Victoria Pang '13, an Honors special major in political science and educational studies from Lancaster, Ohio, is the recipient of the prestigious James Madison Memorial Fellowship for her love of education and commitment to teaching the American Constitution. The fellowship awards college seniors and graduates who have demonstrated a keen interest in teaching American history, government, or social studies in secondary schools.
The fellowship selects two students from each state, funding their graduate study in education and providing them with a network of other fellows and teachers across the country. Pang, a Lang Opportunity Scholar and Chester Community Fellow, will attend Brown University's graduate teaching program this fall.
Pang's Lang Opportunity Scholarship project, Chester Serves, "works to encourage Chester high school students to become agents of change in their communities and provides the opportunity for them to serve as mentors to local elementary students," she says. Working with six high school students in a five-week summer institute, Pang found herself inspired to become an educator.
"I watched my students experience tremendous growth throughout the program," she says, "particularly through a project we did writing letters to the Chester Upland School District superintendent." Pang's students were able to have their voices heard, expressing their views on educational issues that mattered most to them.
The U.S. Congress founded the James Madison Memorial Foundation in 1986 in order to improve secondary education of the U.S. Constitution and history of the American government. Named after the fourth U.S. president, the foundation aims to foster excellent teachers and a lasting commitment to providing an education on the cornerstone of American history. The fellowship also offers a summer institute at Georgetown University, where Pang and other fellows will take courses on the Constitution and meet with a Supreme Court justice.
After graduating from Brown, Pang hopes to apply what she learned from Chester Serves and her experience as a James Madison Fellow toward her work as an educator.
"I'm passionate about education equity," Pang says, "and believe that committing to the urban teaching profession is the best way that I can contribute to making public schools sites of opportunity."