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Great Graduates


College of Education (CED) students engage with real-world problems through original research opportunities, comprehensive extension and engagement activities, and partnerships with governments, industry and other universities. Upon graduation, these alumni are among the leading minds in the field of education today – forging paths in the areas of teaching, learning and educational leadership.

We look back at stories we’ve done on seven graduate students and alumni over the past year. Here, we showcase why they chose the college and how it helped prepare them for where they are now.

Cindy Miller-Walker

Degree: Master of School Administration, Northeast Leadership Academy (NELA)
Today: Franklin County Schools’ 2017 Assistant Principal of the Year

“My time in NELA impacted me as an educator because it provided me with the tools that I would need — such as knowledge, skill-sets, and dispositions — to continue to serve and eventually lead. NELA surrounded me with individuals from diverse backgrounds who had the same desire as me — to improve the educational experience for our students in the northeastern part of the state.”

Read Miller-Walker’s story

Brooke Ashley Shurer

Degree: Ph.D. in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Department of Educational Leadership, Policy and Human Development
Today: Director of International Programs, Meredith College

“I appreciate how the excellent faculty within the college challenged me to think more deeply and critically about my focused field of international education, yet also illuminated important connections with larger K-16 educational issues. I also appreciate the many ways that my accomplished colleagues in the programs have broadened my professional network and furthered my academic growth. From both faculty and peers, I have developed a strong foundation to be a thoughtful and effective educational administrator.”

Read Shurer’s story

Shea Kerkhoff

Degree: Ph.D. in Literacy and English Language Arts, Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences (TELS)
Today: Visiting Assistant Professor of English Education, Purdue University

“I was attracted to NC State because of the faculty’s influence at the state, national and international levels. The faculty address issues of social justice and equity in education in ways that make a difference with real teachers and real students in North Carolina. In addition, since NC State is located so closely to the state legislature, faculty are in a position to influence education policy and contribute to positive change in the state. NC State is also a Research 1 university with a highly ranked College of Education, which told me that the faculty were connected at the national level and were experts in their field.”

Read Kerkhoff’s story

Diane Hunter

Degree: Master’s in Elementary Education, Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences (TELS)
Today: Ph.D. student, Elementary Learning Sciences, Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences (TELS)

“I chose NC State because I knew that I was going to be getting a quality education. . . . The college has given me tools to continue my education and be ready to work through anything that comes my way. I am prepared to ask questions and continue to grow as an educator and student.”

Read Hunter’s story

Whitney N. McCoy

Degree: Doctoral student, Educational Psychology, Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences (TELS)
Today: Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Doctoral Scholar

“I chose to pursue a doctoral degree at NC State because the College of Education’s curriculum design, faculty expertise, strong communication and resources were exactly what I had been looking for. The university has also identified a direct and immediate need to support minority students in their graduate studies; this resonated with me considering the fact that I am both African-American and female. Ultimately, I believe that the educational psychology program will help me gain a better understanding of how psychosocial development plays a critical role in African-American student achievement in STEM studies, a focal point of my future studies.”

Read McCoy’s story

David English

Degree: Ph.D. in Educational Research and Policy Analysis, specialization in Higher Education,Department of Educational Leadership, Policy and Human Development
Today: Provost, University of North Carolina School of the Arts

“I can’t overstate the importance of the Ph.D. program in my development as an academic leader. First, the set of core courses provides a deep and meaningful grounding in the historical, organizational, and financial systems that undergirds our colleges and universities. I can’t count how many times this deep understanding of higher education has allowed me to make better decisions.”

Read English’s story

Jennifer Nickell Lovett

Degree: Ph.D. in Mathematics and Statistics Education, Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education
Today: Assistant Professor of Mathematical Sciences, Middle Tennessee State University

“I chose NC State because it has one of the country’s top doctoral programs in mathematics education. The emphasis on teaching mathematics with technology made NC State stand out from the other universities that I applied to…The mathematics education faculty provided me with opportunities to collaborate in research and in collegiate teaching experiences. Over the years, I have been given more and more responsibilities to grow professionally to prepare for a career in academia as a teacher educator.”

Read Lovett’s story

Learn more about the College of Education’s graduate programs and how they innovate and inspire future leaders of the classroom through hands-on learning and solution-driven research, technology and scholarship.

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