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STEM pattern

STEM pattern

Martha Downer-Assaf

Recruiting Coordinator, STEM Teaching Fellows

Born in New Orleans and raised in Ohio, Martha is a graduate of Catholic elementary and high schools in Dayton, Ohio. This provided her with a sound foundation academically, a meaningful understanding of social justice, and an appreciation of service above self. Martha attended college in upstate New York, graduating with honors from Union College. Her first jobs were teaching high school math in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. She headed back to the classroom as a student, earning her masters degree in economics from the School of Arts and Science at the University of Virginia. Utilizing economic models to study educational policies, Martha completed her PhD at the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia. 
After completing her graduate work, she returned to the classroom working as a mathematics teacher and college counselor. When her family moved to the Philadelphia area she taught graduate students at Arcadia University and Chestnut Hill College in their schools of education. In Atlanta she carried out research and evaluation at the Atlanta Speech School and ran a summer program at Pace Academy for youth from underserved neighborhoods. Additionally, she has taught courses at Clark Atlanta University focusing on research and the economics of educational equity. 
Martha is a fourth generation educator. Her oldest son is also a teacher and a double Domer, a Notre Dame graduate who earned his maters as a member of ACE 24. Martha and her husband, who is a school administrator, have five sons and three dogs. Three of her five children are Notre Dame graduates and the other two are in the pipeline.


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