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VCU Globe students get real

VCU Globe students share their REAL experiences

Three VCU Globe students recently shared how VCU's REAL (Relevant, Experiential and Applied Learning) experiences not only shaped them but helped them connect, create and contribute. 

By: VCU University Public Affairs


Name: Julissa Martinez
Major: Music education
Experience: Student teaching

A passionate clarinetist who is committed to providing a positive, safe space for children to learn about and develop a love for music, Julissa Martinez spent the spring 2021 semester virtually student teaching. At an elementary school, she danced, sang, and taught music and rhythm reading, recorder and ukulele. At a middle school, she taught orchestra and band, including some lessons in Spanish, her first language. This allowed her to connect with students who would normally struggle in the usual English-only education setting. Through learning to teach in a virtual classroom, she was also able to explore music technology, and sound and video editing. She helped her middle school students create music recruitment videos in English and Spanish and produce a virtual concert. In the fall, she will start a job as the band director at Carver Middle School in Chester, Virginia.

Read Julissa's full story



Michael Portillo

Name: Michael Portillo
Major: Economics
Experience: National economics team challenge

A VCU team of undergraduates led by Michael Portillo was one of six finalists (out of 85 participating colleges) in the 2020 College Fed Challenge the premier competition for undergraduate economists across the country. Portillo and his team analyzed how COVID-19 has affected the U.S. economy, presented a monetary policy recommendation to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and participated in a question-and-answer session with senior economists at the Fed. For their hard work, VCU’s team was awarded an honorable mention.

Read Michael's full story 




Mehwish Safdar

Name: Mehwish Safdar
Major: Psychology
Experience: Work-study position

Mehwish Safdar worked in the VCU Transfer Center as an e-portfolio consultant for students planning to transfer from community colleges into arts and humanities fields at VCU. She created a model e-portfolio, made tutorial videos on creating e-portfolios and met virtually with approximately 50 students to help them plan and create their own. She supported them in a student-centered environment, offered advice when needed, helped students discover their own voices and showcase their skills and talents.

Read Mehwish's full story