On member of the Curry School of Education Class of 2012 has proven both his commitment to excellence and service during his tenure here. Kevin Hessberg will graduate on May 20 with a Ph.D. in Social Foundations.
Hessberg immediately plugged into the student governing body at the Curry School. He ultimately served as president of the Education Council, Curry’s student government, from 2010-11. His service as president was during a time of transition for the Curry School as it opened a new building and saw the retirement of long-time U.Va. president, John T. Casteen.
In April, 2011, Kevin Hessberg was selected as one of five recipients of a dissertation-year fellowship awarded by the University’s Faculty Senate. Hessberg used his $25,000 to assist him in this last year of doctoral work.
The fellowships reward graduate students whose teaching at U.Va. has been extraordinary, even as they maintain a record of excellence in their research. Each fellowship consists of funding for the final year of doctoral work, including tuition, fees, health insurance and a stipend.
“Kevin is an excellent teacher, a stellar researcher, and a great person to work with,” says Curry Associate Professor Stephanie van Hover, Hessberg’s advisor. “He’s served the Curry School in numerous capacities, worked as a university supervisor mentoring teacher education students, taught two classes for the social studies program, all while taking classes and working as a research assistant on two evaluation projects.”
“Everything Kevin does is of the highest quality,” continues van Hover. “He’s beloved by his students. And he’s collegial, and fun to work with. I can’t speak highly enough of Kevin and his contributions to the social studies program.”
In the early spring of 2012, Hessberg was contacted by the publishers of the US News & World Report. They were looking for five graduate students, each from a different graduate school with differing areas of study, to offer thoughts on why they selected their graduate school.
In the article, Graduate Students Explain Why They Picked Their Schools, Hessberg brags about the Grounds at UVA and the rigor of academic excellence at Curry.
Why I Picked University of Virginia Curry School of Education
Kevin Hessberg, fourth-year Ph.D. candidate
After one walk around “Grounds,” I was already imagining myself at the University of Virginia. The tradition, beauty, and academic reputation of the university were just a few factors that prompted me to enter the Master of Teaching program at the University of Virginia Curry School of Education. I graduated and taught social studies for several years.
Now I am back, pursuing a doctorate in social studies education. I have stretched myself at U.Va. more than I imagined possible, through challenging coursework and leadership opportunities. Mostly, I picked U.Va. because of the people. With their support I’ve been able to teach graduate courses and publish research, preparing for a career in higher education.