In front of students, families, and colleagues during Family Weekend on October 22, science faculty member Dr. Emma Mitchell was awarded the Anastasia Payne Rooke ’48 Chair in Science, Math, and Technology in recognition of her distinguished performance in the classroom and for her contributions to the life of the School.
Dr. Mitchell was recognized for the extraordinary impact she has made on this community. “Emma’s constant effort to pursue professional development to better herself as a teacher has always impressed me,” says a colleague. “She is generous sharing what she has learned with her colleagues. Her supportive manner with students encourages them to take risks and try things they might not succeed at. Most importantly, she shows up. She models that for all of us. She supports students wherever they are in their academic and athletic pursuits.”
Dr. Emma Mitchell has served the Walker’s community since 2016. She has taught all levels of Physics and this year has been integrating coding and computational modeling into her Physics courses. She also teaches Astronomy, leads Middle School Robotics, and is facilitating a new coding seminar in partnership with the Connecticut Science Center. Emma serves on the Cluett Dorm Team and in years past, has served as the Head of Smith Dorm and also coached volleyball. She has worked as a STEAM specialist for our summer Horizons program. Emma has also helped to lead the White Anti-Racist Educators group at Walker’s. From academics to residential life, to athletics, after-school programming, summer enrichment, social justice work, faculty learning, and community baking, Emma has contributed to all aspects of the Walker’s community.
A 2009 graduate of Vassar College, Emma went on to earn her Ph.D. in applied physics at the University of Virginia in 2016. Her Ph.D. research was in laboratory astrophysics and astrochemistry. As a graduate student, she was awarded fellowships by both the NASA Earth and Space Science Program and the NASA Virginia Space Grant Consortium.
The Anastasia Payne Rooke ’48 Chair in Science, Math, and Technology is awarded for a three-year term and was established at The Ethel Walker School in 1998 by Will and Stacie Rooke under the auspices of the Withington Foundation. It serves as a tangible representation of the School’s recognition of the importance of providing the highest quality education for young women in science, math, and technology and to acknowledge in a profound way Stacie Rooke’s passionate regard for the value of a Walker’s education for young women.