Education, Teaching, and Policy

The field of education is no longer confined by the walls of schools. In today's dynamic political, technological, and social landscape, young college graduates and professionals are channeling their passions for social justice and education into government, non-profit organizations, and research labs across the city of Chicago. The Education, Teaching, and Policy Panel will highlight just a few of the many interdisciplinary opportunities that University of Chicago alumni have taken to help advance the educational experiences of children across the country and world. Featured will be a member of the Illinois Governor's staff, a founder of an education non-profit, a Chicago Public School teacher, and the director of UChicago's Urban Education Institute (UEI). Each will share their own unique personal paths to their current positions, and strive to demonstrate how a variety of skillsets and interests can make a tremendous difference in the field of education. For those interested in cultivating an impactful and dynamic career after college, the field of education offers the perfect path.

Panel Participants

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

Ms. Stoelinga oversees all aspects of the Urban Education Institute, including operations, development of teachers, rigorous applied research, operation of schools, and the distribution of models to improve schools nationally. UEI has 500 employees and a $40m operating budget. She is also a professor at UChicago, teaching and advising undergraduate and graduate students. She teaches in the College, and the Sociology department. She joined UEI as an intern in 1995. Across more than two decades at the Institute, she has served in a variety of roles. She became senior director of UEI in 2010 and was appointed the Sara Liston Spurlark 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. (Table 26)

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

Principal, University of Chicago Charter School - Woodlawn Ca

Sonia 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 bachelors in comparative human development. As a middle school teacher at Clara Barton, Sonia 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, Sonia 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, Sonia 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.