Adjunct Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Mathangi Subramanian, CCTE ProgramBy mst • Apr 16th, 2012 • Category: Communication, Media, and Learning Technologies Design
Dr. Mathangi Subramanian, an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Communication, Computing and Technology (CCTE) in Education program, teaching TV and the Development of Youth, and have taught Human and Social Dimensions of Peace. She is also a Teachers College graduate of the CCTE doctoral program, Ed.D. 2010, where Professor Lalitha Vasudevan and Professor Ellen Meier were her advisors. Professor. Subramanian is a Senior Policy Analyst, in the policy division within the New York City Council.
By the time Prof. Subramanian was ten years old she had lived in four different states; in fact she has lived in New York the longest, thus far eight years and counting.
In her senior year at Brown University, Prof. Subramanian decided to begin a career in education, she taught as a public school science teacher in the Teach for America program. “I really really, loved teaching.” She taught on the border of Mexico for a couple years, then moved to New York City to teach and was a founding staff member of Pace High School in the City of New York. “During my third year of teaching I decided that I wanted to create more change than I could in the classroom.” She has always enjoyed writing and being creative, so the communication and education program at Teachers College looked appealing. “It seemed liked a great way to think of education more broadly it wasn’t just a classroom, it was using a TV show to reach a lot of children.” Prof. Subramanian began her Teachers College experience as a master’s student, and later transferred to the doctoral program. During this period she has worked for Sesame Workshop in the Department of International Education, Research and Outreach, focusing on early childhood education. “Fundamentally getting an early childhood education is the most important thing you can do to help kids succeed.”
Prof. Subramanian is interested in doing something that would change the world. “Education seemed like a great way to create change.” Her family is full of radical and progressive people. Her grandmother on her mother’s side was one of the first female doctors in India, and she did a lot of community organizing and developed several early childhood education programs. Her grandfather on her father’s side was very active in the India Independence Movement. Her parents were also politically active. She is the child of Indian immigrants, obtaining an education was part of her American Dream.
She became interested in education because she saw how it changed her life, and came to realize some children do not have the opportunities that she was afforded as a child.
As a child she wanted to become a writer and veterinarian, her love for animals sparked her interest in science. She studied science when she attended college, and earned a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry for Brown University in 2002.
She developed a real sense of community at Teachers College when she a graduate student through mentorship and scholarship. Furthermore, her teaching at TC is shaped by her interest, her experience as a secondary educator, her current employment in policy, and her experiences and inquisitive nature as a former graduate student.
Prof. Subramanian’s research interests are immigration education and gender and feminism. She is currently editing a volume on immigration education and policy. Her dissertation title was Brown Enough: Technology, Media, and Ethnic Identity Development in the Lives of South Asian American Young Women.
She annually attends and presents at the Comparative International Education Society Conference, some of her most recent presentation topics are a paper on The Aunty Effect: Girls, Gossip, and Growing Up Brown, 2011, and a speaker on Social Mobilization to Sustain Children’s Literary panel, 2010.
She is a board member of a non-profit organization called the South Asian Women Creative Collective. The mission is to support south Asian female artist. Last year she curated a variety of events, such as literary festivals, fund raising events, and a host of political events.
In her spare time she writes children stories that are published in magazines, she has an article coming out in April 2012 in Skipping Stones Magazine, titled Just Like Home. Prof. Subramanian is active in the community and very passionate about her work.
By Deiana Jackson, Graduate Student, Mathematics Education Ed.D.