This week’s Campus Celebrity has one foot on the Brandeis campus and the other in an elementary school in Waltham! Read on to hear how Allie Joseph ’12 has made her mark by involving herself in on-campus activities, and coordinating tutoring opportunities for Brandeis students off-campus.
Minor: Elementary Teacher Certification
Hometown: Rockaway, NJ
HC: I hear that you are the Budget Coordinator for Brandeis’ Clubs in Service. Can you explain to HC readers what Clubs in Service is?
AJ: Clubs in Service provides an opportunity for clubs to embody Brandeis’ Social Justice mission through community service. Essentially, we match various clubs, teams, and groups on campus with a service project that suits their interests. We also assist with planning the event, training club members, transportation, or anything else the club needs for a successful service project! It’s a great outlet for team building, sharing passions with the local community, becoming more involved in the community, and of course, addressing the needs of the community. Last semester, B.E.M.C.O. received the first ever Clubs In Service Club of the Semester Award! Their club name is now engraved in a plaque in the display case in the Shapiro Campus Center, and their photo is displayed in the Romper Room. Go check it out! All clubs that participate are invited to Volunteer Appreciation and ongoing Reflection Lunches.
HC: That sounds great! How did you get involved in Clubs in Service?
AJ: I was always intrigued by the potential of Clubs In Service, but I did not get involved until Senior year when I became a Budget & Steering member for the Waltham Group. Budget & Steering is a team of three leaders that manage the Waltham Group. In addition to our general Budget & Steering responsibilities, the three of us each have our own role. My role is to serve as the Waltham Group Representative on the Clubs in Service Committee. It is my job to create a bridge between the Waltham Group, and the Clubs in Service Committee. One way that I do this is by matching clubs and groups on campus with service projects related to some of the Waltham Group programs. In a few weeks, the Women’s Soccer Team and So Unique will be visiting Kids Club, Afternoon Enrichment, and Language and Cultural Enrichment (LaCE).
HC:How did you get involved in teaching a 4th grade class in Waltham? What influenced you to find this teaching opportunity?
AJ: The Elementary Teacher Certification minor is a long process, but the last and most exciting step is student teaching [during] senior year. I have been a student teacher for 4thgrade in Newton since September and I absolutely love every day. Last semester, I taught once a week for a full day. This semester, I teach all day, every day. After over 4 years of training, I am finally able to put everything I have learned into practice, which I am finding to be an incredibly rewarding experience. I don’t even mind waking up at 6:15am because I am always eager to start the day. Currently, the head teacher and I co-teach throughout the day. He teaches some lessons, and I teach others. My role is expanding gradually [over] time, [and] will culminate in a period of “Lead Teaching” during the first week of April. During that week, [I] will teach a Unit on the Hoover Dam – I didn’t choose this topic but I can assure you it will be the best thing these kids willever learn.
HC:We believe you! What other activities are you involved with on campus?
AJ: Student Teaching, Budget & Steering for the Waltham Group, and Clubs In Service takes up plenty of time. Trust me! (Here Allie winks at HC readers!)
HC: If you could travel to any place in the world to tutor students of any age, what would be your ideal project?
AJ:If I had the guts to do it, I would run an orphanage in Romania or other deserving parts of the world. There are a lot of orphans out there that just need some love and care!
HC: I understand you are also a Brandeis Orientation Leader. What made you decide to become an OL?
AJ: Originally, I thought it would be a fun way to get involved and meet new people! While that was certainly the case, it ended up becoming one of my biggest passions at Brandeis. Orientation has always been my favorite time of the year. In fact, I use many of those crazy ice-breakers and team building activities with my students at [the elementary] school!
HC: You are the Brandeis coordinator for tutors in nearby public schools. How can HC readers get involved in tutoring on or off campus?
AJ: I am a coordinator for the Waltham Group program Tutoring In Public Schools (T.I.P.S.). Our volunteers visit local public schools during the school day to tutor students. We also have an after school program, during which our volunteers assist students with their homework. These students have been identified by their teachers and administrators as needing extra assistance with their homework. Many of these students do not get homework support at home. HC readers can get involved by stopping by our table on Waltham Group Recruitment Night at the beginning of any semester.
HC:What do you see yourself doing in a few years?
AJ: Teaching elementary school, of course! Silly question.
HC: No surprises there! What is something HC readers might not know about you?
AJ: I love eating mangoes, I still watch classic Disney movies (though not Pixar), I write with my left hand but do everything else with my right hand, my favorite tea flavor is chai, I have a weakness for sunrises and sunsets, and I studied abroad at the University of Haifa, Israel.