The Department of Early Childhood, Multilingual and Special Education (EMS) in the College of Education is proud to introduce its fourth cohort of Rodman Scholars—Lyannet Alvarez, Carrie Fierro, George Carmona, Dyanna Dougherty, Jamie Felipe, Elizabeth Gloeckner, Jeffrey Long, Kristen Morris, Tiosha Moore, Nora Pantaleon, Michele Rideout and Jessica Wood.
Thanks to a generous endowment ($12.9 million) from the late Kitty Rodman, these exceptional future educators will each be enabled to pursuing a career in special education. Read more about what inspired each of these students to answer the call to their chosen profession below.
“I want to be a special educator because I have patience, acceptance and enthusiasm. I am excited to join a group of teachers who go above and beyond for their students.”
“I have always been drawn to people with special needs—even when I was six years old. My first grade teacher told my mother how kind I was to the children with disabilities in my class. I want to be a special educator because I see this as my calling in life—I believe all children have the right to succeed.”
“My family has played a crucial role in my choice to become a special educator. Both my father and my uncle went through the UNLV Cohort program and are now phenomenal special educators. Growing up, I spend time in my father’s classroom interacting with students with learning disabilities. I got a sense of what these children experience in school and in their lives. My commitment to educate the next generation of individuals with disabilities continues to grow day by day.”
“I have known I wanted to be a teacher since I taught my younger sister how to read before she started kindergarten. The look on her face when she finally realized that letters were connected with sounds was priceless. It is a truly amazing feeling when you encourage a struggling student to not give up and they experience that ‘I get it moment.’ I want to help every student exceed their goals.”
“I know that special education is the right path for me. I want to focus on the appropriate accommodations, assistive technology, curricula and instruction for students with disabilities. I believe that my experience as a student athlete at UNLV has taught me persistence and team work that will be invaluable as I work with students with disabilities to achieve their goals.”
“Since my first semester at the College of Southern Nevada, I have volunteered in special education classrooms and an equine therapy center. These experiences turned my interest in special education into a passion. I know that assisting students to achieve their individualized goals their progress in education will be worth it.”
“Being a Rodman Scholar provides me with the opportunity to work in special education, accomplish my goals, and have a career in a field about which I am very passionate. I want to be the positive and memorable teacher that my students will never forget—being a Rodman Scholar has set me on my way to being that educator.”
“I believe that being a special educator is one of the most rewarding careers. It has been an aspiration of mine for many years now. Children with disabilities deserve to have as many people as possible cheering for them, and although I cannot help all children, as a special educator I will impact the ones with whom I work. Every student has the capacity to create and accomplish dreams.”
“Teaching has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. At an early age, I knew that I wanted to work with children. As an adult, I came to further realize that children with special needs are not being pushed to their full potential because people see the disability first and not the person. I want to give voice and encouragement to children with disabilities.”
“I have had the passion to work with students with special needs since I was young. For the last 10 years, I have work in CCSD with students with multiple types of disabilities (e.g., ID, autism). I have worked hard to gain knowledge and experience that I believe I can bring to the lives and education of these children. I am excited to further my education and aspirations through the Rodman Scholar Cohort.”
“I have always had a passion to teach special education. From my own life, I have a personal understanding of IEPs, successes, and frustrations of students with disabilities. I have the ability and desire to help children and youth with their specific needs. I always approach learning from the students’ perspective. I look forward to my future career in special education.”
“The reality of working as a special educator came to me in my SPED observation class—it dawned on me, that this is what I was meant to be doing with my life. I felt comfortable, was told that I was a ‘natural teacher,’ and discovered where I belonged while working with two children in a classroom. I am excited to embark on my career as a special educator—this is where I belong.”