“Adelphi has inspired me, developed me, challenged me, supported me, and gifted me with an inimitable network of friends, mentors, and colleagues.”
Member of Adelphi University’s 10 Under 10
High School Science Teacher, Frank McCourt High School
School Coordinator, New York City’s Mastery Collaborative
Early Career Fellow, Math for America
A science educator, Cristina Rade ’09, MS ’13 says her greatest accomplishment has been showing young people that anyone can be a “science person”—no matter what their past experiences have been or how daunting science can seem. “I believe that science should be and needs to be accessible to all,” she said. “I have been able to show my students how to think, act, and advocate like the best scientists.”
Rade began her career as a New York City Teaching Fellow (NYC Teaching Fellows program is one of the country’s largest and most selective alternative routes to teacher certifications), where she has helped create STEM curricula at Frank McCourt High School (FMHS), a mastery-based school that fosters lifelong learning by examining real-world problems across various fields. “During my time at FMHS, I have designed several classes including college-level anatomy courses and a science and art class, the Evolution of Vision, which culminated in projects incorporating principles and practices from both disciplines including scientific research and working with fine arts mediums,” she said.
For five years, she has been working with New York City’s Mastery Collaborative (a program of the Office of Leadership in the New York City Department of Education) to reflect and enhance mastery-based education within her courses, school, and the city. “I have worked with educators from across the city, country, and world to help reflect on and improve current school protocols and procedures so that more and more students may experience an education that helps them strengthen their skills for the challenges of the 21st century,” she said.
For the past two years, Rade has been an early career fellow at Math for America. In this role, she and other New York City math and science public school teachers—who enhance their work with an elite understanding of STEM fields—participate in professional development activities led by scientists from all New York City universities and experts and leaders in education.
She has also presented twice at the EDxEDNYC Professional Learning Conference, a city-wide conference for teachers led by teachers.
Rade, who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Adelphi, said her experience at the University was integral to her career trajectory and, therefore, the impact she has been able to make as a science educator. “I cannot imagine how I would have arrived where I am today without the education and motivation I received during my time at Adelphi,” she said.
What drew her to Adelphi were the University’s biology and Honors College programs and small class sizes. “Adelphi felt like an intimate community in which I would get to know my professors and peers well,” said Rade, who was also interested in research and wanted to use the opportunity to work in a lab to develop her own undergraduate thesis. “From early on, my time at Adelphi felt individualized, challenging, and supportive—feelings that assured me I had made a perfect choice for me.”
At Adelphi, she found several mentors and immersed herself in learning opportunities that proved invaluable. “I will never forget my conversations with Dean Della Croce and Professor Mercurio inside and outside their enriching courses, nor the weeks I spent in Florence with Professors Maloney and McAnulty or Adelphi’s inaugural trip to Australia,” she said. “Most of all, Dr. Ward and my time spent in her lab and her classes transformed me into the scientist and educator I am today.”
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