2014 Participant Bios

Madi Driscoll '17 is a sophomore next fall and is currently planning on majoring in English and political science. She has a deep passion for public education and making sure quality public education is available to all students. Her time in public schools in Saint Paul has deeply shaped her views and exposed her to a multitude of diverse educational ideas.  She hopes to one day become a teacher and perhaps eventually get into educational policy. She also runs and rows crew and tries to get to church on Sundays and in her spare time is either reading or laughing far too loudly with her friends.

Macy Parker '15 is a rising senior from Knoxville, TN. She is a French and Francophone studies major with an interdisciplinary minor in international studies. She spent her entire junior year studying abroad in Tours, France-an experience that further enriched her love of travel and learning about different cultures. There, she lived with a host family and tutored peers and children in French and English. At Davidson, she is a trip leader for Davidson Outdoors, an active French Club member, and a student employee at the Carnegie Guest House. Macy's interest in education policy stems from her belief that education is at the root of acceptance and understanding, and she is an advocate for equal access to education. This summer Macy will be working with Project L.I.F.T., a non-profit private/public partnership working to provide a strong education foundation for underachieving students in nine schools in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area. She is thrilled to begin working in the education field at a non-profit level, and hopes to continue working towards education equality in the future.

Nate Harding '17 is a rising sophomore from Pasadena, CA. He plans on majoring in political science and/or economics and may pursue a minor in either educational studies or Hispanic studies. A Southern California native, Nate became captivated by the many issues surrounding public education after experiencing the vast differences in quality among schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District, one of the largest systems in the nation, and other districts near his own in the greater Los Angeles area. At Davidson, Nate passionately pursues his interests in community building and education systems through his work as President of the Class of 2017, Chair of the Dinner at Davidson planning committee, a Chidsey Leadership Fellow, and a Davidson admissions tour guide. Though considering careers in education law, policy, or management, Nate plans on making education and the growing achievement gap in the United States a major focus of his adult life regardless of whether or not he works in an education-related profession.

Brian Wiora '17 is a rising sophomore from Dallas, Texas. He plans on majoring in philosophy and earning a interdisciplinary minor in film and media Studies. His past summer experiences includes working as a debate camp instructor at the University of North Texas and a camp counselor at TeraByte, where he helped campers design their own video games. At Davidson, he is a member of the Oops Improv Troupe, a university reserve tour guide, and a volunteer for SELPH (students empowering little philosophers). He was also an actor in the Davidson College production of IRL, a play focusing on the issue of cyber bullying. He spent spring break performing the play for local high schools and middle schools around the Charlotte area. He is excited to be an Education Scholar this summer.

Thomas Rocca '17 is a rising sophomore from Seattle, Washington. He is currently undecided on his major, but hoping to study either history or political science. Thomas' experiences tutoring elementary school students and his desire to return to his high school to teach have shaped his interest in the Education Scholars program. Growing up in Europe, he has had an opportunity to witness various school systems and is excited to learn more about the American system through his internship with the YMCA. Specifically, he will work  with the Y Readers program through hands on tutoring as well as broad research work.

DiemTien Le '17 is a rising sophomore from Charlotte, NC.  Although she is undecided about her major, she has a strong interest in the educational studies minor. In Charlotte, she has worked with various programs, including Discovery Place, Y Readers, Teen Impact Fund with the Foundation for the Carolinas, and Simplx Designs. As a Davidson College Bonner Scholar, Tien is extremely dedicated to serving her community and initiating positive change. At Davidson, she tutors at the Jenkins Center, volunteers at Serenity House, and is a photography mentor with YouthMAP. Education is important to her because she believes in the grand amount of opportunities that it gives. Tien is very excited to work with fellow Education Scholars, assist Allenbrook Elementary, and make a difference this summer.

Lena Parker '17 is a rising sophomore at Davidson College. She is considering a math major and education studies minor. Living and attending school in New Delhi India for nine years, she observed extreme examples of unequal access to education and the importance of education in a countries economic and social wellbeing. Upon moving back to Chapel Hill in 11th grade, she noticed similar educational inequalities in the American public school system. For these reasons, Lena became involved in her school's peer tutoring program as both a tutor and the student organizer. As a Bonner Scholar at Davidson, Lena continues to explore her desire to understand and improve public education as a tutor and mentor at Ada Jenkins LearnWorks, and a tutor at Mooresville Graded High School. This summer, she will be working the CMS Office of the Deputy Superintendent and the district family center. Lena is excited to learn more about the importance of involving families in every student's education, and learn more about school systems from an administrative perspective.

Addie Balenger '15 is a rising senior from Atlanta, Georgia pursuing a double major in English and economics. At Davidson, she is a co-editor-in-chief of the Davidsonian, the student-run newspaper, and a staff member in the Residence Life Office. Her interest in education first emerged as a result of her own unique educational background -- she was home schooled in elementary school, attended a private middle school, and then transitioned to a public high school. After taking Davidson courses such as Economic Development and Urban Economics, she is interested specifically in how educational policy fits into the larger context of economic inequalities. This summer she will be interning with the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and Institute for Social Capital, serving as a data research and program assistant, where she will be able to draw upon skill sets from both her majors. In her spare time, she enjoys going on runs and taking hikes on the weekends.

Yeeva Cheng '15 is a rising senior from Shelby, North Carolina. Currently pursuing a major in anthropology and an interdisciplinary minor in East Asian studies, she has been interested in understanding how her academic field can enhance the education system and bring greater awareness to cultural and socioeconomic diversity. Growing up in a household in which her parents did not complete high school and endured traumatic experiences such as systematic ethnic internment, her personal experiences as a first-generation student of color have also motivated her to research and study how the educational ecosystem can better reach out to students and address their needs. On campus, she is involved in the Student Initiative for Academic Diversity (SIAD), serves on the executive board of the Chinese Culture Club and is the campus mentor for the Quest Scholars Network. Through the opportunities offered at Davidson, she has also done research on Hakka women in rural China and has worked with a non-profit organization for ex-internees in Toronto. She looks forward to how her experience this summer will coincide with her field of study and personal interests.

Scott Cunningham '16 is a rising junior from Virginia Beach, Virginia majoring in English. As an entrepreneur and active citizen, he engages in either projects that incorporate the arts as a tool for developing a self-concept or civil service that feeds into the health of the greater community. He typically works with youth of diverse backgrounds and ages in a variety of settings. From leading a wrestling drill for teenagers, a PE game for fives year olds, or a session of expressive photography for multi-aged students, he is always surprised by the amount that he learns while teaching. He currently serves as the Director of Photography and Teaching in YouthMAP, an organization that provides photography to disadvantaged youth for creative expression and exploration. He plans to incorporate past experiences into his work this summer, and cultivate new perspectives on the educational field for the future.