Matthew Collins is a second-year with plans to pursue a degree in Public Policy Studies and Political Science. He was raised in Dublin, Ohio where he attended Dublin Coffman High School. The transition from private to public education and the disparity found among Chicago’s public schools prompted his involvement within the field of education. He believes that Students for Education Reform can have a positive impact on students, teachers, and administrators in the Chicago area. In addition to all things education, Matthew loves U.S. History, twentieth-century literature, and pretending to be good at tennis!
Hannah Amundsen is a second-year majoring in Public Policy Studies. She grew up in the Chicago suburbs and attended Zion-Benton Township High School, a school that had a very diverse student body. That diversity is what initially drew her to the University of Chicago, and consequently, to education reform. Last year, she tutored at the Gary Comer Youth Center through UChicago’s Neighborhood Schools Program and absolutely loved it. Working with the kids made her see the realities of the achievement gap, and she wants to do something to help close it. That’s why she joined SFER! Hannah is really looking forward to SFER’s growth at UChicago.
Daphne Chen is from Hudson, Ohio, and attended Hudson Public Schools for 13 years. She is a second-year tentatively majoring in Public Policy Studies and Economics. Having been interested in education reform since reading “Savage Inequalities” in high school, she joined SFER to learn more about the system of education in Chicago, get involved in reform advocacy, and connect with Chicago-area students. Besides SFER, she is also involved in CUSA, ArtShould, and CCP at UChicago. In her free time, Daphne enjoys looking at pictures of food, making obscure references to Arrested Development, and reading books.
Megan Chen is a second-year at the University of Chicago pursuing a B.A. in Economics and everything from technology to amateur cooking on the side. She is from Columbus, Ohio and attended Dublin City Schools for 13 years. She is interested in education because of her own personal love of learning and is heartbroken over how poorly subjects are taught in schools—especially math! This past year, Megan tutored at the Gary Comer Youth Center, coming face-to-face with the achievement gap and the politics of education. Megan joined SFER in the hopes to ensure that every child has the necessary tools and support to utilize their incredible potential regardless of their socioeconomic background (and maybe even learn some math along the way).
Hamid Bendass is from Winston-Salem, North Carolina and attended public schools in Forsyth County until graduating from West Forsyth High School in 2011. He is a second-year studying Political Science. His interest in public education was sparked when he participated in a public magnet program for gifted children in Forsyth County, which was held inside a low-performing middle school in an impoverished section of Winston-Salem. He noticed the drastically different quality of education he received from the kids on the other side of the hall, and when his parents moved him and his sister to the suburbs so they could be enrolled in a good high school, this question of why educational quality was so much better in one spot than another arose again. He got to engage these questions about public education the summer after his freshman year of college when he got to organize for the Chicago Teachers Union and volunteer for CHANGE, an organizing group in Winston-Salem. In his free time, Hamid likes to play intramural sports, write poetry and has a strong interest in film, international conflict and religion.
Social Media Chair
Jenna Rozelle is from Chicago, Illinois and attended Chicago Public Schools from sixth grade through the end of high school when she graduated from Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, one of the city’s selective enrollment schools. As a second year, Jenna is majoring in Psychology as a “pre-law” student intent on studying Family Law further down the line. She has a very personal connection to education reform particularly in Chicago owing to the fact that both her parents are CPS teachers. After hearing about all the flaws in the system over the dinner table, the lawyer in her came out and she was eager to do something in order to help the situation which is what struck her interest in SFER. While she’s not working for hours on end in her second home, The Reg, she enjoys reading about Disney World, riding trains and watching anything with Steven Spielberg’s name attached to it (but ESPECIALLY Back to the Future).