Final Cohort Announced in Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowships

Additional Materials

FOR RELEASE: Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Audra M. Watson | Program Officer, WW-RBF Fellowship | (609) 452-7007 x140
Patrick Riccards | Director of Media Relations & Strategy | (703) 298‐8283

Final Cohort Announced in
Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowships

Program provides teacher preparation, support, mentoring for teachers of color

PRINCETON, N.J. — The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation has named nine new Fellows to the Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowship for Aspiring Teachers of Color.

Each member of the 2015 cohort of the WW-RBF Fellows will receive a $30,000 stipend to complete a master’s degree in education. Fellows receive preparation to teach in high-need public schools, guidance towards teaching certification, and continued support throughout a three-year teaching commitment.

The Fellows have excelled academically and demonstrated a dedication to working with young people through activities such as mentoring, tutoring, and coaching. Selected through a competitive national process, Fellows must be nominated by one of the program’s 48 nominating institutions and 29 graduate education programs. This year’s cohort represents such institutions as the University of Chicago, Lewis & Clark College, the University of Pennsylvania, and Wellesley College. (See full list of Fellows, below.)

As of fall 2014, white students are no longer the majority of all public school students in the United States—yet recent studies suggest that just 18 percent of the nation’s teachers are teachers of color and that teachers of color leave the profession at higher rates than their white counterparts. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowship exists to recruit, support, and retain individuals of color as public education teachers and administrators.

Established in 1992 and administered by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation since 2009, the Fellowship has awarded nearly $8 million in grants and financial assistance to more than 400 Fellows. The 2015 class will be the final cohort of WW-RBF Fellows.

“The Woodrow Wilson Foundation has taken tremendous pride in the WW-RBF Fellowship, which has been an important part of the suite of Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships,” said Stephanie J. Hull, the Foundation’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “We are grateful to the Rockefeller Brothers Fund for having made this program possible, and we are deeply impressed with these new teacher candidates. For the students in high-need schools who most need them, they will be outstanding teachers.”

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The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation identifies and develops the best minds for the nation’s most important challenges. In these areas of challenge, the Foundation awards fellowships to enrich human resources, works to improve public policy, and assists organizations and institutions in enhancing practice in the U.S. and abroad.

Founded in 1940, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund encourages social change that contributes to a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world. The RBF’s grantmaking is organized around three themes: Democratic Practice, Sustainable Development, and Peace and Security, and three pivotal places: New York City, Western Balkans, and Southern China.



Mikaela Betts   |   Oakland, California
•   Undergraduate college and major: University of Chicago, Sociology and Public Policy
Middle school teacher’s assistant; assistant teacher, preschool; education team coordinator, Safe Haven Interfaith Alliance to Abolish Human Trafficking; high school softball coach; intern, women’s shelter and handicapped children’s home; president, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship.

Myra Calasanti   |   Long Beach, California
•   Undergraduate college and major: Mount St. Mary’s College, Liberal Arts
Clinician, individual skills-based learning program; elementary and preschool assistant teacher; tutor, multiple subjects, at-risk children; nanny; research assistant; National Achievement Scholar; volunteer keeper, Carolina Tiger Rescue; dean’s list student; academic scholarship recipient.

Gabriela Contreras-Cisneros   |  Santa Maria, California
•   Undergraduate college and major: Williams College, Film & Media Studies
Curriculum developer, 6th grade social studies and film making; board of directors member, high school education and career support non-profit; English language instructor, Paris, France; events coordinator, college Latino/a organization; volunteer activity leader, Horizons for Homeless Children.

Faith Fells   |  Detroit, Michigan
•   Undergraduate college and major: Wellesley College, Political Science
Tutor and mentor for economically disadvantaged children; president, mentorship program between college and local Boston high school; junior associate, District of Columbia Public Schools; assistant primary teacher, Uganda; vice president, support group for students of African descent; student manager/events coordinator, Harambee House.

Mauro Levy Molina   |  Federal Way, Washington
•   Undergraduate college and major: University of Washington, Spanish
High school Spanish tutor; independent Spanish tutor; volunteer reading tutor; dean’s list student; recipient, multiple academic excellence awards; high school wrestling assistant coach; middle school football assistant coach; Spanish language and culture ambassador.

Maria Prado   |  Guadalupe, California
•   Undergraduate college and major: University of California—Santa Barbara, Environmental Studies
Tutor, at-risk high school students; elementary teacher’s assistant; literacy tutor; tutor, Boys and Girls Club; dean’s list student; caregiver and mentor, orphanage/children’s home in Chile.

Katrina Roxas   |   Saint Francis, Wisconsin
•   Undergraduate college and major: Alverno College, Biology
Peer mentor; teacher and president, Children’s Workshop Service; naturalist intern, community education and recreation center; lab technician, blood center; resident aide, senior care center; campus ambassador; senior choir organist.

Charlie Quezada  |   Pomona, CA
•   Undergraduate college and major: Lewis & Clark College, Social Anthropology & Hispanic Studies
Pre-student teaching intern, English learning classes in Spain; tutor, English learning for college staff; intern, Bright Prospect program; senior campus admissions fellow; president, on-campus multicultural organization; volunteer, hospitality center for the homeless.

Melanie Young   |   Philadelphia, PA
•   Undergraduate college and major: University of Pennsylvania, Urban Studies
Student leader and teacher’s assistant, summer development program in Ghana; teacher’s assistant, music and social change program; mentor, Upward Bound; intern, Graduation Coach Campaign; president, campus education advocacy group; undergraduate fellow, interfaith trip to Rwanda.


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