and the purpose of the coursework matched my future goals within the special education field.
What has been a highlight of your program or USF so far?
I have really enjoyed completing the practicum and working directly with professors on teaching and research projects.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
First, I would assure them that this process is achievable within busy professional and personal lives. However, you need to establish clear priorities, create a schedule, and follow through on your plans.
What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
I really enjoy The Corner Store - on Geary and Masonic. I love their burger.
USF_logo

Teaching MA

Rhiannon Salter

Email: rcsalter@usfca.edu
Why did you choose USF?
USF's dedication to educating the whole student, not just getting through the requirements really attracted me to the program. As I started speaking to San Francisco teachers and administrators about the program at USF, it became clear that the program is well known for producing thoughtful, well-trained and well-prepared teachers who tend to stay in the field for many years. Since I was coming to USF from the corporate world, I wanted a reputable program which would prepare me for the challenges I will face in teaching- I found that in USF and couldn't be happier with my decision!
What has been a highlight of your program or USF so far?
Karaoke at the end of Rick Ayers' class was definitely a highlight from the Spring semester. It was a great way to celebrate school getting out for summer with a great group of students from my cohort!
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Observe in and get involved with as many schools as possible. Seeing multiple classrooms at different grade levels will help you create a realistic vision of what you want your classroom to be like, what non-negotiables you have for an administration and what type of community you want to be a part of.
What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
Saha Arabic Fusion on Sutter Street at Larkin (inside the Hotel Carlton). The salmon baklava there is divine and they have lots of flavorful gluten-free and vegan dishes too!
Rhiannon Salter

Teaching Reading MA

Savanna Susnow

Program: Teaching Urban Education & Social Justice MA and Teaching Reading with Multiple Subject Credential
Email: stsusnow@usfca.edu
Research Interests: biliteracy; urban education; social justice oriented curriculum; culturally relevant teaching and humanizing pedagogy
Why did you choose USF?
Before I came to USF, I actually had been enrolled in another school. It was not until I spoke with the Program Assistant (at the time) Lisa Klope for over an hour about my decision that I realized that I had made the wrong choice. The Urban Education & Social Justice program (UESJ), the Reading Specialist program (MATR), along with the bilingual authorization component have all complimented each other and shown me that the other school which I had been enrolled in are not even comparable. Having come from a large undergraduate institution (UCSC), I am shocked and thrilled with the level of faculty time and caring which the majority of the staff have shown. Lastly, my decision to attend USF was even further facilitated with regards to geography and prestige. Frankly put, nowhere is better than the Bay area. USF is known throughout the Bay Area and beyond for preparing extremely qualified teachers to serve our community using a humanizing and social justice oriented pedagogy which serves our students and supports our communities.
What has been a highlight of your program or USF so far?
Learning from dedicated & inspired faculty: In UESJ--we are a "crewhort" which is synonymous with "family". Having that support is so important, especially when you might be stressed about classroom work, or your own classroom, et cetera. In MATR--the expansive program is unparalleled. This program is unique in that it is theory-dense, but also has a practicum component (in addition to student teaching). In BCLAD--one comment---Dr. Sarah Capitelli.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Take advantage of the resources that USF offers as well as your peers--the wealth of knowledge both in the field, research and experiential is overwhelmingly rich.
What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
Panchita's Pupuseria (Numero Dos) in the Mission (on 16 & Valencia). I live for pupusas and curtido!
savanna susnow

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages MA

Victoria Zhang

Email: xzhang87@usfca.edu
Why did you choose USF?
I grew up in China, and my undergraduate major was English, so that I decided to further my study abroad, and USF is my first choice. First of all, from my perspective, the best way to learn a language is to go to some places where you need to use it all the time. So I decided to go abroad to improve my English and experience the different culture atmosphere in a more direct way. Furthermore, educators should have the responsibility to make themselves more professional and creative so they can better teach the students. And that’s why I chose to come to USF to acquire advanced teaching principles— not just from the books and tapes, but from my own eyes and ears. Then I can put a vivid and firsthand show in my future classes when I finish my study and come back to my hometown.
What has been a highlight of your program or USF so far?
Master of Art in Teaching English to the Speakers of Other Languages program at USF can help me gain systematic knowledge about how to become an English teacher more quickly and efficiently; It can raise my teaching abilities and strategies, giving me the chance to learn about classroom management, and educational psychology. Besides, the multilingual environment arouses my interest to learn a second foreign language myself. For another, in USF’s TESOL program, I can have more chances to communicate with student teachers from all over the world, better understanding cross-cultural and multilingual teaching and even participate in teaching internships and volunteering programs, which can test what I’ve learnt in class and improve my personal abilities as well.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Actually, the program was originally designed for working professionals, so it follows the teaching weekend schedule. That means, for us full time international students, you will have plenty of time to manage by yourself in the daytime and workdays. As for me, I chose to participate in one volunteer teaching program, apply for one on-campus job, study in Gleeson Library 3-5 half-days, and experience the different cultures for the rest days. In short, you will need profound interest in language and passion to be a language teacher in this program, and good time management skill to make a clear and intensive study and career plan.
What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
There are so many Chinese restaurants in Bay Area, which is a terrific news for us Chinese students and students interested in Chinese food. I recommend the Z &Y Restaurant for spicy food, Hongkong Lounge for dim-sum and traditional Guangdong disserts, and R &G Lounge for Chinese style sea food.
Victoria Zhang

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages MA Online

Anthony Baltiero

Email: ajbaltiero@dons.usfca.edu
Research Interests: global linguistics; international and comparative education; language and social relations; language and consciousness; benefits of multilingualism; online education
Why did you choose USF?
I chose USF because I value the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence. USF is known for their outstanding programs and top-class faculty. I also chose USF because I wanted to be a part of the vibrant San Francisco community.
What has been a highlight of your program or USF so far?
For me, there are two main aspects of the program that stand out. The faculty are amazing and each, with their unique specialties and perspectives, brings something extra to the already comprehensive program. I also have been very pleased with how practical the courses are. Many of the projects that I have worked on for class are now valuable tools that I can use both as a teacher in the classroom and as valuable portfolio resources for furthering my professional career.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Read the syllabus! Also, make sure to keep track of due dates and make sure to size-up your assignments and readings early in the week to give yourself enough time to stay ahead. Last, remember that life happens. When it does, let your professor know. They will be more than happy to give you time to sort things out. Don't wait until after the assignment is due, give your professor as much notice as you can.
What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
There are simply too many amazing places to pick one! I will say that the dish that stands out the most to me is the braised veggie lamb with Shanghai bean curd sauce from Enjoy Vegetarian Restaurant. I couldn't believe that it was veggie lamb. So flavorful!
Anthony Baltiero

Teaching Urban Education & Social Justice MA

Samantha Aguirre

Program: Teaching Urban Education & Social Justice MA with Single Subject Credential
Email: sraguirre@dons.usfca.edu
Why did you choose USF?
Several years before I applied to USF I attended the Teachers For Social Justice Conference in San Francisco. At T4SJ Dr. Patrick Camangian gave a keynote speech on critical pedagogy and transformative teaching in urban schools. I was so inspired by Dr. Camangian I reached out to him following the conference and he introduced me to the Urban Education and Social Justice MaT program at USF. After meeting the faculty and learning about the program I couldn’t see myself in any other program. The rest is history.
What has been a highlight of your program or USF so far?
The highlight of my experience in the Urban Education and Social Justice program at USF so far is not a moment, but rather the relationships I have developed. From the amazing, supportive, staff and faculty at USF to the dedicated educators in the San Francisco Community, to my awe-inspiring cohort, these people have retained, humbled, pushed, educated, empowered, held, loved, and sustained me.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
If you have any hesitations or questions don’t be afraid to reach and ask! No questions is too big or too small. It was asking those nuts and bolts questions to USF staff and students that really helped me decide that the UESJ program at USF was right for me. I’ll take you to get Blue Bottle Coffee and we can talk - my treat!
What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
This is a ridiculously difficult question to answer considering San Francisco has so much amazing food! I would have to say My Canh in North Beach/Telegraph Hill, they have the best pho.
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Gabriel De La Cruz

Program: Teaching Urban Education & Social Justice MA with Single Subject Credential
Email: gcdelacruz@dons.usfca.edu
Research Interests:culturally relevant, humanizing, and critical pedagogy
Why did you choose USF?
I selected USF because of its commitment and values towards social justice and servant leadership. Several of my mentors are alumni of USF and I hope to one day be a mentor to others who want to serve the people and be an advocate and agent for social justice.
What has been a highlight of your program or USF so far?
A highlight has been the learning community and friendship that has grown from my cohort and teachers in the UESJ program. We all support and believe in each other.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Get organized and develop a steady schedule to help with time management. Drink lots of coffee, snack healthy, and remember self-care is not selfish, lazy, or unearned. Self-care is revolutionary!
What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
Hardest question but a very a good question. If you are on Fulton and Masonic or 24th and Mission stop by my good friend DJ Mr. E's restaurant called Papalote. You will love the selection of food. If you are up to a challenge order a Triple Threat Burrito (named after the world famous DJ crew from San Francisco/Daly City). Papalote sauce can been found at most whole foods and was a winner on the Food Networks Throwdown with Bobby Flay.
 gabriel de la cruz

Savanna Susnow

Program: Teaching Urban Education & Social Justice MA and Teaching Reading with Multiple Subject Credential
Email: stsusnow@usfca.edu
Research Interests: biliteracy; urban education; social justice oriented curriculum; culturally relevant teaching and humanizing pedagogy
Why did you choose USF?
Before I came to USF, I actually had been enrolled in another school. It was not until I spoke with the Program Assistant (at the time) Lisa Klope for over an hour about my decision that I realized that I had made the wrong choice. The Urban Education & Social Justice program (UESJ), the Reading Specialist program (MATR), along with the bilingual authorization component have all complimented each other and shown me that the other school which I had been enrolled in are not even comparable. Having come from a large undergraduate institution (UCSC), I am shocked and thrilled with the level of faculty time and caring which the majority of the staff have shown. Lastly, my decision to attend USF was even further facilitated with regards to geography and prestige. Frankly put, nowhere is better than the Bay area. USF is known throughout the Bay Area and beyond for preparing extremely qualified teachers to serve our community using a humanizing and social justice oriented pedagogy which serves our students and supports our communities.
What has been a highlight of your program or USF so far?
Learning from dedicated & inspired faculty: In UESJ--we are a "crewhort" which is synonymous with "family". Having that support is so important, especially when you might be stressed about classroom work, or your own classroom, et cetera. In MATR--the expansive program is unparalleled. This program is unique in that it is theory-dense, but also has a practicum component (in addition to student teaching). In BCLAD--one comment---Dr. Sarah Capitelli.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Take advantage of the resources that USF offers as well as your peers--the wealth of knowledge both in the field, research and experiential is overwhelmingly rich.
What is your favorite San Francisco (or Bay Area) restaurant?
Panchita's Pupuseria (Numero Dos) in the Mission (on 16 & Valencia). I live for pupusas and curtido!
savanna susnow