Skip to main content

Meet Our Incoming Students: 3 of Our Newest Teaching Fellows

This is part of a “Meet Our Incoming Students” series in which the College of Education will introduce some of the first-year, transfer and graduate students who will join us this fall.

Among the incoming students joining the NC State College of Education this fall are 44 Teaching Fellows. This is the fifth cohort of Teaching Fellows at NC State University since legislators re-established the program in 2018.

Teaching Fellows receive up to $8,250 per year in forgivable loans to teach science, technology, engineering, mathematics or special education and engage in numerous opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Meet three of the Teaching Fellows who will join the NC State College of Education this fall:

Natalie Clark

Elon, North Carolina

Elementary Education

Hobbies and Interests: Swimming, working with children and baking

Why did you choose NC State University and the NC State College of Education?

In the summer of 2021, I was a participant in the NC State College of Education’s Leadership Institute for Future Teachers (LIFT) program. I had previously known I was interested in NC State and interested in becoming an educator, but during the short five days I was enrolled in the LIFT program, I fell in love with the NC State College of Education. I learned that at NC State, students are able to be placed in a classroom much faster than at other universities. This is a desirable trait of the NC State College of Education in my eyes because I feel field training as early as possible will make me a stronger educator.

How did the Leadership Institute for Future Teachers impact you?

The LIFT program had a large impact in validating my hopes to enter the field of education. Throughout this five day program, I learned about the many benefits of the NC State College of Education, which solidified for me that NC State was where I was meant to be. I was given the opportunity to listen to multiple North Carolina educators, while learning about how to become a teacher and why they chose a career in education. 

One educator, [NC State College of Education Wake Principal Leadership Program cohort director] Karen Anderson, enriched us with a leadership development workshop as well as a session on identity. In this session, I knew my home was NC State! While learning of the backgrounds of my peers, comparing them with my own and learning how my identity can impact my future students, I was brought to tears. Within this session, I also learned of the support of multiculturalism and diversity of NC State. I am thankful for the LIFT program since it  made me certain of my desire to be an educator!

Why did you choose your major?

I chose elementary education specifically because I enjoy the genuine curiosity of children in this age category. In elementary school, most students still desire to learn about something that they find fascinating. Elementary students, to me, are bright eyed! I completed an internship in a fifth-grade classroom my senior year of high school, and I decided I wanted to continue working with this young and fresh age. 

What does it mean for you to be a Teaching Fellow?

To be named a Teaching Fellow at NC State University means I am at the forefront of the field of education, and I am grateful for this opportunity! As a Teaching Fellow, I am given the opportunity to bond with other aspiring teachers. I am excited about this aspect of the Teaching Fellows program because I enjoy sharing perspectives of discipline with those around me. 

What are you most looking forward to this year?

I am looking forward to trying new activities at NC State. I am excited to be going to a university that provides endless opportunities and I am hoping to get involved in a few activities that are new to me! 

What inspired you to become a teacher and choose education? 

I have always had thoughts of becoming a teacher for as long as I can remember. I am a natural leader and love to help others. 

My favorite book is Pay it Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde. It is the story of a middle school-aged boy named Trevor McKinney, who is given an extra-credit assignment by his social studies teacher, Reuben St. Claire, to configure an idea to change the world for the better. Pay it Forward taught me I can make a difference in many lives and assured me I want to do so by becoming an educator. Pay it Forward is my favorite novel because I want to inspire learners similar to Mr. St. Clair. I also chose the major of education because I enjoy the idea that I can have a positive impact in children’s lives and possibly an entire community. 

Charles Kellon

Knightdale, North Carolina

Elementary Education

Hobbies and Interests: Listening to music, riding my bike and trying new things.

Why did you choose NC State University and the NC State College of Education?

I chose the NC State College of Education because, whenever I came to visit, I really liked the faculty and then the students as well.

Why did you choose your major?

I chose elementary education because I have worked with elementary-aged kids for the last six years. After volunteering at the library and helping tutor kids, I found a joy for teaching and wanted to pursue it professionally.

What does it mean for you to be a Teaching Fellow?

Being named a Teaching Fellow is a great accomplishment and I am elated to be a part of this year’s cohort. Hopefully, I will be able to dedicate more time to my studies and less time to financing college. With that being said, I’ve read about the Teaching Fellows and I feel that the program is one of the best ways to launch yourself into education! With different workshops, professional development opportunities and more, being a Teaching Fellow puts you at an advantage over your peers if you choose to maximize your resources.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

I am looking forward to meeting new people, campus life and getting exposed to the College of Education. Before graduation, my hopes are to become a part of the NC State Student Senate and be an active participant in two other clubs. I also hope to make the Dean’s List multiple times and hopefully gain friends along the way!

What inspired you to become a teacher and choose education? 

I wanted to become a teacher after seeing how much of an impact that teachers have on their students. I truly believe that with individualized classroom culture, teachers set the pace at which their students succeed. Also, I hope to work at the U.S. Department of Education, but I want some experience inside of the classroom, so that I can hopefully make a meaningful impact. 

Alycia Morgan

Raleigh, North Carolina

Mathematics Education

Hobbies and Interests: I sing, dance and play the violin (I’m a true lover of the arts). I also love to learn about new cultures outside of my own. I’ve been interested in Korean culture for the longest time. If people want a crash course on Korean culture, K-dramas, K-pop or basics about the language, I love to share my knowledge.

Why did you choose NC State University and the NC State College of Education?

I’m the daughter of an NC State alumna and niece of many alumni as well, so that initially prompted me to not want to go to State, so I could be different from others in my family. After two years at a different institution, I did not feel completely supported there by the faculty and staff, which is the No. 1 thing, in my opinion, that every student, whether in college or K-12, should feel. After conversations with my family, I decided to give NC State a try. From the beginning until now, every person I have come in contact with at NC State and the College of Education has been exceptional. I feel supported, understood and I couldn’t ask for a better community and village of people to have my back during this transition and my new journey at NC State.

Why did you choose education?

Ever since I can remember, mathematics has been my best subject. Something about it just made sense and the fact that there is only one right answer for every problem makes me happy. In my first three years of high school, I had the most amazing mathematics teacher. Experiencing her enthusiasm about the subject she taught and getting the chance to experience the reward of helping a student understand mathematics via tutoring solidified my decision to be a mathematics educator. 

I decided on middle grades because of my own personal experiences in middle school and the stigmas around middle school. I was actually bullied during middle school, which made those years pretty hard, but having amazing teachers that were there for me in that time and advocated for me made me think “I want to be this for students in the future.”

What does it mean for you to be a Teaching Fellow?

It means two things for me. First, extra confidence in myself that I will be able to become a great educator in the future because everyone involved in the decision to choose me as a Teaching Fellow believed in me enough to bestow this honor unto me. Second, it means less struggle for my family, seeing as my mother was working multiple jobs to support my college education. For these reasons, I am extremely grateful.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

I’m currently on track to experience time in a classroom this upcoming semester. I have been waiting for this moment my entire college career, so that is extremely exciting for me.