Meet Christina Dedrick, Summer ’17 UELIP


DCPS Office: Office of Teaching and Learning
Education: Rising Senior at American University
Program of Study/Major: Psychology & Education
Hometown: Belle Mead, New Jersey

I’ve really started to gather a huge passion for education, but hadn’t had much practical experience outside of the classroom. Going into this summer, I really wanted to immerse myself in a school environment and learn about how DCPS functions, especially because I want to teach one day!

I’m currently working on site with the Kelly Miller Middle School in Northeast DC. My main project is to not only revamp their current Staff/Faculty handbook for the 2017-2018 school year, but to construct a new website for their school, as well as construct a Canvas page where the principal can communicate important information with all staff members. A typical day at Kelly Miller really varies–a lot of the time, I’m behind the front desk in the Main Office answering various phone calls while working on the Canvas webpage. I’ve also gotten the opportunity to observe various classes, and even meet with (and shadow) the School Psychologist, because I am considering going into that field! I really enjoy the fact that each day has something new for me, and that it’s very on-the-fly. It keeps me on my toes and keeps me excited to come into KMMS everyday!

I have strengthened my multitasking skills a lot! I’ve also picked up some basic coding and website design, as I didn’t have very much experience at all when I started the UELIP Program. It’s been extremely useful and rewarding, especially because code has always interested me.

I really do want to be in the classroom, and enjoy being in a school setting. I thought that it would be a bit overwhelming, but I really do enjoy getting to interact with so many new people. Also, I’ve picked up a neat classroom management trick: if a student is misbehaving and needs to be sent out of class, there is a teacher who sends them out into the hallway with an ice cube in a container to ‘chill out’. The student is then allowed back into the classroom when the ice cube has melted, which gives them time to reflect on their behavior. I might use that trick, because after graduation next May, I’m planning on joining the Teach for America Corps and teaching for a few years.

Meet Rita Hagos, Summer ’17 UELIP


DCPS Office: Office of the Chief of Staff, Resource Allocation
Education: Rising Junior at William and Mary
Program of Study/Major: Public Policy and Economics
Hometown: Arlington, Virginia

I’m passionate about education and interested to see how DCPS, an innovative school district functions. I want to be a part of improving the education system. My research project this summer consists of finding the best practices around planning, purchasing, storing, and distributing office supplies. My project consists of speaking with points of contact of each office and asking them how they purchase supplies within their respective offices. Compiling this information for each office will help me to evaluate current purchasing systems and to provide recommendations on best practices moving forward.

Typically, I am attending meetings with points of contact for my research project during the workday. I am also working on mini-projects such as tech labeling, helping out with a classification audit, and editing chief reports.

Besides strengthening my writing and communication skills in a real professional work setting, I’ve become more comfortable with Microsoft Excel and Outlook. I’ve learned the acronyms for each office, and one of the first things I picked up is that COB means “close of business” and that POC means “point/person of contact.” Recently, I learned that FTE stands for “full time employee.”

Summer 2017 Cohort: At a Glance

Introducing the Summer 2017 UELIP Cohort

Where we study….wordcloud-e1498225421547.jpg

Where we’re from…uelipstates

What we’re aspiring to do…

uelipcareersLiterature we love…

The Book Thief
The Pedestrian
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
The Kite Runner
Catcher in the Rye
Ender’s Game
Still I Rise
The American Street
Prince of Tides
Death of a Salesman
The Bluest Eye
Pride and Prejudice
The Lives of Animals
Harry Potter Series
To Kill a Mockingbird
Nine Short Stories
The Little Prince
The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Pride and Prejudice
Book of Mormon
Kite Runner
Half of the Yellow Sun
Where’d You Go Bernadette?
Things Fall Apart

A few of the causes we care about…

Accessible pre-K education
Animal Rights
Children’s health
Closing the achievement gap
College and career readiness
Educational Equity
Ending mass incarceration
Equity in resource distribution
Foreign language learning
Funding the arts
Gifted and talented education
LGBT rights
Mental health
Race relations
Refugee aid
Social Justice
Special Olympics
Universal healthcare

What color was the dress, UELIPs?

                                                   Consensus: Blue & Black 
By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use,

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.