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“Lafayette has provided me with a wonderful experience. I have been able to take many risks that have allowed me to grow as a person, in every aspect,” says Jeremy Weinstein, a senior government and law major from Stamford, Conn., and a graduate of King Low-Heywood Thomas School. “This project was a nice foundation for my future plans. Teaching is a wonderful feeling.”

Jeremy Weinstein pursued an independent study last term that had a direct impact on both his college career and his aspirations for a future career as a teacher. Weinstein team-taught a distinctive First-Year Seminar called “Why People Are Poor: U.S. and Global Perspectives” with Mary P. Beckman, associate professor of economics and business.

“We guided the class toward a better understanding of homelessness and poverty in the United States and the world,” says Weinstein. Beckman says the experience helped Weinstein improve as a teacher and as a student.

“Jeremy and I put together essays and exams,” she says. “We led lectures, discussions, and small groups. He worked on his teaching skills, but he improved as a student, as well. He really developed his understanding of the material by teaching it.”

Students in the class were required to do at least two hours of community service each week. Weinstein organized and participated in a program called Midnight Run in which the class and other members of the Lafayette community made and delivered sandwiches to homeless people in New York City.

“I was able to combine my volunteering passions with my desire to teach,” he says. “Having the opportunity to educate others on these issues is very important to me.”

He is a former coordinator of the Kids in the Community program, one of more than 25 programs of sustained voluntary service that Lafayette students conduct annually under the auspices of the College’s Landis Community Outreach Center.

Despite having strong leadership skills, Weinstein initially wondered whether the students in the seminar would accept him as a teacher.

“I wasn’t sure if they would be receptive to having a peer as one of their teachers,” he says, “but that challenge, or rather fear, was quickly overcome. They were very receptive. There was a lot of mutual respect.” That came as no surprise to Beckman, who says, “Jeremy is a natural leader and has a nice manner with the students.”

For Weinstein, who plans to become a college professor, the independent study offered great practical experience.

“This project was a nice foundation for my future plans,” he says. “I am grateful to have had such a unique experience. Teaching is a wonderful feeling. I feel a lot more confident about speaking in front of a group, and I’m able to organize my ideas much more clearly and concisely.”

Weinstein is also grateful for the mentoring and overall education he receives at Lafayette.

“Dr. Beckman truly seeks to enhance the student’s learning experience,” he says. “She epitomizes what a true educator should be.

“Lafayette has provided me with a wonderful experience. I have been able to take many risks in my college career that have allowed me to grow as a person, in every aspect,” he continues. “I think the independent study program is a wonderful and useful tool that allows students to focus on a specific subject in a different and unique manner. The amount of knowledge a student acquires with classroom and hands-on learning is enormous.”

Another Side of Jeremy

He is a member of the executive board of the Kirby Government and Law Society and president of Delta Upsilon fraternity.

Categorized in: Academic News