Jeff Terziev: Spring and Summer 2013 Cohorts

     1. What is your name and alma mater? Which UELIP cohort were you a part of?

My name is Jeff Terziev. I studied Political Science at the University of Miami before getting my Masters of Public Policy at Georgetown, focused on education policy. I did the UELIP program twice – once in the spring of 2013, and once in the summer of 2013.

  1. What is your current position? What does your work entail?

I am a research analyst at Mathematica Policy Research and work on a range of tasks, from helping coordinate projects to conducting reviews of research studies, working with data sets and analyzing data, and writing memos and reports. Mathematica is a research organization dedicated to improving public well-being. I work in our human services division and work mostly on education projects. I am particularly interested in educator quality and how our country can improve the quality of its principals and teachers.

  1. What position were you in as a UELIP? What project(s) did you work on?

In the spring I was a part of an assessments team within the Office of Data and Strategy. I worked on planning for statewide assessments and facilitated training sessions on how to administer tests. In the summer I was part of a teacher recruitment and selection team. I helped run onboarding sessions, analyze teacher data, and conduct research on recruiting staff from teacher preparation programs.

  1. What were your fondest memories from the UELIP program?

Some of my fondest memories from the program involved getting to meet so many intelligent people who had similar passions for improving our nation’s education system. I also greatly enjoyed observing what was really going on in the district and looking at how school district policy was being formed and implemented. Attending the chief chats – and listening to Chancellor Kaya Henderson speak in person – were great experiences.

  1. How does your past experience with the UELIP program inform your work now?

The UELIP program gave me a greater understanding of how school districts function, especially in regards to how they administer assessments and recruit and evaluate teachers. The knowledge I gained through the UELIP program about how districts function has proven invaluable and has allowed me to better contribute to the work I do at Mathematica.

  1. What advice would you give to your past UELIP self?

Being a UELIP is a valuable opportunity to see inside the workings of a school district. I would advise observing things closely and getting as involved as possible. Thinking about a career, I would advise doing as much networking as possible.

  1. What is one important relationship that you formed as a result of your time as a UELIP?

As a UELIP I met two of my better friends in DC, Liz and Elise, who were former UELIPs working on the same floor as me during the summer internship.

  1. In what ways would you like to grow in the next five years?

In addition to interning with DCPS I have also interned with the U.S. Department of Education. I would like to continue to build on the knowledge that I gained interning for both organizations and use those insights about how governmental organizations work and what they do to help improve the quality of education in the U.S., particularly for those less fortunate. I would also like to continue to build my research skills and contribute to the availability of high quality education research that policymakers can use to inform their decisions.


A Day in the Life, 8/12/16

“I spent my summer learning about the Non-Public Unit, which oversees over 600 DCPS students enrolled in private schools because that is what is considered their “least restrictive environment.” I personally worked on a handful of projects these last nine weeks, which ranged from database management and analytics, to streamlining business processes related to school monitoring and student progress, and creating visual representations of school compliance.” -Tithi Patel

“This summer, I’m working on the Career Education team developing a resource guide to improve quality and implementation for career and technical education (CTE) programs across our DCPS high schools. All of our CTE programs equip students with the skills necessary to succeed in postsecondary and beyond. The guide will help Central Office communicate its expectations, priorities, and resources to all of our stakeholders. Working with administrators and teachers has given me a great opportunity to understand the needs of our schools and how to best support them.” -Kenton Shimozaki



Tithi Patel is a UELIP Associate in the Office of Teaching and Learning. Kenton Shimozaki is a UELIP Associate in the Office of College and Career. Together, they organized this summer’s “Day in the Life” posts.

Meet Emily Katz


Hometown: Bethesda, MD

What University do you attend? Undergrad/Grad?

I just graduated from Dickinson College with a double major in Sociology and Policy Management

Why did you choose DCPS?

I’m interested in education policy, and the effects that education can have on students, families, and communities. Although I don’t necessarily see myself becoming a teacher, I’m constantly looking to learn more about different facets of the public education system and educational trends. The opportunity to do that while experiencing how an urban school system functions from the inside was so exciting to me. After hearing a lot about DCPS through growing up in the DC area and interning at a non-profit that works with DCPS last summer, I was also eager to get a different perspective.

What are some of your favorite hobbies?

I love doing any kind of art or craft project, spending time outside with friends, and reading.

If you could be any animal, what would you be? Why?

I would probably be a panda, because they look cute and cuddly but they’re also stronger than people expect.

Meet Anna Wickham


Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

What University do you attend? Undergrad/Grad?

University of Virginia

Why did you choose DCPS?

I study education policy and want to work for a large, urban school district that’s on the frontline of change and progress. DCPS fits the bill perfectly, and has given me real responsibilities in creating even more change and progress.

What are some of your favorite hobbies?

Painting and drawing, running (kind of), cooking, watching trash TV, eating, thrift-shopping, reading.

If you could be any animal, what would you be? Why?

My dog, Buddy Wickham. He’s a beagle, he’s perfect, and he’s living the dream. He pretty much lounges around all day, eats when he wants, and plays outside like three times a day.

Please feel free to share anything else!

Fun fact: I shut down the White House in 2006 (age ten), because they thought I was a security threat. I really just forgot my backpack on a bench outside and they didn’t want to take any chances.

Meet Zack Tripp

Hometown: Land O’ Lakes, FL

What University do you attend? Undergrad/Grad?

I just finished at my undergrad at Tufts University a few months ago, and I will be starting a Master’s program at Vanderbilt in the fall (which will lead to a teacher certification).

Why did you choose DCPS?

I’m interested in teaching in a city (possibly D.C.) after I get my certification. Also I wanted to know what central office work entailed, particularly in D.C since I have learned a fair amount about the recent history of DCPS in my classes.

What are some of your favorite hobbies?

Hiking, ping pong, music, etc.

If you could be any animal, what would you be? Why?

I would be a red panda, because why would you not want to be a red panda?

Meet Tithi Patel


Hometown: Lawrenceville, NJ

What University do you attend? Undergrad/Grad?

I am a rising junior at Georgetown University, studying International Economics and Arabic.

Why did you choose DCPS?

Through my own public school experience, I became passionate about education and have actively pursued different avenues to learn more about the many issues that the field faces. Interning at DCPS was the perfect opportunity to not only work for an innovative district, but it also gave me a chance to learn more about the city in which I now live and study. In particular, as a student from a low-income background and a first-generation American, it is interesting to learn about the efforts being made in targeting specific demographics to help close the achievement gap that is the result of decades of systematic inequity.

What are some of your favorite hobbies?

I like to spend time with my friends, travel to different places, and experience new things. I eat often, nap more than I should, and watch sports so that I can yell at my TV.

If you could be any animal, what would you be? Why?

At this point in my life, I’d like to be an ostrich. They’re so strange and there are some really funny YouTube videos involving ostriches, so at least I know I’d always keep myself entertained.

Nancy Washington: New UELIP Coordinator

By: Nicholas Kram Mendelsohn


Last week I sat down to chat with Nancy Washington, the new program manager of the Urban Education Leadership Internship Program (UELIP), to discuss her career and her hopes for the direction of the UELIP program. Ms. Washington attended the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMass) where she studied psychology. While at UMass, Ms. Washington participated in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, which inspired her desire to improve the lives of children. In her words, “I came to school with no idea what I wanted to do, but discovered a real appreciation of psychology and desire to help young people. After college, I continued my education by pursing a Master’s in Special Education and Teaching from Queen’s College in New York.”

Following school, Ms. Washington knew that she wanted to teach, so she took her talents to the New York City public school system and taught special education. She taught high school and middle school students for five years before deciding that she could be a more effective agent of change in an administrative role. Following this decision, she moved to Washington D.C., and began working with Urban Alliance, an organization that “empowers under-resourced youth to aspire, work, and succeed.”

Ms. Washington described this position as an amazing experience, and noted that she felt “joy…watching the students of the Urban Alliance program develop incredible professional skills before even stepping foot in college.” She added, “I actually see some of my former Urban Alliance interns passing our office every day on their way to their internships, and love to see them continuing in their professional development.” Ms. Washington then became the Director of Alumni Services for Urban Alliance, where she worked hard to increase the number of scholarships and grants accessible to Urban Alliance alumni participants.

She recently joined DCPS as the School District Internship Coordinator. “This has been a great experience, and it’s only been a few weeks,” Ms. Washington said. When asked about what she enjoyed about the 2016 UELIP Summer Cohort, Ms. Washington said, “I just love seeing how professional you all are. You all hold yourselves with such poise, and are doing such exciting important work.” In response to how she would like to see the UELIP program develop in the future, Ms. Washington responded, “I hope to see some resources and initiatives created to increase the demographic pool of young people passionate about education to have access to this unique and important internship experience”

Ms. Washington’s dedication to improving the UELIP program was clear throughout the interview, with Ms. Washington frequently taking time to ask questions about how I was personally enjoying the UELIP program and what I would want to see improved. “I want to hear from you all,” she said. “It’s important for me to have as many conversations with UELIPs as possible, because you all have the best understanding of what works and what can be improved in the program.” Ms. Washington’s passion for improving the lives of children was evident throughout, and I was honored to have the chance to chat with her. We are all happy to welcome Ms. Washington to DCPS, and cannot wait to see the direction the UELIP experience takes under her stewardship.