Meet our Residents: Melissa Noel


Hometown: San Juan, Puerto Rico

Before UTR: Prior to joining UTR, Melissa was a postdoctoral researcher working on mechanisms of neuronal degeneration in fetal alcohol syndrome at The Rockefeller University. She obtained a PhD in neurobiology and genetics in 2009. Throughout graduate school, Melissa tutored and mentored students from high need schools in biology. She thought these experiences were always incredibly rewarding and really fun. After having worked for many years behind the bench, Melissa became interested in teaching science. She’s excited to bring her research background into the classroom and motivate her students to love science.

"I chose to join UTR because I specifically wanted to work with students from high need schools. The UTR program was immediately appealing to me because they provide a thorough and intense hands-on experience that is supported by a mentorship with an experienced teacher and the countless resources available to us at New Visions. Also, I was drawn to Hunter College because of their reputation in generating excellent teachers."

Residency Year: Melissa spent her residency year teaching high school biology at Collegiate Institute of Math and Science in the Bronx.

Melissa is teaching at Bronx Bridges Academy.


Hometown: Floral Park, New York

Before UTR: Alicia worked at El Museo del Barrio in East Harlem as an administrative assistant in the Operations Department. She had become interested in education and teaching because of two summers she spent in college as a Teaching Assistant for an enrichment program for high school students. It was after working with those students that Alicia knew that she wanted to teach.

"I sought out alternative certification programs that would quickly have me working in my chosen profession. UTR, as opposed to other programs, provided that opportunity in a supportive environment with a mentor that would prepare me for success as a teacher."

Residency Year: Alicia spent her residency year teaching Special Education at the Academy for Careers in Television and Film in Long Island City, Queens.

Alicia is teaching Special Educaiton at the Academy for Careers in Television and Film.


Hometown: Owings Mills, Maryland

Before UTR: Hilary graduated from Georgetown University in 2008 with a degree in English and began working at a youth development nonprofit called DC SCORES, which provides after-school soccer and poetry programming to elementary and middle school students in DC. She taught poetry to a group of fourth and fifth graders, organized poetry workshops across the city, and helped run an arts and soccer summer camp. She also worked for a translation services company.

"As an English major, I was frequently asked if I was going to be a teacher. It seemed like people thought that teaching was one of the only careers for English majors. After I moved to New York, though, I started thinking more about what teachers actually do and how important education is to me. Ultimately, I realized that teaching is a wonderful fit for my personality, and the social justice aspects of teaching align strongly with my values. I am highly motivated by the opportunities I will have to develop positive relationships with youth and encourage high academic achievement."

Residency year: Hilary spent her residency year teaching high school English at Hillcrest High School in Queens.

Hilary is teaching English at the High School for Telecommunication Arts and Technology.

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