Interns, Fellows, and Volunteers
Teaching for Change’s mission is advanced not only by our staff and board, but also by the dedicated focus on special projects by interns, fellows, and volunteers.
Interns & Fellows
Maddy Kessler is a class of 2024 student at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, where she is majoring in history and minoring in education. Maddy was born and raised in Washington, D.C., and is an alumni of Wilson High School. Maddy’s community engagement and interest in historical struggles for justice drive her commitment to education organizing. She is committed to working with educators to build pedagogies that students see themselves in and that foster critical historical inquiries.
She is ecstatic to be doing research that amplifies people’s history, meeting passionate educators, and supporting Teaching for Change in her internship.
Brad Manker, Ed.D., is an educator, curriculum designer, and independent researcher with a background in elementary education. He earned his Master of Arts in Teaching degree from National-Louis University in Chicago and his doctorate in Educational Technology – Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Florida. He has taught grades K-8 at a variety of public and private schools in the United States and abroad.
He strongly believes in the power of neighborhood public schools and is a staunch supporter of the Zinn Education Project and the #TeachTruth movement. His wish is to dismantle inequitable educational practices and to center marginalized voices and perspectives through curriculum evaluation, revision, and development.
His interests include teaching social justice at the elementary school level, critical digital literacy, open educational resources, and service learning. He has also researched inquiry-based learning, best practices for technology integration, Makerspaces and STEAM education, and assessment methodologies.
Joanna Kenty is an educator and instructional designer with a background in higher education. She earned her BA from Wesleyan University and her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in the field of Classics. She taught at the University of New Hampshire, Radboud University in the Netherlands, and Temple University Rome. She has published articles on Roman political rhetoric and a book, Cicero’s Political Personae, as well as public scholarship on teaching the ancient world in an engaging, inclusive way with connections to today’s world (check out her Medium page for links).
Zapoura Newton-Calvert, Assistant Teaching Professor, has been facilitating writing and community-engaged learning courses focused on social justice in education since 2004 and has been teaching full-time at Portland State University since 2014. This work has led to partnerships with organizations like Libraries for Liberation, the Children’s Book Bank, Books Not Bars, and local schools. Participating in the practices of emergent strategy, her teaching is relational and responsive to political, social, and environmental change. Zapoura co-founded the organization Reading Is Resistance in 2016 and creates anti-oppression reading lists, curriculum, and workshops to support parents, teachers, and readers of all ages in building collective liberational capacity and imagination through engagement with children’s literature.
Pro-Bono Volunteer – Financial Management
Francesca Fiore has devoted her career in the nonprofit and higher education sectors to developing and scaling programs that promote educational access and economic opportunity. She provides pro bono services for nonprofit organizations in the areas of grant writing and fiscal and operations management and serves on the Board of Directors of the Kingston Land Trust. She holds an Ed.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.P.A. from New York University, and both an M.A. and a B.A. in Economics from Hunter College.
The daughter of two public school teachers, Francesca values the transformative power of education and is deeply honored to be supporting Teaching for Change.
Pro Bono Volunteer – Graphic Design
Nikita Baker is a secondary English education major who dedicates her time to working with organizations that are committed to social justice. She has over five years of experience in graphic design, photography, and project management. As a Teaching for Change volunteer, Nikita provides design briefs, general graphic design support, and website support. Her other areas of expertise include team building, as she was a supplemental instruction leader at Ivy Tech Community College. During this time, she was responsible for creating study groups and providing students with feedback on their work. She was also a tutor and mentor at George Washington Public High School in Indianapolis, IN. Some other organizations she has worked with include Turning Point Domestic Violence Center, Su Casa Columbus, and Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Columbus.
As a Teaching for Change volunteer, Nikita hopes to learn more about inclusive practices in the classroom and how to apply them. She is also happy to help Teaching for Change amplify our mission and appreciates our efforts in advocating for inclusivity in schools.
Pro-Bono Volunteer – Human Resources
Shawnda H. Howard is a human resources executive with over 20 years of experience in publicly traded and private equity-backed companies, as well as local government and nonprofit organizations in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Her strong interest supporting education, youth development, equity and social justice causes grew from earlier experiences as a youth development program participant. Shawnda earned a M.S. degree in organizational development and strategic human resources from The Johns Hopkins University. She is an alumna of the Senior Executive Institute at the University of Virginia and possesses the Certified Compensation Professional (CCP)® designation from the WorldatWork Total Rewards Association.