Jessica Wood

Master of Arts in Educational Studies, '11

Jessica  Wood, School of Education

Field of Study: MA in Educational Studies

Year in Program: c/o 2011

Undergraduate: George Washington University

Prior to UM: In order to learn more about education, I engaged in post-baccalaureate training and seized professional opportunities such as doing curriculum development in Russia as a distance educator for a private school based in New York.

Why your program? I am the first to admit that I am not a “cookie cutter” student so I needed flexibility in a graduate program. I searched for a program that could tailor to fit my interests and at the same time earn a teaching credential. I wanted to really learn the science of instruction and the broader scope of education so that if someday I wanted to do research on nontraditional education, I would have the background and ability to do that. Thus, it was a huge relief when John Moje reassured me that I could do that here. I didn’t expect grad school to be so much of what I wanted it to be, to be able to be a co-creator in my own educational experience which was really awesome.

The best part of SOE so far: I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly my cohort bonded and came to rely on each other for professional and social support. In the classroom, the cohort’s range of interests and experiences creates a rich learning environment. Everyone comes with wonderfully unique perspectives, and everyone is really committed to improving the field of education or contributing in a meaningful way. There’s an inherent respect in our actions with each other, and on a personal and academic level that I’ve never had in a class before. We feel personally invested in seeing each other succeed.

After graduation: I can envision myself having myown teaching practice one day while also engaging in teacher education or curriculum design. I'll continue to nurture my artistic side as well through activities such as playing ukulele in community jam groups.

Teach me something! Weekly trivia nights and happy hours helped me and my peers step away from academics and connect on a personal level.