Five Students Receive Education Pioneers Fellowships

The organization works to improve education leadership and management outside the classroom.

Congratulations to the five students at Columbia SIPA who were chosen to receive Education Pioneers Graduate School Fellowships in support of their work this summer. They’re part of a group of more than 400 fellows chosen by the nonprofit organization, which works to improve education leadership and management at the school, district, and system level.

This year’s recipients are:

* Sarah Begeman, MPA ’14, New York City Department of Education

* Flavia Bento de Faria, MIA ’14, iReform, Inc.

* Jesse Corradi, MIA ’14, Building Hope

* Nick Cox, MPA ’14, New York City Department of Education

* Leah Verghese, MPA ’14, Bridgeport [Connecticut] Mayor’s Office


The Bridgeport public school system, which serves around 20,000 children, produces abysmal outcomes in terms of academic achievement and retention rates. As a fellow, I work with the director of education and youth policy in the mayor’s office at Bridgeport, assisting the director with policy research and analysis, communication, and day-to-day operational work in the district. I hope to be able to combine the analytical and research tools I have learned in graduate school with my first-hand knowledge of education policy and school systems to help improve student achievement in Bridgeport. 

— Leah Verghese

The fellowship, through working at the NYC Department of Education, helped me develop a more nuanced understanding of U.S. education reform.

— Nick Cox