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Meet some of the Science TEU Undergraduate Interns


Thomas Schindelman – 2018

Thomas is a senior at Vassar College, from West Springfield, Massachusetts.  He is majoring in Environmental Studies and has only recently gained an interest in teaching after working with local high schoolers in Poughkeepsie.  In his free time he volunteers with various orgs on campus and sometimes likes to draw or bake. After college he hopes to engage in some form of environmental education, specifically of high school age students.

Oliver Yang - 2018

Oliver is a rising junior and a chemistry major at Williams College. Oliver enjoys learning about and teaching science and hopes to become a secondary school science teacher when he graduates. Besides chemistry and teaching, Oliver enjoys playing badminton, tutoring high school students, and playing guitar. Oliver had a really fun time teaching in a very relaxing yet growth-oriented teaching program at Trinity College this summer. For people interested in participating in the science teaching program, Oliver suggests that the more effort and time you put into this program in terms of planning lessons or seeking and incorporating feedback, the faster you can improve as a teacher.

Linda Zhang - 2018

I am a rising junior at Mount Holyoke College and am currently double majoring in English and Physics, but I also have a strong passion for Asian American and Ethnic studies. I have three sisters and one orange tabby cat. My hobbies include reading, creative writing, practicing cello and Taekwondo. I have found this program to be extremely valuable in helping me understand why I want to be a teacher. It was a pleasure working with the many other talented and bright TEUs and an honor to be able to teach the students from the local magnet school. I’ve learned so much from my students and fellow interns as well as from the seasoned mentor teachers. I came out with a clearer picture of what teaching as a profession entails and its importance in society. I would recommend this program to anyone who is on the fence about considering teaching as a future career, because being able to have the chance to teach in an actual classroom with guidance from a mentor teacher and the help of other teaching partners is an opportunity that is hard to come by.

Angela Zhang – 2018

Angela Zhang is a rising senior at Bryn Mawr College, with a chemistry major and education minor. She plans to teach high school chemistry in the near future, and participating in the TEU program has helped to support this goal. Angela learned how to incorporate sustainability into science teaching and experienced the day-to-day tasks of lesson planning and interacting with students. As an educator, Angela hopes to empower students of marginalized backgrounds in STEM and make learning science fun, fulfilling, and relevant. In her free time, Angela can be found reading, writing, making art, and playing the piano.

Alexa Castellana - 2018


Alexa is a junior at Washington and Lee University with a biology major and an education minor. She is pursuing licensure in secondary biology with the intention of becoming a high school biology teacher. Participating in the TEU program helped Alexa confirm she wanted to work with high school students and she gained extremely valuable experience in devising lesson plans and executing them with a classroom full of students. She received valuable feedback from her mentor teachers on lesson planning, lesson execution, and teacher presence, which helped her grow and develop as an educator. In her free time Alexa competes on the track and field team as a jumper and participates in various clubs on campus. 

Avery Jackson

My name is Avery Jackson. I am a rising senior at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana. At Valpo, I study Physics and Astronomy and Secondary Education. Originally, I am from Plainwell, Michigan. For fun, I enjoy doing martial arts, hiking, skiing, and watching hockey, football, and baseball. Valpo has given me the opportunity to travel to Haiti and teach students at an orphanage called Consolation Center Haiti as well as develop curriculum for the teachers at the orphanage to use. After graduating in 2019, I hope to teach high school physics for a number of years. Eventually, I want to work on large scale curriculum design projects either for school districts in the United States or for schools abroad. This TEU program has taught me so much about who I am as a teacher and the teaching profession as a whole. I learned a lot about how to be an effective science teacher and I feel very prepared to take on my student teaching semester at Valpo in the Spring of 2019!


Leven Cai – 2017

Hey! My name is Leven, and I'm a junior from Vassar College. As a Biology major, I've been pursuing a teaching certification in secondary Biology since my freshman year. Vassar's Education classes promote progressive pedagogical approaches, and they have influenced my perspective on how teaching should be implemented. Planning to teach in the culturally diverse New York City, my current goals as a prospective teacher include developing a teacher presence that is liked by students from various academic, socioeconomic, and racial backgrounds. It'll be challenging to cultivate a classroom suitable for so many diverse students, but the TEU program has greatly assisted me with identifying my areas of improvement. I was a student observer at suburban high school after the TEU program, and I'm glad that I was able to better interact with the students and carry out lessons based on my experiences from the program. Of course, an urban school in the city will present different challenges than a suburban school. I'm confident that my TEU experiences will assist me wherever I end up teaching.

Samantha Peterson - 2017

I am a senior biology major at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. I am also a teacher candidate in the education department pursuing a dual licence in middle school general science and high school life science. Next fall, after graduation, I'll be student teaching for a semester at Kodaikanal International School in India. Although I'm not sure if I'll wind up teaching domestically or abroad in the future, the TEU program helped prepare me to effectively meet the needs of learners from various backgrounds. 

Haley Brumberger - 2017

Hi! My name is Haley Brumberger, and I am Class of 2020 at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. I am a prospective English and possibly Earth and Environmental Science double major from a suburb outside of Philadelphia, PA. I am a huge Flyers fan (to be honest, I am just a huge hockey fan in general), and I am a captain of the Wesleyan Club Ice Hockey Team. I am also an Academic Peer Advisor, a Writing Mentor, a member of the Wesleyan Ski and Snowboard Team, and a Brother of the Co-Ed fraternity on campus, Psi Upsilon. I have wanted to be a teacher since I was about 10 years old, so the Science TEU experience was incredibly valuable in reaffirming my desire to pursue a career in education. TEU also helped open my eyes to the importance of incorporating sustainability into science curriculums, which led me to consider a teaching career in Earth Sciences. Though I do not know exactly what I want to teach yet, I look forward to being able to share my love and passion for learning with future students.

Ben Taylor - 2017

Ben Taylor is a junior physics major and member of the Teacher Prep program at Princeton University. Ben hails from wild and wonderful West Virginia. Though home schooled for most of his life, he gained a love for schools tutoring math before school at his local middle school, and then volunteering in administration for a gap year at a free school in Varanasi, India. Outside school, he loves playing piano, seeking God, being outside, climbing things, and talking about life.

Danielle Frederickson - 2017

My name is Danielle Frederickson and I am a junior at Siena College. I have a Chemistry Education major and will be applying to the teacher certification program this spring, which if I get in will allow me to be certified to teach chemistry at graduation. As a teacher, I want to make science more real to students by showing them how it applies to the real world. I also want to instill in my students that they can do science, particularly those who have been told previously that they aren't smart enough. My ultimate goal is to never give up on any of my students; this way, each of them has at least one person who truly believes in them, which will hopefully inspire those who most need it to believe in themselves.


Jacob Abaraoha - 2016

Jacob is a rising senior at Columbia University majoring in Earth science, with a concentration in urban teaching. Jacob is passionate about issues of equity and access in education, and about science education as a context for examining morality and social responsibility. He hopes to be a middle school science teacher, working on citizen science initiatives with students and using the classroom as a space for boundless scientific exploration. As a prospective educator, Jacob’s goals revolve largely around promoting critical inquiry, developing meaningful and lasting networks of support for students, encouraging students to recognize their efficacy in their communities, and helping students see science as a tool for social change.

Mariel Becker - 2016

I am Mariel Becker and I am a Junior at Wesleyan University. My major is Biology and I am also earning a Certificate in Jewish and Israel Studies. At Wesleyan I am part of the Ski Team, teach a fitness class, and TA for Introductory Biology and Elementary Statistics. This next semester I will be studying abroad at the University of Glasgow in Scotland (I am most looking forward to hiking the Highlands)! Although I am not sure if teaching is what I want to pursue, participating in the TEU program has been a valuable experience.

Carol Bowe - 2016

I am a senior physic major at Bryn Mawr College, a women’s college outside of Philly but I was born and raised in Boston. I have always had a passion for teaching. In fact, when I was little that’s what I wanted to be when I grew up and although that has changed slightly over the years, I am happy to once again be pursuing that career. Outside of teaching I am passionate about sustainability and environmental work. I also write spoken word poetry and recently competed in a national poetry slam as part of a team from my college.

Charlotte Gbomina - 2016

Hello, my name is Charlotte Gbomina (the G is silent). I am a rising senior at Grinnell College with a declared Biology, Spanish and Education major. I’ve been interested in education since the day my family moved to the U.S in 2003 when I noticed how fun learning could be. I was that one student that was always interested in concepts that almost everyone disliked and as I went further in my schooling, I encountered teachers who were passionate about teaching which inspired me to aspire to become a teacher. After graduation from college, I plan on going into the teaching profession to implement the philosophies I’ve learned.

Jess Voight - 2016

Hi! My name is Jess Voight and I am a senior Biomedical Engineering major and Models and Data minor at Trinity College.  On campus at Trinity I am involved with the Outdoors Club, Engineers Without Borders, and the Society of Women Engineers. I enjoy getting outdoors, gardening, and puzzles. Unlike most others in this program, I am not set on becoming a teacher in the future. Rather, I see this program as a way to expand my abilities as a leader and make a meaningful difference in the local community. Additionally, I see the need for students to develop a passion and interest in the sciences and hope I can help with that.

Emma Micinski - 2016

Hi, my name is Emma Micinski and I will be graduating from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI this upcoming winter following student teaching. I will be earning a physics degree as well as a secondary physics teaching degree, a secondary broad-field science teaching degree, and a k-12 TESOL degree. I am really motivated to teach in a large part because I want to show young women that science is an achievable goal and I hope to encourage and inspire an appreciation for science in those otherwise inclined. I am very interested in pedagogy and want to be a science teacher who breaks from the typical high school physics classroom setup and operations. I find that a lot of high school physics classrooms are designed against the students, and I want to see education make the switch to a more fun, ACCESSIBLE, and interesting classroom environment in science classrooms.

Stanley Walker - 2016 

Hello, my name is Stanley Walker and I’m a senior Astronomy Physics combined major at Whitman College. I am the sixth of seven children and I grew up Olympia Washington. I love getting outdoors, going on runs, and climbing on things. I am also a nerd in every sense of the word, I love comic books, video games, D&D, Harry Potter, etc. I chose an Astronomy Physics combined major because space is awesome and studying the origins and evolution of the universe is incredibly satisfying. I was homeschooled for the majority of my formal education. This has instilled in me a love for learning and a unique viewpoint on education that I would like to bring with me into a career as a teacher.