School of Education
Childhood Education Major
From the school house to the dance floor, childhood education student Nicholas Wang ’16 is helping make a difference for kids both in and out of the classroom.
Some people take a lifetime to discover their passions and talents, which lead to fulfilling careers. But Nicholas Wang ’16 has known for years. “I wanted to be an elementary school teacher since the first grade—I stuck with it, and found a passion in teaching and educating. I like helping people because I’m able to relate to young individuals,” says the childhood education major. Since he’s come to Pace, Wang has certainly made an impact on campus, academically and socially. He’s made the Dean’s List and is also keeping busy as the vice president of Alpha Phi Delta fraternity, vice president of the Future Educators Association, and a member of the Teacher Opportunity Corps (TOC).
Wang has taken his passion for education and found new ways to channel it; his work with TOC has led to the development of new programming for Pace students. Recently, they put on a series of “TOC Talks” discussing different concepts and how they can be applied to teaching; one such TOC Talk discussed magic in the classroom. “What we did was left it really vague—we had the members discuss what they thought it meant. We got a variety of answers, from magic and performance in the classroom, to finding the magic in students and helping them find their niche and their passions. But ultimately, it was about making those real connections between the teachers and the students.”
Wang is hoping to create some magic in the classroom in other ways. With his art concentration, he hopes he can ensure that his students develop artistically during their classroom experiences. “For example,” says Wang, “I did a lesson on the parts of a leaf and had students use colored pencils to rub an imprint of the leaf onto paper to see the parts more clearly. It was a way where students could use art to visualize what they’re doing, and take ownership of their work.”
His passion for helping children develop and learn also led him to get involved with the Pace4Kids Dance Marathon, as the special events and projects director and a morale dancer, which benefits the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center. The 12-hour marathon raised more than $30,000 for the hospital last year.
“It’s definitely challenging, but one of the coolest things about it is visiting the Children’s Hospital. You walk into the Children’s Hospital and there’s a giant walk-through aquarium, a dollhouse—every wing has a different theme,” he says. “Just to see the facilities, patients, and families that we were helping is amazing.”
Wang has simple advice to freshmen and new students: consider Greek life and get involved on campus. Wang didn’t expect to join a fraternity at Pace himself, but says after connecting with current and alumni brothers, the experience has been a backbone of support for him, with ample opportunities and internships available from alumni members.
“Pace offers a lot of leadership opportunities, but it’s up to individual students to take advantage of those opportunities. There are a lot of chances to evolve, and the connections that Pace has on campus—and outside of campus—are great. But it’s up to the students to take the steps to get them.”