Phillandra Smith and Tiffany Hamm, the first cohort of Holmes Scholars with the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education from Syracuse University, attended their first AACTE Washington Week and Holmes Scholar Summer Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. with Dean Joanna Masingila. Washington Week brings academics, administrators, and doctoral students to the hill to learn effective strategies to advocate for teacher education and preparation with government representatives, as well as visits to congressional and senate offices.
Smith, a first-year special education doctoral student, wrote about her experience on the AACTE Ed Prep Matters blog. She also shared a video of herself, Masingila, and first-year science education doctoral student Hamm talking about their first day of advocacy on Capitol Hill:
“I think one of the things I walked away with was just how much work advocates really have to put in. So when I think about the parents that advocated for the needs of their children with disabilities, this was not easy, people! It really helped me to value this process a lot more…I feel like my voice matters, our voice matters.”