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Over the past 23 years, a total of 33 students from the Mount have been named to the Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowship for Aspiring Teachers of Color — more than any other college in the nation. The most recent Fellow selected from Mount Saint Mary's is Myra Calasanti '15, a graduate of the University's Weekend/Evening College.

Record 33rd Athenian earns prestigious teaching fellowship

It seems only appropriate that a Mount Saint Mary’s University student from Los Angeles has been chosen for the final cohort of a prestigious teaching fellowship.

Over the past 23 years, a total of 33 students from the Mount have been named to the Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowship for Aspiring Teachers of Color — more than any other college in the nation.

The 33rd Fellow selected from Mount Saint Mary’s is Myra Calasanti ’15. According to the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, she was selected for having “excelled academically and demonstrated a dedication to working with young people through activities such as mentoring, tutoring and coaching.”

Calasanti says that her education through the Mount’s Weekend/Evening College not only prepared her for this opportunity, but also changed her life. “Without the support I’ve received here, I wouldn’t have become a Fellow,” she says. “I’ll, of course, carry forward the academic knowledge and skills I’ve gained into my career as a teacher. But what I’ll value most is what the Mount has taught me about myself, my strength and my abilities.”

When Calasanti first begin thinking about pursuing her bachelor’s degree, she wasn’t sure if she was making the right choice. But she says she found a perfect fit as a Liberal Arts major in the University’s Weekend/Evening College, which is tailored specifically with working adults in mind. In addition to earning perennial Dean’s List honors, Calasanti was also a National Achievement Scholar.

“From my first semester, I knew I belonged here,” Calasanti says. “The inspiring life stories of my classmates, and the skill and enthusiasm of my professors made learning a living experience for me.”

Calasanti’s Fellowship selection marks the end of an era. She will be part of the final cohort of the Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowship (WW-RBF), which has awarded nearly $8 million in financial support to more than 400 Fellows nationwide, since 1992. The WW-RBF’s mission has been to recruit, support and retain individuals of color as public education teachers and administrators.

As part of her award, Calasanti will receive a $30,000 stipend to complete a master’s degree in education. She will also receive preparation to teach in high-need public schools, guidance towards teaching certification, and continued support throughout a three-year teaching commitment.

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