Most students take their summers to unwind after completing the academic equivalent of a triathlon but not Delmar's Ethan Levine.
Levine, 21, was named one of 35 future teachers from around the country to be awarded the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation Fellowships (KSTF). The prestigious fellowship, valued at up to $150,000 over the course of five years, is designed to nurture, support and encourage the best and the brightest to pursue math and science teaching careers, according it its founders.
Becoming a math teacher wasn't originally in the plans for Levine. He was a linguistics major at the University of Pennsylvania as an undergraduate with a minor in math.
I was in a tutoring program at the University of Pennsylvania and we held group discussions in a 10th grade geometry class," Levine said. "After that, and the summers working with high school students, I decided to make a change."
Levine is now going for his master's degree in education with a certificate in high school math.
"This is a great opportunity for me," Levine said of the award. "It was something I had heard about through someone at the University of Pennsylvania."
There is a three-step selection process that includes online application materials, letters of recommendation and transcripts reviewed first by KSTF staff. The applicants who meet the selection criteria are then invited to participate in a telephone interview conducted by a senior KSTF staff member.
From there, the finalists are invited for face-to-face interviews in Philadelphia with members of the KSTF Advisory Committees, KSTF staff, members of the board of trustees, and the KSTF founders, C. Harry and Janet H. Knowles.
"I really like the City of Philadelphia," said Levine. "We had our orientation in June, and we have to meet in fellow groups three times a year."
Also at the end of July, all 111 KSTF Teaching Fellows meet in Philadelphia, for the three-day summer fellows' meeting, with a primary focus of lesson study.