Student Spotlight: Nour Gemayel | Orlando, FL

Hello! I am Nour Gemayel, living in Orlando, Florida.

I graduated from the University of Central Florida, class of 2011, with a Bachelor in Political Science –International Relations Degree. I spent the following year living in Boston, MA trying to enter the humanitarian-aid field. After a year of difficult chase, I knew it was time to make way for another career so I could have two avenues to rely on instead of one. “Avenue Two” was not a difficult realization because I had subbed in elementary schools during my school breaks for years and had loved the experience. The question was: Where do I study?

Desiring to apply for a “top” master of education program, I looked at many U.S. schools, but USC Rossier School of Education just stood out. I wouldn’t fully come to appreciate why until June of 2012 when classes began.

Being an online student was something I was very much NOT planning to do. After hours of phone calls with (the very patient and kind) USC admissions counselors, I was convinced that I could receive a state of the art education from California without leaving Orlando. I was right!

The more the year goes on, the more I appreciate the depth and energy of the Master of Arts in Teaching program. I was expecting to learn about being a 21st century teacher. I am. Along with how to read, write, analyze, describe, explain, make decisions, manage time, speak to people, and understand people. Looking back on the first semester completed, I have no regrets — just expectations met and surpassed.

Once I graduate from USC, I hope to teach in an elementary school. In the future I hope to take my teaching abroad. I also hope to utilize my background in education for an aid organization.

But for now, I am happy to be here — in an online program where I have made friends with people across the country who support me and who I support; under the guidance of the most professional and passionate professors I have ever had; and engaging in a process that helps me grow and develop every day!

A little more about myself: In my spare time, I’m always up for some Latin dancing, painting and being with my beloved family and friends. I am of Lebanese descent but was born in Paris, France and have lived in Europe (France, Switzerland, Portugal) and in the United States (N.J., M.A., F.L., O.H.). I speak French, English, and Spanish.

Since preschool, I have attended many schools, in many environments. I know a good teacher can impact students on a variety of levels, because I know how much my own teachers helped me adjust to each new home. I am grateful that USC Rossier’s MAT program does wholesome justice to the sociocultural experience of the student, as well as the academic experience.