CTI National Fellows Engage in ‘Life-changing’ Seminars at Yale University

2014 CTI National Fellows
CTI Yale National Fellows take a moment to pose during their intensive, two-week seminars at Yale University (l to r): Teresa Strohl, Alexandra Edwards, Torrieann Dooley, Gloria Brinkman and Phil Carver.

July 22, 2014 — Five Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) teachers are representing Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI) as 2014 Yale National Fellows in “life changing” seminars at the Yale National Initiative to strengthen teaching in public schools® (YNI) in New Haven, CT. These CTI Yale National Fellows rank among 60 educators from across the country selected for Yale seminars designed to provide public school teachers with deeper knowledge of the subjects they teach and enhance their leadership development at the local level. The 2014 YNI seminars began with a long weekend session in May, followed by a two-week summer intensive session July 7-18, and culminate at the YNI annual meeting in October.

Yale National Fellows represent 17 school districts in nine states, including those from existing Institutes in Charlotte, NC; New Castle County, DE; New Haven, CT; Philadelphia, PA; and Pittsburgh, PA.  CTI National Fellows and their Yale seminars and professors include:

  • Gloria Brinkman, visual art, North Mecklenburg High School — “Eloquence,” led by Joseph R. Roach, Sterling Professor of theater and professor of English, African American studies and American studies;
  • Phil Carver, science, James Martin Middle School — “Microbes Rule,” led by Paul E. Turner, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology.
  • Torrieann Dooley, 2nd grade, David Cox Road Elementary School — “Place Value, Fractions, and Algebra: Improving Content Learning through the Practice Standards,” led by Roger E. Howe, professor of Mathematics;
  • Alexandra Edwards, social studies, Bailey Middle School — “Understanding History and Society through Images, 1776-1914,” led by Timothy J. Barringer, professor of History of Art;
  • Teresa Strohl, visual art, Barringer Academic Center — “Playing with Poems: Rules, Tools, and Games,” led by Langdon L. Hammer, professor of English.

Dooley also serves on the YNI National Steering Committee. Dooley, Brinkman and Edwards are previous CTI National Fellows, while Carver and Strohl are participating at Yale for the first time. Strohl, moved to tears by her first summer session at Yale declared, “This whole experience is life changing! The camaraderie that exists between teachers from across the country and from seminar leaders at Yale is beyond any other collaborative work I’ve encountered.” Strohl’s colleagues enthusiastically agreed:

Dooley: “Yale was amazing. My seminar leader stretched and challenged me as a learner. Being around other teachers in such a positive and professional environment makes me really excited about being a teacher. I’m looking forward to teaching the curriculum unit I wrote and sharing my work with other teachers.

Edwards:“The opportunity to participate in YNI gives me the ability to work with such amazing Yale leaders and teachers from across the nation. The unit I produce will change the way my students really see U.S. and North Carolina history.”

Carver:“The Yale National Initiative Intensive Session is a unique opportunity to visit Yale, interact with some of the most distinguished college professors in the world, and become a published author. The seminar fellows are treated like royalty, and receive all the perks of being a faculty member for a few weeks. The Yale experience is definitely the most unique and prestigious professional development a classroom teacher can attend.”

Brinkman: “The Yale Intensive Session was a truly elevating experience. The seminar content on ‘Eloquence’ was as rich as it was fun.  I am so excited about the development of my curriculum unit for which I received incredible support and encouragement. I can’t wait to teach it in my classroom to guide my students’ to eloquence in critical response and persuasive public speaking. It was thrilling this year to be welcomed back as a member of the Yale community and to collaborate with YNI friends and fellows from around the country as we worked toward common goals for both our classrooms and our local teacher institutes. The privilege of being a Yale National Fellow is like no other educator professional development opportunity.”

All five National Fellows are also local CTI Fellows, among over 100 CMS teachers currently engaged in Charlotte-based CTI seminars led by Davidson College and UNC Charlotte faculty. Also attending the initial week of the YNI Summer Session in New Haven were CTI Director Scott Gartlan and three of CTI’s eight local seminar leaders: Davidson College Professors Shelley Rigger (political science) and Durwin Striplin (chemistry) and UNC Charlotte Professor Alan Rauch (English). Rigger serves on the YNI’s University Advisory Council.

CTI is in its sixth year of presenting local, long-term seminars led by Davidson College and UNC Charlotte professors. To date, more than 300 CMS teachers, teaching more than 62,600 students, have participated in local CTI seminars. CTI and its partners were recognized by the Council of Great City Schools with its 2013 Shirley S. Schwartz Urban Education Impact Award. CTI is made possible by a joint commitment of resources from CMS, Davidson College and UNC Charlotte and through the generosity of private funding institutions such as the Arthur Vining Davis Jr. Foundations, The Belk Foundation, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation and the Wells Fargo Foundation. The institute is housed at UNC Charlotte within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

For more information visit the CTI website at: www.charlotteteachers.org or contact CTI Executive Director Scott Gartlan, 704-687-0078, scott.gartlan@uncc.edu.

For information about the YNI visit: www.teachers.yale.edu.