Part-Time Lecturers enrich the lives of GSE students

Part-time lecturers (PTLs) are an integral part of the GSE community and enrich the lives of our students in many different ways. We are grateful for their many contributions and here we spotlight a PTL from each of our three academic departments.


Dr. William Fernekes felt a commitment to continue to teach upon his retirement in December of 2010 as an administrator and teacher at Hunterdon Central High School after 36 years of service. Thus, in 2012, he joined the GSE family as a PTL in large part due to the fact that as an alum he knew of the high-quality program and very engaged students at Rutgers GSE.

“The faculty led by the Deans of the GSE engender an environment where the exchange of ideas is important and they give you the support you need,” said Dr. Fernekes. “I felt good about becoming a part of the program.”

As part of the Educational Theory, Policy, and Administration department, Dr. Fernekes teaches courses on Global Education, Human Rights and Education, and Analysis of Social Studies Curriculum. “I have a project that I run at Rutgers through Human Rights Educators USA where we have worked to develop a curriculum around human rights,” stated Dr. Fernekes. “Working on that project and seeing my students implement some of those lessons in their classrooms has been very rewarding.” Many of those lessons can also be found on the United Nations’ Education for Justice initiative website.

Dr. Reshma Ramkellawan-Arteaga, a PTL in the Department of Learning and Teaching teaches courses on Urban Education and Grammar for Educators. She is an educational consultant who works with school districts on leadership training, design of instruction, and how to improve best practices, culture, and structures.

“The GSE’s commitment to advancing equity is what drew me to pursue a part-time lecturer role here,” stated Dr. Ramkellawan-Arteaga. “The GSE is committed to improving education for all and GSE courses are grounded in the reality of what education requires of its teachers. There is a true depth of experience for pre-service teachers here.”

The most rewarding aspect of being a PTL for Dr. Ramkellawan-Arteaga is noting a progressive shift in mindset among students so that their thinking about their teaching practice evolves. She also appreciates the commitment of her students to working in urban settings.

Dr. Chonita Spencer received her doctoral degree from the GSE in 1988 and was honored to be asked to serve as a PTL in 2002 when the Educational Psychology Department was looking to design a School Counseling program with CACREP accreditation at the GSE. Dr. Spencer, who had led counseling departments at many school districts has been a wonderful source of support for the program in terms of teaching courses, and sharing her expertise. She has also been instrumental in helping to place students from the program in various school districts.

Dr. Spencer teaches Resources for School Counselors: Program Planning. “Working with students is always a wonderful and exciting challenge. In addition to the coursework, I try to give them a sense of the leadership and service opportunities that they should see themselves in for this noble profession,” stated Dr. Spencer. “The most rewarding aspect of my role as PTL is to see my students pursue successful careers in counseling in the education, healthcare and other fields.”

“The GSE is very grateful to all of our part-time lecturers for their outstanding service to our mission of Advancing Excellence and Equity in Education,” stated GSE Dean Wanda J. Blanchett. “They have had a tremendous impact at the GSE and in the lives of our students!”