Featured Alumni

Amanda Ellis

Amanda EllisDegree/Graduation year: B.S., Elementary and Special Education, 2004; M.A., Curriculum and Instruction, 2007
Current Employer: Dunlap school District #323, Wilder-Waite Elementary School
Title: Special education teacher and learning intervention specialist

Walking on Bradley's campus for the first time was all it took for me to feel welcome and 'at home.' I loved the proximity of the buildings to the dorms, the campus to the community, and the campus to my hometown. Bradley offers the feeling of an elite and prestigious university in the details of the buildings (I love the gargoyles!) to the plans of study for any of their programs and the array of activities available to participate in.

My four years as an undergraduate were an amazing experience. I truly felt that I was engaged in the Bradley Experience. My coursework and learning were my main priority, but I was also engaged in other experiences that brought my education to life and taught me other important skills. As a tour guide in the admissions office, I was able to interact with professionals and prospective students as well as gain valuable professional skills that have helped me in my job as a teacher. I met my husband at Bradley through one of the many activities that are available on campus. We constantly recall our time at Bradley with fondness and wonderful memories.

Becoming a teacher education student will prompt you to become a life-long learner. Your learning will not stop at the end of your academic career at Bradley. The faculty is supportive of continuous education and improvement both in your undergraduate and graduate studies. My advice is to accept opportunities to work with students, in the schools, or abroad whenever they arise.

Kevin Emmons

Kevin EmmonsDegree/Year: M.A. Education, 2008
Current Employer: Clarkston High School in Clarkston, Mich.
Title: Engineering and AP chemistry teacher, district subject coordinator for career and technical education

I absolutely love my job. It’s the best place I’ve ever taught. The faculty are top-notch and really work together as a team. Bradley’s education program is very strong, not just in theory but in application theory. Professors taught us what we ought to know as educators, but also made sure we practiced those skills. Getting into schools as an observer at early ages really helped. The faculty at Bradley know their stuff and are well-respected across the nation.

I enjoyed the Master’s program even more than the undergrad. The faculty encouraged us to try things we hadn’t before, and they pushed us out of our comfort zone. They really got us interested in different theories and aspects of learning that we hadn’t pursued before. They were very supportive of getting us into the community and sharing our work. I feel like I have a really strong sense of curriculum knowledge and theory and know how to relate to kids. Thanks to my Bradley experience, I’m not afraid to try new things and I’m not afraid to fail.

Gena Stack

Gena StackDegree/Year: M.A., Curriculum and Instruction, 2008
Current Employer: Southern Illinois University—Carbondale
Title: Coordinator of conference services for university housing

I started as an assistant resident adviser at Bradley in the fall of 2000 and was on the residential life staff the rest of the time I was on campus. I served as a resident assistant, an assistant hall director, and a hall director. Those experiences absolutely prepared me for the work I do in university housing now. I like my job a lot.  I think the best part is the people I get to work with. I’m in conference services, so I work with a lot of different departments at SIU.

My degrees were in education, and while that’s not the field I’m in per se, I definitely use my Bradley education every day. In particular, I find myself going back to the things I learned in grad school, especially assessment in higher education and learning outcomes.

Kelly Kauffmann

Kelly KauffmannDegree/Year: M.A., Curriculum and Instruction, 2009
Current Employer: Monroe School District #70, Peoria, IL
Title: First grade teacher

Bradley was the number one pick for me.  It had everything I was looking for in a university: small class sizes, caring faculty, and a tremendous reputation.  It allowed me an opportunity to grow as an educator and an individual, and the lessons I learned here go well beyond textbooks.  They are applied in my classroom daily.  I treat each student as an individual, just as the faculty at Bradley treated me. 

The Bradley Teacher Education program strongly encourages utilizing multi-modalities in the classroom during instruction, not just the old adage, “Do as I say”.  This type of varied instruction is vital when working with young children.  Children learn best when the material is presented through various methodologies, while utilizing visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic instruction.  Bradley definitely encouraged “hands-on” teaching and allowed numerous opportunities to practice these skills with classmates. 

My daughter will be attending college in two years, and I hope she selects Bradley as the university to make a positive impact on her life, just as it did mine.