I was born in Chicago but grew up in a traditional Korean family. I completed my Bachelor of Science degree in Physics, Radiation, Applied Physics and a Math minor from Eastern Illinois University. In 2010, I acquired a Master’s degree in Atmospheric Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, defending my research on the ‘Measurements of Small Ice Crystals in Arctic Cirrus’. In 2012, I received a NASA robotics growth grant for GCE. The NASA-funded robotics program helped to inspire students to be science & technology leaders by engaging them in a hands-on program that promoted real-world skills & self-confidence as a global citizen. I have taught and tutored college courses in environmental studies, earth science, biology, physics and math. In addition, I have professional laboratory experience as a battery engineer and alternative energy researcher. I am currently pursuing my dream of teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) from an environmental & cross-cultural perspective. I am passionate about the issues of climate change, global energy, resources and the environment.
A teacher is not only an expert in a field, but also a role model, counselor, coach and a healer by the virtue of the profession. As a teacher, GCE allows me to inspire students to help find their purpose, prepare themselves in the real world and have compassion for others.
My name is Cecilia and I was born and raised in Argentina. Before moving to Chicago I was teaching ESL and I’ve been providing foreign language instruction and integrating cross-cultural training for a wide audience in the Chicago metropolitan area since then. I believe that learning new languages and cultures opens doors to the world and gives a broader view of things. I am really enthusiastic about participating in building an integrated model of learning at GCE.
I strongly believe that the GCE model of education creates an excellent learning environment where students from all over the world can inspire and be inspired to pursue their goals! I think GCE provides a space, a safe environment, a community where students as well as staff can be creative, be challenged, learn, be and have fun!
Eric has founded, served as Executive Director, and consulted for several organizations ranging from start-up non-profits to multi-million dollar institutions. After several years teaching and coaching in charter and private high schools, Eric founded Educational Endeavors (2001) and Camp of Dreams (2003). Roughly ten years later, these organizations continue to serve the community and Eric has subsequently held the positions of Interim Executive Director with Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund and Executive Director of the Illinois Education Foundation. He studied abroad in Cuenca, Ecuador and in Paris, France; he has traveled to numerous countries and traversed the U.S. six times by car or train. Eric serves on the Development Committee of Imerman Angels and is inspired every day by the students, families, educators, and partners invested in creating the Global Citizenship Experience, which pulls together 15 years of educational practice and theory.
I was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Chicago. My passions and inspirations are deeply rooted in traditional Chinese cultures present at home and in the urban grit of Chicago streets. My dad owns and operates an advertising/printing company, where I spent most of my childhood around stacks of beautiful papers, tubs of different colored inks, and the unmistakable chugging sound of old-school printing machines. Inspired by this environment I had the drive to pursue all things hands-on; I spent after-school hours in high school interning at Yollocalli in Pilsen, where I received my first taste of how impactful Art really could be. I continue to think of Arts as a tool to revolutionize as I approach it as a teacher, student, creator, and admirer.
GCE provides the ideal environment for Arts to serve as an inspirational tool for students to create a revolution. The model of the school allows for real-life connections to be made through Arts — as a bridge to create connections between the students’ other courses. The interconnectedness and fluidity of GCE allows for Arts to be easily integrated with science, history, self-discovery, and social issues affecting youth. In the life of GCE, Arts have been used to create installations immersing the audience in the students’ Discovery of the Self, a shadow puppet show production reflecting lessons from other courses, a series of books filled with original photographs of molds (that we created) and poetry mimicking the process of developing Organizational Systems and Models… to name just a few.
I was born in Brazil and grew up learning to love all kinds of poetry. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, a Master’s degree in Literature and a Doctorate in the poetry of Fernando Pessoa. In 2006, I cofounded One to Trees (123s), a Brazilian-based nonprofit that, until 2011, aimed to empower ecological education teachers. Through 123s, I taught ECOpoetry in two favelas of Rio de Janeiro. In 2012, I cofounded World of Ideas, a Chicago-based nonprofit dedicated to refocus education towards the World’s Biggest Challenges. In my free time, I read, enjoy the lake, write poetry – and cultivate ideas for the cross-curricular environment of GCE.
I always thought education should teach us to connect instead of separate, should give us a feeling of belonging and not of isolation, should teach us unity instead of just limits. I am grateful for being able to nurture this dream of connectedness at GCE. From “Day 1”, in August 2010, I felt we were planting a “forest”; that’s when I created this 1min-video to say why I’m here.
A man, a Michigander, a metaphor-maker,
a lover of lakes and connoisseur of mistakes.
A converted hippie, fan of singing in public,
a goofy bike-rider, and padawan of rubrics.
I have my roots in Michigan in a large, Irish family. I learned early on how to make my voice heard, and only later to listen. I grew up in Sparta and Grand Rapids, Michigan, went to college in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and moved to Chicago on Election Day 2004. I live in Lincoln Square with my wife, Jess.
I am also a new teacher at GCE and will be leading two Humanities courses this fall. I have a passion for learning, connecting, people, and teaching (in some order). More than anything, I enjoy creatively contributing to life, and so far this has meant working in and around schools, with and alongside students of varying ages and experiences, to explore subjects and questions that matter to them.
In my limited time at GCE, I have seen how this school values experimentation, dynamism, and ingenuity in its curriculum, environment, and most of all – its students. I am energized by the staff and students of GCE. I love curriculum design, building courses, and practicing both. I am excited that this model of teaching and learning is growing. I look forward to helping create space for my students and peers to flourish as learners and people.
Hi, I’m Gertjan and I’m from The Netherlands. I grew up in a tiny village close to Leiden, the birthplace of Rembrandt van Rijn. From a young age my big passions were soccer and history. Wherever I go, a football and a book (preferably with a historic theme) are never far away. Allthough I got to be a history teacher, my curiousity is not limited to things that happened a long time ago. I’m curious about almost everything and that’s one of the reasons why I started travelling from the moment I finished high school. My travels brought me all over the world and introduced me to new cultures, languages and people. Now, once again, I left The Netherlands for another adventure. It’s just getting started here in Chicago!
I found the GCE while I was working at Upact, a Dutch peace organization. I worked on educational projects that where all about global citizenship & learning things beyond your own block, city or country. From what I got to see about GCE from The Netherlands, it looked like a fantastic institute with similar goals. Seeing all the cool projects and videos on the website, I wanted to get to know GCE better. Now, during my internship, I’m doing just that.