Sophia's Professional Experiences
Teacher Professional Development, Research & Consulting and Project Management
Most of Sophia’s professional experience falls into three branches of work: teaching and teacher professional development, research and consulting, and project management. She has worked and volunteered for a variety of organisations both in the public and private sectors in the United States and abroad, including the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Costa Rica, and the United Kingdom, and has worked remotely as a consultant for various countries in the region of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Working with the NGO 'Global Learning' The genesis of Sophia's passion for teaching and education
Though Sophia grew up volunteering as a tutor and mentor in her local community, she considers her passion for teaching to have originated during her first international classroom experience in Costa Rica in the summer of 2010, where Sophia spent a month co-teaching primary school students in rural communities with an international NGO called Global Learning (Aprendizaje Global).
During this time, Sophia learned more about the importance of student-centered pedagogy, positive classroom management skills and values-based education. Global Learning’s teaching model was based on developing critical thinking skills through small-group discussions, using arts and crafts to leverage children’s creativity and imagination, and fostering values of global citizenship and empathy or developing socio-emotional skills through children’s literature and read-aloud's.
Development & Management
Teaching | DREAM Project | Americorps
Later, after graduating from Princeton University in 2012, Sophia decided to move abroad to the Dominican Republic, where she taught English at the university level, at Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) for one year, and math and geography to middle schoolers (5th to 8th graders) at a bilingual private school, Saint David School, for two years following.
The DREAM Project
After three years of teaching, Sophia completed a Princeton in Latin America fellowship from 2015 to 2016, with an educational non-profit, The Dominican Republic Education and Mentoring Project (The DREAM Project), where her role became more of a teacher-trainer and project manager. During her year at DREAM, Sophia was in charge of supervising and training six Dominican teachers in literacy and math interventions, as well as overseeing all aspects of the projects. She created original teaching and learning materials, modeled lessons, conducted workshops and classroom observations, and met one-on-one with teachers to provide individualised feedback for professional development. She also created curriculums on sustainability and human rights education, and provided training and workshops on cross-cultural communication and diversity in the workplace.
AmeriCorps: Service with NJPIRG
Prior to her fellowship at DREAM, Sophia also completed an Americorps Term of Service with The New Jersey Public Interest Research Group (NJPIRG), where she co-led the coordination, preparation, and implementation of a community service project in which over fifty university student volunteers provided environmental educational and sustainability training to almost six-hundred students in urban primary and secondary schools in Trenton, New Jersey.
Additional Volunteer & Employment Experiences
Researcher and Consulting Positions Held
In addition to the educational and community-development experiences above, Sophia has worked or volunteered as a researcher and consultant for a variety of institutes and organisations. These include:
- Overseas Development Institute (ODI)
- Open Development & Education, Ltd.
- Save the Children, United Kingdom
- The Research for Equitable Access and Learning Centre (The REAL Centre)
- Overseas Development Institute (ODI)
- Teacher Motivation Working Group (TMWG)
- The Joan Rose Foundation
- Cultural Awareness International (CAI)
- Center for International Education Exchange (CIEE)
- Bedtime Math, formerly known as Appropriate Challenges for Every Student; and
- Cambridge Hub’s Social Innovation Programme