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January 18, 2007
DH 07 JH08
Contact: Joanie Harmon-Whetmore
Graduate of Dominguez Hills Teacher Education Program Named Rhodes Scholar
Carson, CA - Genevieve Quist (Class of ’06, Teaching Credential in Multiple Subjects) was named a 2007
Rhodes Scholar, one of 32 individuals in the United States chosen for this international honor,
based on her high academic achievement, personal integrity, and leadership potential. Quist
will study at Oxford University in England this October, pursuing a Master of Philosophy degree
in Comparative Social Policy.
A 6th grade English and social studies teacher at Charles Drew Middle School in South
Los Angeles, Quist began her teaching career through Teach For America. The national organization
attracts outstanding recent graduates from all disciplines and provides the opportunity to spend
two years teaching in urban and rural public schools. As an undergraduate at Cornell University,
she worked on several research studies on poverty and its psychosocial and environmental consequences
for children, and was moved by the conditions that she observed.
“Poverty cannot be truly reduced by only focusing on one aspect of it,” she says. “Policy and
education are key factors, and improvements in these areas must work in conjunction with other
areas, including housing and health care.”
Quist, who participated in a 12-month credential program, says she benefited most from assistant
professor of teacher education Jeff Miller’s course on educational psychology and associate professor
of teacher education James Cantor's courses involving the incorporation of art and music into the curriculum.
“These classes helped me understand education in a more holistic sense,” she points out.
Putting what she learned in Cantor’s classes to use, Quist underscores the importance of a “well-rounded
“High quality education challenges kids to tap into their talents and potential in a variety of contexts,”
she says. “It helps mold complete human beings, capable of using their imaginations and exercising critical
thinking skills in a variety of situations. Teaching to only one part of a child's performance does not allow
cultivation of all the other valuable parts of that child's mind and heart.”
As a teacher in the LAUSD, Quist herself makes efforts to supplement what she brings to her students in
the classroom with several volunteer activities, including after-school tutoring, taking students snowboarding
during their off-track, and involvement in an art enrichment program for students at Drew and Angel’s Gate
Academy, a program for at-risk girls.
“Kids living in low-income neighborhoods and attending low-income schools do not typically have the same
access to the types of enrichment programs offered to suburban kids,” she says. “These programs give me the
opportunity to interact with kids outside a traditional school setting. This results in closer relationships with the kids, creating a better classroom environment after those extracurricular activities
Quist points out that “safe, creative outlets for expression” are almost non-existent in many urban school
systems due to the lack of music and art programs.
“Schools should help encourage kids to think critically and be creative,” she states. “Extracurricular programs
are pivotal in this process because they help provide kids with new experiences and opportunities to learn.”
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