Her four years at Furman have taken her from Italy to Botswana. She has presented her technology research with Education Professor Judy Stuart at the Council for Exceptional Children national conference in San Antonio, Texas. After graduating in May, she will return in the fall to complete her teaching internship in a local classroom.
For Rachel Sease ’14, her experiences in and out of the classroom have given her confidence and direction for her career as an elementary school teacher.
“We’ve had so many unique opportunities here at Furman,” said Sease, a native of Waynesville, N.C. “I did so much more than just learn in a classroom.”
Sease is one of three recipients of the Outstanding Scholar and Leader in Education Award, along with Mallory Becker and Whitney Becker ’14. The award is given to senior education majors who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in both scholarly pursuits and leadership.
Funded in part by the Carolyn H. Dewey Scholarship Fund, recipients are selected by faculty on the basis of their knowledge of content, demonstrated ability to teach the content, excellent dispositions for teaching and evidence of leadership potential. The awards were presented during Furman’s Academic Awards Banquet this spring.
The Beckers both participated in the three-week May Experience course, “International Perspectives of Public Education in New Zealand,” with Education Professors George Lipscomb and Shirley Ritter, which brought them to schools in Auckland, Dunedin, and Queenstown to study the use of technology and inclusion of diverse populations.
Mallory Becker of Marietta, Ga., spent last summer as a teacher in the Breakthrough Miami program, an eight-year, tuition-free academic enrichment program for underprivileged fifth grade through high school students in Miami, Fla.
“It’s a family that forms over the summer,” Becker said. “I was able to build strong mentor relationships with my students and I am thrilled that some of them continue to keep in touch with me.”
She’ll also be presenting with Sease and Education Professor Katie Stover at the Edulum conference at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte this summer.
Whitney Becker, a native of Fort Mill, S.C., has planned to become a teacher ever since fifth grade. She was a Teacher Cadet in high school and came to Furman as part of the South Carolina Teaching Fellows program. She spent last summer as an intern with the Main Street Children’s Museum in Rock Hill, S.C.
“Furman’s program is unique in that it provides you opportunities to get in the classroom often and early,” said Whitney Becker, who plans to earn a master’s degree in literacy from Furman. “You receive lots of one-on-one time with professors to help you grow. They really invest a lot in you.”