ASU alumna awarded teaching fellowship

By

Meghan Krein

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation announced the 2019 class of Woodrow Wilson Pennsylvania Teaching Fellows. Among the class of 24 is ASU alumna, Jessica Campos. Campos graduated from ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in the spring of 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a concentration in secondary education, and completed her teacher preparation through Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. 

The highly competitive program recruits both recent graduates and career changers with strong backgrounds in science, technology, engineering and math — the STEM fields — and prepares them to teach in high-needs secondary schools.

Each fellow receives a $32,000 stipend and, in return, commits to teach three years in a high-needs Pennsylvania school. Throughout the three-year commitment, fellows receive ongoing support and mentoring.

Campos began her program at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education and Duquesne University this fall. Upon completion of her first year, she’ll teach three years in a high-needs school in Pittsburgh. Campos plans to use the stipend for living expenses while earning her master’s degree. 

Raised in a rural town in Eastern Arizona, Campos says, “There wasn’t really a push for STEM education, yet I had countless math and science teachers who stood up to this small-town mindset and pushed me to do more than was expected.” Campos says she was inspired and empowered by the confidence she gained while learning chemistry and calculus her senior year of high school. “I knew I wanted to continue studying in the STEM field and one day inspire and empower my own students,” she says.  

Campos says she is excited to teach in a high-needs school. “Students in these schools deserve teachers who are invested in their future inside and outside of the classroom. So many students fall into the cycle of believing they aren’t ‘smart’ enough, so they give up on their dreams,” she says. Campos says she looks forward to creating a classroom culutre that encourages students to develop “the confidence to make their mark on the world.”

Upon completion of her fellowship, Campos plans to pursue her doctorate in math education. “I would like to continue to research how to make learning and teaching mathematics effectively more accessible for students and preservice teachers,” she says.