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Elizabeth Nash

BA Adolescence Education, 2013
MS Education in Special Education and Literacy, 2015

Iona College is an exemplar model of what it means to be an educator. With a strong emphasis on community values, educational achievement, and collaborative and innovative learning, Iona has provided me with a strong foundation as both a student and future educator. Having been a Gael since 2010, I am proud and confident to enter the workforce due to the committed and continuous support of the faculty and fellow Gaels, and the many opportunities Iona has provided me with. While at Iona I received my Bachelor of Arts in Adolescence Education and my Master of Science in Special Education and Literacy. Throughout my time as a Gael, I have become an involved member of the Iona community, having worked on campus for several years and having served as the graduate assistant for the Education Department while earning my master’s degree.

Upon entering as a freshman, Iona College recognized my academic achievements in high school, accepting 30 Advanced Placement credits, placing me one year ahead. While challenging and exciting, Iona recognized my abilities and put me on the fast track to success. Iona immediately supported my unique case and ensured that my needs were met.

I have always wanted to pursue a career in education. During the time that I entered the program, attaining a job in the education field was becoming more challenging with limited available jobs and increased pressures on teacher performance. Today, these facts still remain true. However, the Education Department at Iona made sure that these factors did not affect our educational and professional experiences. The faculty members developed curriculum that not only reflected the most current changes in education, but also immersed their students with rich opportunities in the classroom. From the beginning of the program until the very end, I was in the field interacting with educators and students of varied backgrounds, allowing me as a professional to develop a well-rounded pedagogy. This allowed me to collaborate, network, and learn from educators in the field and also learn the importance of being active in the community.

As a result of teacher certification changes, the Education Department at Iona had to act swiftly. Recognizing the opportunity in the changes ensuing, I collaborated with faculty members to create my graduate assistant position as the videographer for all edTPA submissions, an essential New York State Teaching License requirement. The in depth support system developed is unique to any other educational program at other colleges, and the results and success of both myself and my peers speak for itself. Before graduating with my master’s degree, I was fortunate enough to be hired as a teacher at a charter school in NYC.