Elizabeth Gil, Ph.D., GSE educational leadership assistant professor, acknowledges it is challenging to teach in the current environment, especially when trying to develop and maintain relationships with students and foster community. Yet she is quick to point out that there are clear benefits, too. Gil notes, “Remote tools can help us to include those who might not be able to join classes and meetings in person.” She added, “This context also pushes us to stretch and grow as we consider how best to support and engage our students in ways we have not before, or to build on approaches we have begun to enact or have wanted to.”
As a researcher, Gil focuses on the sociocultural contexts of education. Her interests include understanding the experiences of diverse families in schools, leadership and teaching for serving culturally and linguistically diverse student populations, and community engaged scholarship. She has also published articles and book chapters investigating leadership in community spaces, and how educational leaders can learn from effective practices in these spaces.
Her attraction to working at Fordham is the university’s emphasis on cura personalis, or care of the whole person, which aligns with Gil’s values. She appreciates that the structure of the GSE’s educational leadership programs is designed to serve students so that they can make a timely impact in their own educational practices, regardless of learning environment. Gil also emphasizes, “With supports such as the Center for Educational Partnerships, the GSE is a place where I can continue to grow as a community-engaged scholar.”
Gil’s interest in teaching as a career began in her kindergarten classroom as a five-year-old. She had a positive experience; and then and there, she decided she wanted to be a teacher. Throughout Gil’s years of schooling, the desire to teach remained. She eventually became a New York City public school teacher, a role in which she served for more than 13 years before returning to graduate school to pursue a doctoral degree and become a university professor.