Alumni receive national science teaching fellowships

July 30, 2013
Cassondra Keller

Cassondra Keller

Three graduates of the Teacher Preparation Program at Michigan State University were recently selected to receive Teaching Fellowships from the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KSTF), a prestigious national honor for beginning mathematics and science teachers. A total of 35 fellows were selected from across the country for 2013.

Brittany O'Brien

Brittany O’Brien

Over five years, KSTF Fellows receive significant financial support for expenses such as tuition and classroom materials, rigorous ongoing professional development opportunities and exposure to a valuable network of fellow educators in the areas of mathematics, biology or physical science.

Recipients are selected based on their potential to develop content knowledge, exemplary teaching practices and the qualities of a teacher leader. The selected fellows participated in a rigorous screening process. With only 15 percent of the applicant pool being chosen, they represent some of the top talent in the nation.

Julia Naimy

Julia Naimy

The new KSTF Fellows from MSU are:

  • Cassondra Keller, who received her bachelor’s in mathematics in 2012 and completed her teaching internship in Grand Rapids Public Schools. She will be teaching 10th grade geometry and 12th grade AP Calculus at Chicago Bulls College Prep, a charter school in Chicago.
  • Brittany O’Brien, who received her bachelor’s in chemistry in 2013 and will begin her MSU teaching internship this fall at Lowell High School in Lowell, Mich.
  • Julia Naimy, who received her bachelor’s in mathematics in 2012 and completed her teaching internship at Andover High School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. She will be teaching math at Prospect Hill Academy in Cambridge, Mass.

A fourth graduate of MSU, Christopher Anderson, also was selected as a KSTF Fellow for 2013. He received his bachelor’s in environmental science from MSU’s Lyman Briggs College in 2004 and later received his teaching credentials from University of Wisconsin.

In addition, University Distinguished Professor and former chair of the Department of Teacher Education Suzanne Wilson was recently appointed to the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KSTF) board of trustees. Wilson has extensive experience in educational policy, curriculum reform and has collaborated with multiple national education-focused organizations on large-scale projects.

Applications for the 2014 KSTF Teaching Fellowships are now being accepted. The KSTF is a nonprofit organization working to recruit, support and sustain outstanding new teachers of high school science and mathematics. Visit for more information.

Photos: Andrea Cipriani Mecchi, courtesy of KSTF.