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Part II - Elevating Education: Empowering Students and Inspiring Achievement

In part two of this two-part series, hosts Dean Jean McGivney-Burelle and philanthropic advisor Tabatha Butler interview Dr. John Curry Chair of Organizational Learning and Performance and Professor in Instructional Design and Technology and Danni Fernandez, a current science teacher at Hawthorne Middle School and graduate student in the Instructional Design and Technology Program at the College of Education.

Dr. John Curry Chair of Organizational Learning and Performance at the College of Education

Danni Fernandez Educator at Hawthorne Middle School & graduate student in Instructional Design and Technology Program at the College of Education. 

Every year, Dr. Curry dedicates his efforts to accompany his students on a transformative journey to the Association for Educational Communication and Technology (AECT). This remarkable opportunity is made possible by the generous support of the Dean’s Excellence Funds, which serves as a catalyst for these students' growth and development. Notably, this endeavor yielded extraordinary results when Danni Fernandez, a trailblazing graduate student, secured a prestigious Phil Harris internship with AECT. Her achievement marked a historic milestone as the very first masters student to be granted this prestigious honor.

Dr. Curry passionately advocates for the concept that students should never confine themselves by preemptively denying their own potential. He emphasizes this profound insight to his students, urging them to cast aside self-imposed limitations. Telling his students, “you don’t get to tell yourself no.” Drawing from his personal experience and the guidance of his own inspirational educators, Dr. Curry even co-authored a collaborative book on the subject of nurturing and inspiring educators. For those interested, his insightful work titled "The Greatest Lecture I Was Never Taught" can be found here, providing an avenue for profound self-discovery and empowerment.

Danni Fernandez's story is one of resilience and achievement. As a first-generation U.S. citizen and a dedicated college student, she is actively pursuing her second degree at Idaho State University (ISU). Danni's journey is illuminated by the unwavering support that ISU offers its students, underscoring the institution's commitment to fostering an environment where aspirations can flourish and dreams can be realized.

Jean McGivney-Burelle joined Idaho State University in June of 2020 as Professor and Dean of the College of Education. Jean has more than two decades of experience in higher education. Her scholarly work is focused on the teaching and learning of mathematics and she has served as PI or Co-PI on STEM education grants totaling more than $2 million. Jean is a Mathematical Association of America Project NExT Fellow, a National Network for Educational Renewal Fellow, and a participant in the 2016-17 HERS Leadership Institute. She holds a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Hartford, an M.S. in Mathematics from Northeastern University, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Connecticut.