Katharine Covino, Education
“The program at UMass Lowell is unique in its combination of study, research & practice.”
Pursuing a Ph.D. in education with a focus in language arts and literacy, Katharine Covino has enjoyed her courses thus far. Of her choice to study at the university, she says, “The program offered at UMass Lowell is unique in its combination of study, research and practice. My initial interest was cemented once I starting communicating with Dr. (Jay) Simmons. His thoughtful answers to my questions helped me decide that UMass Lowell was the right fit for me.”
Before beginning her doctoral work, Covino logged many hours in the classroom as a middle and high school English teacher in Austin, Texas. “From my first day teaching, I felt that I was making a difference,” she says. Covino completed her Master’s at night, balancing the challenges of working full-time with her own education and family life.
Despite her love of classroom teaching, Covino always felt drawn to doctoral study. “I think the program at UMass Lowell is the perfect marriage of my two passions – teaching and literature.” Following her admittance, Covino was named a University Fellow, an award given to the highest-ranked doctoral students.
Covino quickly immersed herself in the program.
Soon after her acceptance, she began work as a teaching assistant. Supporting students and faculty in the Education department, she served as co-instructor for Curriculum and Instruction in English. She also helped to create and implement a pilot seminar designed to support TAs in their use of best practices.
In spring 2011, Covino acted as a supervisor to graduate students engaged in student-teaching. “It is so rewarding when I see past students become teachers in their own classrooms,” she says. “I know I’m doing something that’s important and needed.” She also designed and taught an MTEL seminar to aid students taking the Communication and Literacy test. And, somehow, she finds time to devote as an officer to the GSE GSO.
Covino continued her own coursework in fall 2012, while also working as an adjunct in the FYSH program (First Year Seminar in Honors) – a weekly seminar for freshmen. She hopes to offer the MTEL seminar in the future, and to continue her role as a mentor to new teachers. “I’m excited for each chance I get to teach at UMass Lowell,” she says. “Each group of students is so unique and dynamic; each class presents me with new opportunities to grow and evolve as an instructor.”