Education, Teaching, and Policy

Education is hailed as the mode through which students of all backgrounds can reach their full potential, academically and professionally. But in recent years, the field has been challenged by questions concerning equity in schools. The toughest questions facing today’s educators are how to address the needs of students of different learning abilities, socioeconomic backgrounds, and racial backgrounds. The Education, Teaching, and Policy panel will explore the perception of the field’s status as an equalizer and how education professionals are leveraging their skills and resources to promote equity. Featured will be a charter school teacher and principal, a policy development consultant, the former vice provost of Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), and the recent director of UChicago’s Urban Education Institute (UEI). Each has a unique story to share about the ways that the push for equity has shaped their careers. The participants will also share practical career navigation tips for considering how to pursue a career that promotes positive change.

Panel Participants

Jerry Doyle, AB'91

Growth and Engagement, Upkey
Table: 27

Significant initiatives include the Collens and Presidential Scholarship for the Chicago Public Schools and the City Colleges of Chicago (2008), the creation of the Global Leaders Program (2008), the launch of the St Lucian Visionaries project (2010), and the establishment of the IIE Syrian Higher Education Consortium (2012). In 2017, Student Employment Office was named Illinois Tech's "Department of the Year " for the re-imagination of its training modules and programming; moreover, Doyle created the prototype for Illinois Tech's inaugural work in the areas of Continuous Improvement and formed the Office of Inclusion, Diversity, and Employer Engagement. In Career Services, Doyle co-created a series of innovative approaches including a Faculty Innovation Grants program, a peer career coaching model, and courses such as "Dragon Slayer - Designing YOUR Future". Doyle holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago in economics and an M.Ed. from Harvard University's School of Education.

Sara Ray Stoelinga, AB'95, AM'01, PhD'04

Education Consultant, Former Sara Liston Spurlark Director, Urban Education Institute
Table: 25

Ms. Stoelinga is currently an education consultant, spanning the higher education, non-profit, and foundation space. Ms. Stoelinga is the former executive director of the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute which trains teachers (Urban Teacher Education Program), conducts rigorous applied research (UChicago Consortium), operates schools (UChicago Charter School), and distributes models to improve schools nationally (UChicago Impact). UEI has 500 employees and a $40m operating budget. She was also a professor at UChicago, teaching and advising undergraduate and graduate students. She spent more than two decades at UEI, from intern in 1995 to director in 2015. In 2015, she was awarded the Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award, UChicago's most prestigious teaching award. She received her BA, MA, and PhD from the University of Chicago.

Sonia Wang, AB'06, AB'06, MAT'07

Principal, University of Chicago Charter School - Woodlawn Ca
Table: 29

Ms. Wang graduated from the University of Chicago's Urban Teacher Education Program with endorsements in middle school social sciences, language arts, and math after receiving her degree in comparative human development. As a middle school teacher at Clara Barton, she crafted and taught an integrated Social Justice and Writing curriculum before moving onto an 8th grade English position at UChicago Charter - Woodlawn. After five years in the classroom, with training and expertise in Balanced Literacy and experience as a Clinical Instructor, she served as Woodlawn's Instructional Coach. She continues to implement her passion for teacher development and holistic student growth as the Director at Woodlawn. In every role she takes on, Ms. Wang brings her steadfast commitment to helping others find their voice. She believes our voice is the strongest mechanism by which we can advocate for ourselves and others, and create a footprint in the history of change.