Welcome to the New Academic Year | Teachers College Columbia University

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Welcome to the 2015-2016 Academic Year!

Hello to all the educators, activists, students, parents, community members, and scholars,

We hope everyone had a wonderful summer full of rest and relaxation mixed in with plenty of hard work, as it is hard to believe another academic year is here (already half over!). The start of school is always full of mixed emotions. For example, on the first day of school, millions of children everywhere strap on their backpacks with a certain level of eagerness, excitement, and, well, a bit of nervousness too. In some ways, each child’s backpack serves as a metaphor for all the knowledge, cultural wealth, and above all, endless dreams that each student brings as he or she enters the classroom doors for the first time. 

As educators and researchers, of course, our backpacks (or briefcases for some!) are full too -- full of research proposals, ideas, books, lesson plans, conference schedules, and busy agendas. And, of course, the new year brings a sense of anticipation for each of us, too, as we also attempt to empty out our backpacks and briefcases for one reason: the pursuit of educational equity. At IUME, we are very much looking forward to doing our best to put theory into action and make a difference in education.

While we are excited -- and thankful for the opportunity -- to continue producing critical research around educational equity, this year is, in some sense, a perfect example of both the revolving door and consistent routine that makes up our work. Now entering our third year on campus at Zankel 112, we’ve had various M.A. and Ph.D. IUME student cohorts enroll and graduate, and celebrated our 40th anniversary and TC’s 125th anniversary in the past few years. We have a mix of new and old IUME graduate students, new and old colloquium series and special events, and while the 40th anniversary is certainly behind us, we are already gearing up for our 45th

What always remains consistent, even as we gear up for the new year, is the fact that numerous research projects are already underway – and remember, it is the research that drives IUME and is at the heart of what we do and whywe do it. We plan to continue advancing the interests of the disenfranchised through community and student-driven yet rigorous research that illustrates the brilliance of youth. Research aside, we are actively filling our calendar with colloquia, presentations, and conferences, so make sure to stay connected to all our social media channels. Above all, thank you for your continued support of IUME -- and for helping to create a more just and equitable society through critical research in education. Just remember it is a collective effort to make change within this beautiful struggle, but, together we truly can create a difference in the lives of our youth.

Coming full circle, it is our job as educators and researchers to make sure students' knowledge is utilized in each classroom and that every student has a chance to achieve at high levels – and empty out that backpack full of hopes and dreams. Last year was certainly a trying year, but we cannot let the current injustices cloud our vision for the future. Without further ado, welcome back to school – it is time to get to work!

       Sincerely,