posted November 6, 2017 - written by Molly Rutter, SOE Graduate Assistant
Chelsey Nabozny transferred to Buffalo State during her first year as a college student. She was drawn to Buffalo State’s reputation as a teacher’s college, affordable tuition, and location in the heart of the Elmwood Village. While sad to leave friends from Canisius, Nabozny quickly found her groove and a stellar group of new friends - both peers and professionals who genuinely believed and encouraged her to be her best – through the English Education program at Buffalo State. The move ended up being one of her smartest decisions.
Buffalo State has many opportunities for students to get involved for networking, peer advisement and professional development. Nabozny worked as a graduate assistant for the English Education department and helped to organize events, bring high school students to campus, and visit area high schools. She found financial support through the Graduate Student Association to attend several national conferences and joined the English Education Student Association (EESA), which she said made a huge difference in her career.
“EESA allowed me to stay connected to my cohort and grow as a professional even after I graduated. The group’s close affiliation to WNYNET (Western New York Network of English Teachers) gave me the opportunity to network, attend workshops, and connect with veteran teachers before I was even in the classroom.”
Nabozny particularly enjoyed her graduate work at Buffalo State and found that many peers with which she interacted, courses she took, and professors she had were memorable and influential toward her career. A professor that was especially significant to Nabozny was James Cercone, assistant professor of English and English Education Coordinator, who she said gave her the tools to be a successful teacher.
“My master’s program was absolutely phenomenal and I really believe that what I learned over those two years have allowed me to grow into the teacher I am today. Dr. Cercone is by far the most influential mentor I’ve had. He lives and breathes his pedagogy – he doesn’t just teach it. We still keep in close contact and I am incredibly grateful for his continuous support!”
Nabozny chose to pursue a degree in English Education because she loved to read and write, but she quickly realized that she enjoyed the act of teaching teenagers much more than the content itself. Now a 10th grade English and Honors teacher at Williamsville South High School, Nabozny is motivated to help teenagers find their voice and feel empowered.
“Teenagers are brilliant if you just give them the space to show you. They are thoughtful, reflective, smart, and critical – THEY are the best part of the job! Giving kids a space to read, write, and think about the world is one of the most important things we can do for them in our world today,” she said.
Nabozny is still very involved at Buffalo State, having returned to campus several times to speak to student teachers and graduate classes. She even brought her 11th grade honors class to a graduate course for teachers.
“They were able to ask each other questions, about the profession, the kind of work kids enjoy doing, etc. It was amazing.”
She has also attended and presented at several WNYNET conferences and assisted with the Digital Writing Workshop held at Buffalo State during the summer. She also taught a Humanities course at a local area high school, through Buffalo State.
“I joke with the English department that ‘all roads lead to Buffalo State.’ Once you’re in, you’re always coming back! Because of Buffalo State, I can change the world.”
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