University of Washington senior and Renton, WA, native Dustin Dacuan was recently named one of 25 fellows selected through a competitive process for the Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color. As a fellow, Dacuan will receive a $30,000 stipend to complete a master’s degree in education, preparation to teach in a high-need public school, support throughout a three-year teaching commitment, and guidance toward teaching certification. Fellows were nominated by one of the program’s 48 nominating institutions and 29 graduate education programs.
Dacuan will graduate from college this spring with a major in international studies and a minor in diversity. He has researched second-generation advantage theory in immigrant Chinese-American families and communities, studied multiculturalism and public health on a study abroad in the UK, and was initiated into the Mortarboard Honor Society.
Dacuan has contributed to and participated in many education-oriented programs. He is an active student leader in the Dream Project, a student-run, student-initiated organization that partners college students with low-income and first-generation high school students to assist them through the college admissions process. Dacuan was a high school student in the Dream Project and then joined the group as a UW undergraduate. He mentored students at his alma mater, Renton High School, as well as several other schools, and has served as a high school lead, steering committee member, and high school lead manager. Dacuan credits his involvement with the Dream Project and the students he’s worked with as key to his interest in a career in education.
“I was in disbelief when I found out I got the fellowship,” recalls Dustin. “I got the email right after I got out of class one afternoon and then I called my family right away and they were very proud of me. I feel really blessed to have this opportunity.”
In addition to the Dream Project, Dacuan spent a spring break in Omak, WA, working with students on creative writing projects through the Pipeline Project’s Alternative Spring Break program; he has educated Pacific Islander middle school students about the benefits of higher education; and he has served as a Freshman Interest Group leader, helping UW freshmen transition successfully into the university.
Beyond his UW pursuits, Dacuan is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and is a cellist for the St. Paul Parish choir.
Dacuan hopes to attend graduate school at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. After earning a master’s in teaching, he would like to teach language arts in middle or high school.
Established in 1992 by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color were created to help recruit, support, and retain individuals of color as public education teachers and administrators. Since the program’s inception, it has awarded nearly $8 million in grants and financial assistance to 400 Fellows. In January 2009, RBF transferred the program to the Woodrow Wilson Foundation following a national review of potential host organizations.
The University of Washington was selected as an institutional partner for Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color in 2010 because of our impressive record of success in preparing excellent teachers for the nation’s urban and rural schools.
“The Foundation is pleased to add this impressive group of young and promising teachers to its national network of outstanding teachers and scholars,” said Bill Dandridge, program officer and director of the WW-RBF Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color. “Their desire to serve children in the nation’s most challenging schools and communities is an important reason to be hopeful about the future of our public schools.”
The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation identifies and develops the best minds for the nation’s most important challenges. In these areas of challenge, the Foundation awards fellowships to enrich human resources, works to improve public policy, and assists organizations and institutions in enhancing practice in the U.S. and abroad.
Founded in 1940, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund encourages social change that contributes to a more just sustainable, and peaceful world. The RBF’s grantmaking is organized around three themes: Democratic Practice, Sustainable Development, and Peace and Security, and three pivotal places: New York City, Western Balkans, and Southern China.
Housed within Undergraduate Academic Affairs, the Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards helps UW undergraduates develop the tools and personal insights necessary to match their goals with local and national merit-based scholarship opportunities. National scholarship opportunities include the Fulbright, Goldwater, Marshall, Rhodes, Truman, and many others.
The UW College of Education is ranked in the top ten of all public and private colleges of education in the nation. The College offers several areas of study for undergraduate and graduate degrees in education.
Learn more about the Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color and see a complete list of the 2012 fellows.