As the 2018–2019 academic year comes to a close, the Attallah College Undergraduate Newsletter interviewed several graduating seniors who will be continuing their educational path toward graduate school. We asked what they will be studying in their respective graduate programs, their aspirations and goals for the future, and for some words of advice for undergraduates who may want to pursue graduate school in the upcoming years.

Zoe Bonfield (Integrated Educational Studies major, Business Administration minor)

Zoe Bonfield '19

Zoe Bonfield ’19

I am currently in the third cohort of Attallah’s accelerated 4+1  MACI (Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction) program. During my fifth year, I will be student teaching for the full school year in the Orange Unified School District in two different grade levels. At the end of this fifth year, after a full 12 months of school, I will graduate with my master’s degree and California multiple subject teaching credential. After I finish this program, I hope to become an elementary school educator, hopefully in a transitional kindergarten through first grade class. Eventually, I want to go back to school to get a degree in Early Childhood Education because my long-term goal is to someday open my own preschool!

I will pass on the advice that I received from my mentors: A degree is a degree, and even if I don’t teach elementary school for the rest of my life, I am not going to regret doing another year of school. I love school and always have, and having this chance to learn from professionals in the field and with my peers who are going through the same experiences is a special opportunity. Plus, having a master’s degree is only going to help with whatever path you end up taking in the long run. This advice helped me tremendously this semester, so thank you to my mentors and role models who guided me through!

Talia Cain (IES and English Literature double major, Honors Program minor)

Talia Cain '19

Talia Cain ’19

I will be attending Stanford University’s Teacher Education Program (STEP). At the end of 12 months, candidates will receive a California teaching credential and a Master’s in Education. I am specifically going in to receive a Secondary English teaching credential. During the program, candidates will be student teaching during the day and attending master’s classes at night. The focus of the program is on educational equity and social justice teaching methods. I would like to serve as a high school English teacher and promote social change through education.

My advice for undergraduates is to find a mentor to guide you through the process and start planning early!

Nick Rooney (Business Administration major with an emphasis in Finance, Leadership Studies minor)

Nick Rooney '19

Nick Rooney ’19

I will be in Attallah’s accelerated 4+1 MLD (Master of Arts in Leadership Development) program, studying to make an impact on the education system of future generations. I have always had a passion for helping others to find their inspiration to reach their fullest potential. My goal is to start a business that is centered around motivation and self-actualization that will serve as a catalyst to propel our clients to reach their fullest potential.

If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

Chapman is an incredible university that has a wealth of knowledge, from professors to on- and off-campus opportunities. The MA in Leadership Development has already had a substantial effect on my life both in my career path and personal growth. I highly recommend continuing one’s education through the 4+1 programs offered at Chapman. It is an experience that is unmatched.

Roxy Lopez (IES major, Disability Studies minor)

Roxy Lopez '19

Roxy Lopez ’19

I will be a part of Attallah’s Master of Arts in Special Education and Moderate/Severe Teaching Credential program where I will be given the opportunity to work as a teacher intern during the last semester. A few of my goals consist of becoming a moderate/severe special education teacher in a secondary school, and I am potentially considering administration after obtaining teaching experience.

I would recommend building strong relationships with your professors as well as obtaining experience in the field of education you are considering. Whether it is volunteering, interning, or working, it all looks great on graduate school applications. Professors at Chapman often have connections to remarkable opportunities to gain experience on the field, and they could write you letters of recommendation to include in applications as well.


Erin Leung (IES major, STEM and Sociology double minor)

Erin Leung '19

Erin Leung ’19

I will be studying at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE) this upcoming summer. I will be in the Urban Teaching Apprenticeship: Early Elementary Grades Pre K-4, MSEd with Certification Program. Throughout the summer, I will learn coursework that will serve as the foundation for understanding different learners and the context in which learning takes place. I hope to be teaching in a public elementary school. I absolutely love second and third graders, but I am open to teaching any of the grades in elementary school. Teaching is such a beautiful and unique role, and I hope to be an educator who empowers, cares, and challenges future students.

Here’s my advice to undergraduates:

  • Do your research: It is totally fine not to know exactly what you want to do before you research. Research helps in surveying all the possible routes, and you can learn more about what you gravitate toward!
  • Take advantage of your resources: Professors are some of the biggest blessings. Don’t just look at them as possible people to write your letters of recommendation! Ask the professors you respect, and trust for their advice and input.
  • Stay calm and stay humble: For me, my faith was so important in the process. In the moments where I felt confused, lost, and even a little defeated, I remembered that God is in control! Throughout the whole process, it helped me to remember to work hard for something much bigger than myself!

Jane Gore (IES major, Language and Literacy minor)

Jane Gore '19

Jane Gore ’19

The graduate program that I will be attending is the one-year Masters in Education Credential cohort program at the University of San Diego. Beginning this summer, I will be working toward a multiple subject teaching credential and a Master’s of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. I look forward to a fulfilling career as an elementary educator teaching in California public schools. As a lifelong learner, I plan to continue my education and aspire to earn a doctoral degree.

My advice for undergraduate students who are interested in attending graduate school is to start exploring potential programs as soon as possible. Every program has different requirements and different time frames for the application process. It’s important to weigh your options and plan for any tests and/or interviews so that they don’t interfere with your undergraduate studies.

Michaela Perry (IES major, Spanish and Leadership Studies double minor)

Michaela Perry '19

Michaela Perry ’19

I will be attending Columbia University’s Teachers College. My program is an MA in Adult Learning and Leadership. It focuses on adult learning theories as well as leadership theory and application, leaning a little toward various aspects of training that human resources professionals put on in any workplace. My future aspirations are to become a bilingual life coach and/or a leadership and development trainer. I am also interested in going into higher education at some point.

My advice for undergraduates is to keep your LinkedIn updated. Make sure to network with everyone around you and connect with your professors, as you never know who you might need to ask for a recommendation. More than anything, do not be afraid to use your resources and negotiate. On a different note, make sure to enjoy your senior year, as it goes by so fast!

Excerpt from the Attallah College Undergraduate Student Newsletter.