Meet Some of Our UTC Students

Heather AllentuckHeather Allentuck

"Joining the Urban Teaching Cohort is one of the best things that I have done at Miami. Through the UTC, I was able to grow as a person and a teacher. One of the first collective experiences when joining the UTC is a class called Empower. Through this class we are able to work to see the difference between "helping and serving" and the privileges and assumptions that each of us hold...

"Empower helps us to start to challenge our beliefs. I have also loved all of my interactions with the community of Over-the-Rhine in Cincinnati. From participating in Cincinnati Summer Immersion Program (CSIP) to being able to live in Over-the-Rhine while student teaching there, I am amazed by how much I learn from community members, activists, and my students. From being able to live in the community I taught in, I could connect with my students both inside and outside of the classroom, helping to create positive relationships. The UTC constantly challenges me to think about different issues and perspectives with a critical eye transcending how I view the world."

Evan DeaconEvan Deacon

"The Urban Teaching Cohort has not just helped me grow as a teacher, but also as a person. With a strong focus on social injustices, I have been able to become more aware of the society we live in. As a teacher, it is imperative that we understand the obstacles that students overcome on a daily basis...

"Issues such as poverty, race, income inequality, homelessness and culture, are all issues that affect many students in urban areas. The Urban Teaching Cohort has allowed me to further develop my own identity as a teacher through numerous community engagement opportunities, and help deepen my respect for the students that I come in contact with everyday. My experience with the Urban Teaching Cohort has been the fundamental foundation of my education, which will carry on with me throughout my future teaching endeavors."

Anna HartmanAnna Hartman

"My experiences in the UTC have been completely life-changing. Through the UTC, I participated in Urban Leaders, a three-week residency and internship in Over-the-Rhine called Cincinnati Summer Immersion Program, and I lived and student taught in Over-the-Rhine...

"Through all of these experiences, I have learned a ton about poverty and its impact on children and families, and have developed a strong desire to see a community from the eyes of the community. As a graduating senior, I can confidently say that my heart and perspective have been forever changed by my experiences in the Urban Teaching Cohort! I can’t wait to have my own classroom, to seek out relationships with parents and community members, and to be an advocate for my students!"

Daniel LinowesDanielle Linowes

"Throughout my time in the Urban Teaching Cohort, I have had numerous experiences that have solidified my passion for serving others. These experiences have also allowed me to find a new passion in social justice, as I have been educated on the issues that will affect my future as a teacher in an urban setting...

"The UTC has also given me the opportunity to be surrounded by like-minded people who share my passions. At the same time, however, I have also been exposed to different perspectives, contributing to my own growth. The best thing about the UTC, in my opinion, is that we are so closely connected to Over-the-Rhine and Rothenberg Preparatory Academy. I love meeting and connecting with the residents of Over-the-Rhine and the students at Rothenberg and being able to learn and experience the history of the area."

Kyle O'BrienKyle O'brien

"I'm a senior in the Urban Teaching Cohort and a current student teacher at Taft IT High School in Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati. As a member of the Residency Program I live in the same neighborhood as my school, which gives me the unique opportunity to integrate myself on a deeper level with my students' community...

"In the last three semesters I have researched and written my honors thesis for my history major on the movement to desegregate Boston Public Schools, a topic I surely would not have pursued without the social justice framework and continued support of my UTC family. After Miami, I hope to continue teaching and living in an urban neighborhood and to one day attend graduate school for educational history."

Christine RoseChristine Rose

"I choose Miami University because of the work of the Urban Teaching Cohort. I am very passionate about the education of all students, but especially those from urban areas. Many people only see the challenges that urban students face...

"It is true that there are many obstacles that my students will face, but because of my training I am receiving from the UTC, I see the benefits that my students and their families bring. I have learned that the first step in this progress is to see your own benefits and challenges. I have had to step out of my comfort zone and really learn and grow as a person and as a future teacher."

Jenn SchreidererJenn Scheiderer


"Being a part of the UTC has afforded me many opportunities to further develop my passion for urban education and social justice! Once I participated in the Cincinnati Summer Immersion Program in May of 2012, my love for Over-the-Rhine grew...

"Fast-forward to the fall of 2013, I participated in the Over-the-Rhine Residency Program, where I lived and student taught in the community. Through the Residency Program, I learned how to put into practice the tools and information the previous years in the UTC provided me! During my student teaching at Rothenberg Preparatory Academy, I participated in Children’s Creative Corner, a free local art class. Through my involvement in this program, I engaged with students and neighborhood residents. One of the most valuable lessons I have learned in OTR is to always greet someone you pass on the street. In December of 2013, I graduated and began working at Rothenberg in January tutoring 3rd, 5th, and 6th grade students. I also have moved back into this beloved community! The community of OTR is truly amazing and beautiful—not only for the buildings or fancy remodel, but the beauty that comes from the people who live in OTR. I am forever grateful for the UTC and the experiences and knowledge I have gained!"

Andrea SpennyAndrea Spenny

"I honestly don’t know if I would still be at Miami if it weren’t for the UTC. I knew I definitely wanted to teach in urban areas before coming to Miami but this program has reiterated that want in me even more...

"My passion for this work, this lifestyle, continues to grow every time we have a class, an event, or when I’m down in Cincinnati. Knowing that I am pursuing something I am so incredibly in love with is one of the most amazing feelings. This program has made such a larger impact on me than I ever expected or thought it could.

"I have learned so much about myself as an individual and about other human beings that may not come from the same backgrounds that I come from. I’ve learned that “I don’t know how to relate to my students” is not an excuse for anything. We can relate and connect with our students if we want to and are willing to. Empathy is huge. I’ve picked up a minor in Social Justice and Inequalities to further my knowledge in topics that relate to education. I spend my free time working with incarcerated youth once a week. I spend time in the community of Over-the-Rhine as much as I can and am so refreshed every time I’m there. These things most likely wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the UTC. I couldn’t be more thankful for this amazing, amazing program."

Rachel Von HolleRachel Von Holle

"As a senior at Miami University, I have had time to reflect on my experiences I have had, and the Urban Teaching Cohort is by far at the top of my list for best decisions I’ve made. Beginning freshmen year, the UTC has opened my eyes to how I perceive many important topics that are not discussed enough...

"From community service projects to student teaching in Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati, I have gained so much knowledge that I would not have received sitting in a classroom. The UTC has given me real and raw experiences, and has encouraged me to spread awareness about social justice and the many inequalities our world faces. I have learned to truly see people—not only hear them, but listen to them and their stories. The best learning we can have is taking a leap into something unfamiliar. The UTC has given me four years of real world experiences, learning from urban communities and knowing the difference between working “with” someone rather than “for” them and for this I will be forever grateful."