Allegheny College Student to Attend Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education
Allegheny College senior Gabby Culotta joins a number of Allegheny students who have been accepted into top-tier graduate programs. In Culotta’s case, she will be heading to Massachusetts to pursue a Master of Education at Harvard University.
“After being able to interact with the faculty at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, I found that the entire community is a family,” Culotta says. “They all support each other and engage with each other daily, which reminds me a lot of Allegheny’s community.”
As a history major and education studies minor, Culotta says her experiences as a high school student sparked her interest in education. Having teachers who genuinely cared about the well-being and success of their students played a huge role in her decision to work with kids, she explains.
“I feel that it is very important for students to have someone they are able to go to and confide in when they need it, especially as they are maturing and navigating their way,” Culotta says.
In particular, Culotta seeks to share her passion for history as an educator.
“Fully understanding the past is so important in being able to move forward into the future,” she says. “I want to ensure my students are able to have a full grasp of history so they can fully understand where we as a society have come from.”
According to Assistant Professor of English and Director of Education Studies Susan Slote, Culotta’s performance as a student will make her an excellent teacher.
“Gabby is a great model of an engaged student, classmate, and community member. She brings a depth of commitment to learning that is truly admirable,” Slote says. “She is a leader in class discussions, connecting with both the material and her fellow students. She is also deeply committed to the work of education in society; she embraces the complex questions involved in teaching history in just and equitable ways. I know her own future students will be very lucky to have her as their teacher.”
In addition to her academic achievements, Culotta is a two-sport student-athlete at Allegheny. Starting out as a basketball player, Culotta decided to try out for the soccer team in her senior year. Playing two sports, Culotta says, has given her the opportunity to build extremely close-knit friendships, build her teamwork, and improve her communications skills – all necessary in education as she works with students, parents, and fellow teachers.
Allegheny Women’s Soccer Head Coach Lacey Phillips notes that Culotta quickly asserted herself in the team’s lineup and earned a starting spot as a goalkeeper.
“I quickly gathered that Gabby was one of the most hardworking, determined, and intrinsically motivated individuals that I have had the privilege to coach,” Phillips says. “Aside from her on-the-field contributions, Gabby is compassionate, generous, kind-hearted, and genuine, all qualities that will serve her in becoming an exceptional educator.”
Looking back at her last four years at Allegheny College, Culotta notes that she has grown and matured not only as a student but as a person.
“I think the most prominent way I have matured is in my confidence,” she says. “When I entered Allegheny as a freshman, confidence was something I certainly struggled with. As I have progressed through my time at Allegheny, I’ve had an amazing support system that I’ve been able to lean on in order to grow and build my confidence.”