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Careers in Education Professions

Creating a Life that Matters

Wes MooreWes Moore, a New York Times bestselling author, Army combat veteran, youth advocate and CEO of BridgeEDU, will speak at Grinnell College on Monday, Feb. 29.

His speech, titled “Wes Moore: Creating a Life that Matters,” will explore why work filled with meaning and purpose can create lasting and transformative personal and societal change. 

The talk, which is free and open to the public, will start at 7 p.m. in Sebring Lewis-Hall in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts. A reception in the rotunda will follow the lecture.

Moore is an accomplished author, writing two New York Times bestsellers. His first book, The Other Wes Moore is a story of the importance of individual decisions as well as community support. It investigates the vastly different lives of two children — both named Wes Moore — growing up in inner Baltimore.

The author grew up to be a Rhodes Scholar, White House Fellow, and business leader, whereas the other Wes Moore is serving a life sentence for killing a police officer during an armed robbery. The Work, Moore’s other bestseller, chronicles his journey to discover meaning in his work and how he found that meaning in service.

Moore’s work as a youth advocate started when he was a student at Johns Hopkins University. He founded STAND! — an organization that works with Baltimore youth in criminal justice system. He also founded and serves as CEO of BridgeEDU, an innovative college platform that addresses the college completion and job placement crisis by reinventing a student’s first year in college and providing more support throughout college.

A gifted speaker, Moore has been featured in USA Today, People magazine, “Meet the Press,” “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” “The View,” “MSNBC,” and NPR, among many other national media sources. He also hosts “Beyond Belief” on the Oprah Winfrey Network and also serves as executive producer and host of “Coming Back with Wes Moore” on PBS.

Moore’s talk is sponsored by the Finkelman Deanship in the Center for Careers, Life, and Service and the Careers in Education Professions Program.

Ignite Institute for Middle/High School

Middle and high school students can learn salsa dancing, international cooking, storytelling, political campaigning, spear throwing and more at the first Ignite Institute on Saturday, March 5, at Grinnell College.

The College will launch the Ignite Institute with a day of free, fun and fascinating academic mini-courses taught on campus by Grinnell College student teachers.

Ashley Schaefer“These engaging mini-courses will be fun and accessible to students, plus they will introduce them to the physical environment of a college campus, helping to develop college readiness,” said Ashley Schaefer, director of the Careers in Education Professions program.

“The Grinnell College students who teach the courses gain experience developing a course from start to finish, build their organization and planning skills, and get a taste of the complexities of teaching,” Schaefer added. “Most teachers sign up because of their desire to contribute to the Grinnell community and because they love the topics they plan to teach.”

With this new crop of 44 teachers conducting mini-courses for middle and high school students, more than 180 students at Grinnell College will have taught an Ignite course within two years.

Ignite is open to all Iowa students in grades 7-12 who wish to attend. All participants will receive a free T-shirt, lunch, and snack. Students are welcome to take either a morning or afternoon mini-course, or both. Registration is open and continues through Friday, Feb. 26.

The Ignite Institute is inspired by the successful Ignite Program, which offers free courses to students from pre-kindergarten through the sixth grade. The program began last year, and by last November, 256 students had registered for the Ignite Program's 21 mini-courses.

The 21 mini-courses offered on March 5 are designed for specific age groups. For example, seventh and eighth-graders will choose from seven courses, including How to Take Over the World Using Algorithms and Robots as well as Tour de France: Food Edition!

Ninth and tenth-graders also will have seven courses to select from, including GMZ: Grinnell's Celebrity Hot Seat and Amazing Atlatls: Spear-Throwing Fun. Among the seven courses for 11th and 12th graders are The Nature versus Nurture Debate and Lay Down the Law.

Morning check-in will begin at 10:15 a.m. for students who haven’t already picked up their information folders and T-shirts from Schaefer the week of Ignite. Check-in will take place in the lobby of Alumni Recitation Hall, 1226 Park St., Grinnell.

Students who already have their information will head directly to their classrooms and classes will start promptly at 10:30 a.m. Students in middle school must be signed in by an adult. There will be a lunch break for all students at 12:30 p.m., at which time parents of middle school students who have not signed up for an afternoon course may pick up their students.

The afternoon session will start at 1 p.m. and students will be dismissed at 3 p.m. Parents should pick up their middle school students. High school students do not need a parent to drop them off or pick them up.

Making the Ignite programs possible are Grinnell College Careers in Education Professions and Office of Community Enhancement and Engagement, as well as a generous gift from Helen Redmond and Pete Brownell.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. You can request accommodations through Conference Operations and Events.

Urban Issues & Social Justice in Chicago

From Feb. 3-6, Grinnell College's Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights will sponsor a free, public symposium.

"Chicago: Urban Issues and Social Justice in the Windy City" will feature speakers and panelists from across the country, and will include discussions of economic justice, grassroots organizing, urban education, activism, and deindustrialization.

"In this symposium, we wanted to deal with American urban issues," says Ed Cohn, assistant professor of history and interim director of the Rosenfield Program. "In focusing on Chicago, a major American city close to Grinnell, we can discuss those issues in depth."

Virginia Parks, Associate Professor at the University of Chicago's School of Social Service AdministrationSpeakers will include Virginia Parks (pictured), associate professor in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago; Christine Walley, associate professor of anthropology at MIT; Barbara Ransby, professor of history at the University of Illinois at Chicago; and Kari Lydersen, freelance journalist and author.

The symposium also will feature "The Education Project Photo Exhibition" by photographer Sandra Steinbrecher. In this exhibition sponsored by the Faulconer Gallery, Steinbrecher has documented the struggles and triumphs of daily life in three Chicago high schools facing profound challenges. The exhibition runs from Jan. 26 through March 15 in Burling Gallery on the lower level of Burling Library.

On Feb. 5, Steinbrecher will lead a gallery tour and discuss her experiences working with high schools in Chicago, exploring how art, urban issues and politics intersect in her project. A reception will follow. Educators from Chicago area schools will join Steinbrecher on Feb. 6 for a panel discussion titled "Images and Issues in Urban Education." The Grinnell Careers in Education Professions program is co-sponsoring this event, which will be followed by a reception.

A complete schedule of events follows. All events are held in Joe Rosenfield '25 Center Room 101 unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, Feb. 3

4:15 p.m. Presentation

"The Exit Zero Project: Exploring the Aftermath of Deindustrialization in Chicago" by Christine Walley, author and associate professor of anthropology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

8 p.m. presentation

"Mayor 1% and Shaping the New Chicago: The Reign of Rahm Emanuel, the 2015 Election and Beyond" by Kari Lydersen, Chicago journalist and author.

Wednesday, Feb. 4

12 p.m. Scholar's Convocation

"The Fight for Economic Justice from the Streets of Chicago" by Virginia Parks, associate professor, School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago.

8 p.m. Alumni Panel

Activism in Chicago, featuring Christian Snow '13, director of community engagement at Street-Level Youth Media, and Javon Garcia '14, health outreach at HIV Services at The Night Ministry.

Thursday, Feb. 5

4:15 p.m. Gallery Tour and Talk

"The Education Photo Project," a gallery tour and talk by artist Sandra Steinbrecher. Burling Gallery, Burling Library. Reception follows.

8 p.m. "Politics from Below: Grassroots Struggles Reshaping the Landscape of Chicago" by Barbara Ransby, professor of history, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Friday, Feb. 6

7 p.m. Panel Discussion

"Images and Issues in Urban Education" featuring panelists from Chicago area schools. Sponsored by the Grinnell Careers in Education Professions program in conjunction with "The Education Project Photo Exhibition." Reception follows.


Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities.

The Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, located at 1115 Eighth Ave., is equipped with an induction hearing loop system in Room 101 and accessible parking on the east side of the building.

Burling Library is located at 1111 Sixth Ave. with accessible parking on the northeast side of the building.

Both buildings are accessible. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations.

Education in the U.S.

J. KozolJonathan Kozol, a nationally recognized expert on education and New York Times bestselling author, will deliver a lecture at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7, in Herrick Chapel. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Kozol has devoted most of his life to the challenge of providing equal opportunity within our public schools to every child, of whatever racial origin or economic level. He is considered by many to be the most widely read and highly honored education writer in America.

Kozol’s lecture will address the continuing and growing resegregation of minority children in America’s schools, and how the rising charter school movement actually exacerbates these trends. He also will explain why meeting the needs of poor students of all races is fundamental to the future of our country. In addition, he will discuss why his work matters in predominantly white communities like Grinnell.

 “Mr. Kozol has broad and deep experience with the United States education system, and it will be a privilege to hear his insights,” says Grinnell College Life Trustee Penny Bender Sebring ’64. “I am pleased to welcome him to Grinnell.”

Sebring is co-founder of the Grinnell Careers in Education Professions program, which sponsors Kozol’s lecture along with the Office of the President and the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights.

After graduating from Harvard and studying at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar in the 1960s, Kozol taught school in a poor black neighborhood of Boston. He won the 1968 National Book Award for his first book, Death at an Early Age, which was based on the journal kept during his first year as a teacher.  

His 1995 bestseller, Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation, received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in 1996, an honor Kozol shares with Langston Hughes (1954 winner) and Martin Luther King Jr. (1955).

Ten years later, Kozol exposed the conditions he found in nearly 60 public schools in 30 different districts in The Shame of the Nation, which appeared on the New York Times bestseller list the week it was published. In this book, he concluded that inner-city children were more isolated racially than at any time since federal courts began dismantling the landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education.

His latest book, Fire in the Ashes, has drawn widespread critical acclaim. This book tracks inner-city children from infancy to young adulthood, showcasing stories of triumph and tragedy.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations at 641-269-3235 or calendar[at]grinnell[dot]edu.

2014 Graduate & Professional School Fair

As the highlight of Graduate & Professional School (GPS) Week, the Grinnell College Center for Careers, Life, and Service and the Careers in Education Professions Program are co-hosting the 2014 Graduate & Professional School Fair on Thursday, October 2, from 4:30 to 8:00 pm at the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center. We will be welcoming representatives from a diverse selection of institutions and graduate programs across the nation.


Participating Programs


University of Chicago Booth School of Business (IL)
University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management (MN)


Teach For America (NY)
University of Chicago Urban Teacher Education Program (IL)
University of Iowa College of Education, Higher Education & Student Affairs (IA)
University of Iowa College of Education, Psychological & Quantitative Foundations (IA)
University of Nebraska Omaha College of Education Department of Teacher Education (NE)
University of Northern Iowa College of Education Department of Teaching (IA)

Health Professions & Public Service

Des Moines University (IA)
Indiana University School of Public & Environmental Affairs (IN)
St. Louis College of Pharmacy (MO)
University of Iowa College of Public Health (IA)
Washington University in St. Louis Brown School of Social Work & Public Health (MO)


Drake University Law School (IA)
Indiana University Maurer School of Law (IN)
John Marshall Law School (IL)
Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law (GA)
University of Iowa College of Law (IA)
University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Law (MO)

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

University of Iowa Department of Mathematics (IA)
University of Iowa Department of Statistics & Actuarial Science (IA)
Washington University in St. Louis Division of Biology & Biomedical Sciences (MO)

Specialty Programs

Iliff School of Theology (CO)
Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism & Communication (IA)
University of Iowa School of Urban & Regional Planning (IA)

University-Wide Representation

University of Northern Iowa Graduate College (IA)
Western Illinois University School of Graduate Studies (IL)

Registration & Fees

Due to space restrictions, our fair is by invitation only. Please call or e-mail Diane Hawkins (641-269-4895; hawkins[at]grinnell[dot]edu) if you are interested in participating.

The registration fee provides for hot and cold beverages and a warm buffet dinner for all representatives. Fees are a function of the number of representatives being sent. Payment—by credit card or check—should be remitted by Thursday, September 18.

One representative:       $30
Two representatives:    $40
Three representatives:         $50
Other (please contact Diane Hawkins for details)


Other Fair-Related Details

After you register, Diane Hawkins will follow up with additional details about the venue (including directions), Internet and electrical-outlet access, parking, unloading and mailing promotional materials, and other matters.



A block of rooms has been reserved for the nights of both Wednesday, October 1, and Thursday, October 2, at the Country Inn by Carlson Hotel, which is located approximately 3 miles from campus near I-80 Exit 182 (Grinnell). The hotel offers pet-friendly, non-smoking rooms with queen- or king-size beds, a heated indoor pool, and a fitness center. Complimentary breakfasts and high-speed Internet access are included in the room cost; and rooms are equipped with coffee makers, mini-refrigerators, and hair dryers.

The group rate is $76 per night (plus taxes). Representatives should call the hotel directly to make reservations, asking for the room rate for the Grinnell College Graduate School Fair. The last day to reserve a room at the group rate is Sunday, September 21.

Country Inn by Carlson
1710 West Street South
Grinnell, IA  50112
Phone: 641-236-9600

A list of additional accommodation options, including bed-and-breakfasts, can be found on pages 48–49 of the Grinnell Chamber of Commerce Visitor’s Guide. (Dining options in Grinnell can be found on pages 40–42 of the same guide.)

Facts about Grinnell College

  • Immediately after graduation, 20–25 percent of Grinnellians in recent classes have gone directly to graduate or professional school.
  • Many of those who do not immediately go to graduate or professional school do so later. Within ten years of graduation, over 50 percent of a class typically holds at least one advanced degree.
  • Grinnell College is in the top 1 percent of colleges and universities for PhDs awarded per graduate.

Rural Education Summit

Grinnell College is hosting Iowa’s first-ever Rural Education Summit Friday and Saturday, April 4-5, 2014. Nearly 100 K-12 educators, leaders in the field of rural education, and education majors from Grinnell and other colleges will gather to discuss issues facing rural school systems.

Among the featured speakers is Kai Schafft, director of Penn State’s Center on Rural Education and Communities.

Summit topics include:

  • The challenges of recruiting teachers
  • Consolidation
  • Increased poverty

A full schedule and registration information are online.

The Summit is sponsored by Grinnell’s new program on Careers in Education Professions. The program is designed to encourage students to consider long-term careers as teachers and to bring added prestige to the field.

First Cohort of Grinnell Careers in Education Professions Students Selected

As of December 10, 2013, Grinnell College is proud to introduce the first 35 members of the new Grinnell Careers in Education Professions program. The program, made possible by a generous gift by Charles A. Lewis and Penny Sebring ’64, is intended to encourage bright students from selective institutions to pursue careers in education in order to create lasting educational change. The students admitted to the program average a 3.5 GPA, are involved in a variety of organizations on campus, and share a passion for education. This first cohort also is evenly composed of students in Grinnell’s Teacher Licensure program and students not in the Licensure program but who are interested in other education-related careers such as education policy, counseling, and education research. The students are looking forward to Spring Semester and the official launch of the program. 


Jasmine Gerritsen

Jasmine is a second year Posse student from Los Angeles majoring in English and is currently undergoing the education licensure tract. Along with teaching Kickboxing, she is a part of the local foods coop which promotes sustainable and locally grown foods, has participated in the women's cross-country team, and is a wellness coordinator helping to promote nutrition and fitness. In her spare time she enjoys reading and writing poetry and short stories and secretly aspires to write a book someday, preferably in the young adult genre.

Career Paths

One of the wonderful things about education is the wealth of career options within the field. While teaching is probably the most well known education-related career path, the modern world has increased exponentially the number and breadth of jobs in the field. Also, there is a growing understanding that learning and educating continue long after K-12 schooling, further increasing the number of job opportunities available.

Support the Program

This program could not exist without the generous support of Grinnell alumni, friends of the college, and the Grinnell-Newburg community. If you are interested in supporting the Careers in Education Professions program, a number of ways to get involved are listed below. If any of these opportunities appeal to you or if you have other ideas on how you can support the program, please contact Ashley Schaefer, the Lawrence S. Pidgeon Director of Grinnell Careers in Education Professions, at Schaefer[at]grinnell[dot]edu or call (641) 269-9317.