Note: The list of current M.Ed. students is incomplete and still in the process of being updated. Keep checking back for new profiles as they are added!
Current Ph.D. Students
Caitlin Eley was born and raised in Decatur, Georgia. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in English from Williams College, she began teaching, first as a Williams Teaching Fellow at the Pine Cobble School in western Massachusetts, and then as a 6th grade English Language Arts teacher in Mission, Texas. She was voted Teacher of the Year for her campus for the 2012-2013 school year. Caitlin was introduced to culturally relevant pedagogy at a professional development session, and became passionate about how to incorporate the cultures of diverse learners into the classroom environment. She is currently a PhD student in the Language, Literacy, and Culture program, and she is interested in supporting emerging bilinguals by leveraging their unique linguistic and cultural strengths in the classroom, as well as second language acquisition, borderland communities, and multimodal literacies. Her favorite part of Vanderbilt is the collaborative environment created by both students and faculty to support mutual learning and development.
Alexis Mcbride was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. She majored in Spanish at the University of Pennsylvania and studied abroad at the Universidad de Alicante in Spain. After completing her B.A., she relocated to Boston, Massachusetts, earning her M.A. in Hispanic Studies at Boston College. She later taught a variety of language and literature courses as a lecturer at Boston College and at Salem State University. Now at Vanderbilt University, Alexis is pursuing a doctoral degree in Learning, Teaching, & Diversity, specializing in Language, Literacy, & Culture. Her research interests include post-secondary English language learners (ELLs), multilingual education strategies, and Spanish heritage language learners. In addition to her studies, Alexis has also served as a Graduate Teaching Fellow at Vanderbilt’s Center for Teaching, where she continues to facilitate the graduate student Certificate in Humanities Teaching and Learning (CHTL) program.
Current M.Ed. Students
Heather Dunham participated In PROPEL and completed her Master’s of Education in English Language Learning.
"Collaborating with fellow teachers and Peabody professors has had such a great impact on my instruction. Learning the best ELL practices has given me valuable tools to help improve the lives of my students."
Heather Dunham recently moved to Nashville in 2009 from Marietta, Georgia to attend Vanderbilt University for her undergraduate studies. She is currently working as a second grade ELL teacher and works as a member of the school’s Instructional Leadership Team. Working while participating in the ELL M. Ed program (Propel) has given Heather the ability to adapt lessons and strategies based on her findings in class on a day-to-day basis. Heather is interested in discovering the best service model to meet the needs of the large ELL population within her school. Heather identifies the challenges of meeting the needs of ELL students while abiding the laws and how the Vanderbilt program has helped support her to create the best model for instruction. During her time at Peabody, Heather utilized the library and professors who tailored her program to help fit her needs. “The best thing about Peabody and the ELL program is how knowledgeable the staff is and how willing they are to collaborate with teachers,” states Heather Dunham. Professor’s interest with research amplifies the quality of the courses at Peabody, giving professional students opportunities and support to implement new theories and strategies in the classroom. Heather is working towards becoming an ELL coach and recommends Peabody to those interested in English Language Learning. She writes, “If you have the opportunity to attend this college, I wouldn’t pass it up. There’s no other place I can imagine that will give you both the content and support you need to be successful.”
Ruochen Li, completed her Master's of Education in English Language Learning. Now she's working at Affiliated High School of Peking University, Beijing, China.