Grad Spotlight: Rebecca Stortz


Graduate Spotlight: Rebecca Stortz

NameRebecca Stortz

Age: 45

Course of Study (degree being earned)Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Learning & Teaching 

Hometown: Duluth, MN

I'm a reader and a writer first, but I love teaching and helping aspiring teachers to develop the skills that will make them successful in their own classrooms. 

Why did you choose UTSA?

I earned my master's degree in 2006 and loved the program. When I decided to go back to school for my Ph.D., I knew UTSA was the place for me.

What was your favorite class and/or who was your favorite professor and why?

Dr. Miriam Martinez, my advisor and dissertation chair, has been such an inspiration for me. She is kind, tough, and smart, the kind of professor I want to be when I grow up.

What would you say is the most important thing you’ve learned over the course of your studies?

How to persevere. Earning a doctorate is a lot of work, and it would have been easy to quit. Only through pure stubbornness and determination have I been able to complete it.

Describe any organizations or activities within COEHD that you’ve participated in.

Poetry 101, where we make poetry fun for young people; literacy symposiums, where we offer professional development for pre- and in-service teachers; and research nights, where we share our work with others.

What are some professional experiences or internship opportunities you have had?

By far, the most rewarding experiences have been the opportunity to travel with the university to present at conferences or be a part of research studies has been the most rewarding. I was able to go to Santiago, Chile on a research trip that will have an impact on me for the rest of my life.

What is your fondest memory of your time at UTSA?

Sitting in the cubicles with my cohort members, sharing and learning together. 

How has COVID impacted you, either personally or professionally?

I miss the face-to-face interaction of working with my students. Zoom is just not the same.

What are your plans for the future and/or your career?

I want to work in an educator preparation program at a university. 

What has brought you inspiration during this time? i.e. Music, books, people, etc.

The hope that we will once again be able to spend time in person with each other.

You’ve been given the opportunity to have coffee with any notable figure from your field, alive or dead. Who is it, and what does each of you order?

I'd like to meet Maurice Sendak, the author of my favorite children's book Where the Wild Things Are. I feel like we'd have a nice glass of wine, though, instead of coffee.

 Congratulations to all of our 2021 COEHD graduates! See more COEHD graduate spotlights here 

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