Rowan students seek to make an IMPACT on increasing diversity in classrooms

Rowan students seek to make an IMPACT on increasing diversity in classrooms

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The newest inductees into Rowan University's Project IMPACT program are looking to become classroom teachers and educational leaders.

Ten Rowan University students—all aspiring educational leaders—recently became the third group of students inducted into Project IMPACT, a program in Rowan’s College of Education designed to address a national shortage of diverse male classroom teachers.

During a ceremony at Rowan, the students were officially welcomed into the Project IMPACT program. Founded in 2016, Project IMPACT (Increasing Male Practitioners and Classroom Teachers) is a collaboration between the College of Education, the Division of Student Life and the Achieving Success Through Collaboration, Determination and Engagement (ASCEND) program. The program’s mission is to increase the representation of males from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds in teaching.

Students in Project IMPACT complete a teacher preparation program with a focus on urban education. Students receive financial support as well as valuable mentorship through the Men of Color Network, a group of male educational leaders from throughout South Jersey.

During the ceremony, the students were welcomed into the program by College of Education Dean Monika Shealey, Provost James Newell, Dean of Students/Vice President for Student Life Richard Jones, and Executive Director of the Office of Educator Support and Partnerships Stacey Leftwich. George Guy, principal of Cherry Hill’s Rosa International Middle School and lead facilitator of the Men of Color Network, also spoke.

Mentors from the Men of Color Network presented Rowan ties to the new cohort of Project IMPACT students during a tie-tying ceremony. The ties represent the students’ induction into the program and into a community of education scholars.

The following students joined the Project IMPACT program:

Camden County

Health and Physical Education major Yoosuf Byrd of Blackwood; Health and Physical Education majors Felix Cartagena and Jay’Mear Williams, both of Camden; and Elementary Education major Terence Jones of Collingswood.

Gloucester County

Early Childhood Education major Nichalos Silva of Swedesboro.

Cumberland County

Health and Physical Education majors Caleb Holmes and Seth Bermudez, both of Vineland; and Elementary Education major Odilon Perez and Mathematics Education major Lawrance Stephenson, both of Bridgeton.

Salem County

Health and Physical Education major Tyree Newman of Pittsgrove.