Carole Olshan ’63, MA ’72 well remembers her days at Hunter, studying to become a teacher. “You were a Hunter girl,” she says. “That gave you a sense of pride, it gave you a voice.”
In recognition of that formative experience, and in an effort to ensure that today’s students in Hunter’s School of Education continue to receive the best teacher training possible, Olshan, a member of the Hunter College Foundation Board of Trustees – together with her husband, Mort, and their children, Michael and Andrea – has made a $1,100,000 gift to establish the Olshan Professorship of Clinical Practice in the School of Education.
Hunter is conducting a national search to fill this prestigious position. Our goal is to find a truly exceptional scholar/practitioner. “It’s been an honor having Carole on the Board of Trustees for many years,” says President Jennifer J. Raab. “During that time I’ve also gotten to know her entire family, which is distinguished as much for its dedication to philanthropy as for its success in business. Mort, of course, is one of New York’s great civic leaders, and Michael and Andrea are already following in his footsteps.”
The Olshan Professor, holder of the first named chair in the School of Education’s history, will expand the school’s development of clinical programs and spearhead research on the skills and practices used by high-performing K-12 teachers. He or she will also analyze the methods used in the United States to recruit, train, evaluate and compensate teachers.
These findings will be shared not only with schools in the New York City Department of Education, but also through scholarly papers, professional colloquia and public lectures, enabling the Olshan Professor to have a national impact on teacher preparation programs at departments of education across the country.
“The Olshan Professor of Clinical Practice will signal – inside and outside the school – that we put the clinical preparation of future teachers at the heart of our mission,” says David Steiner, Dean of the School of Education. “The holder of this chair will direct an entirely new office of clinical preparation that will work to ensure that our student teachers all receive truly rigorous field preparation in the multiple skills they will need to be highly effective teachers in the classrooms of New York.”
Carole Olshan was an elementary school teacher in East Harlem for 16 years, and she remains a passionate advocate for the teaching profession and for Hunter’s School of Education, which, she says, “literally made me who I am today.” She adds, “It gave me a profession, it gave me a feeling of value. I’d wanted to be a teacher since third grade, and Hunter College gave me the wherewithal to pursue my dream.”