Marina Soares Duarte Silveira '23

Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education, M.Ed.

Why did you choose UNH?

I am from Brazil. I lived in the United States for the first time in 2018 because my mother came to do part of her doctorate as a visiting scholar at UNH. When we came, I tried to make the most of the experience I had with her, building my network and thinking about my professional future, since both of us, like my grandmother, are part of the same teaching area. The UNH campus caught my attention for its charm, especially in my favorite season which is autumn. All the people were always very welcoming which motivated me to want to return to UNH.

How did you choose your program?

I have a degree in English, but since graduation I have worked as a bilingual teacher for children in my hometown. This was the motivating factor to pursue a master's degree in early childhood education. The differential happened during the years of profession, where I could feel in practice the need for work better targeted to children with special needs and that was the idea of adopting dual certification.

What do enjoy about your program?

Every week that goes by during classes it feels like I'm living a dream. Whenever I get off the bus and see Thompson Hall, I can't believe I managed to do this, even at such a young age. In addition to all the beauty and charm that the campus has, I love being able to delve deeper into the area of early childhood education, having amazing teachers supporting and guiding me, such as Dr. Humphreys, Dr. Cho and Dr. Wharton-McDonald -- experts in the field of early childhood education.

What do you enjoy about being in the College of Liberal Arts?

Being part of COLA means being part of a place where we can deal with diversity on a daily basis, meet people from different cultures and feel empathy through interpersonal relationships with other students, employees and teachers.

Describe any standout learning experience you've undertaken.

Being at UNH is already a great experience, as I am an international student, but I believe that two courses marked me a lot in the last year. The first, the course with Professor Elizabeth Humphreys, where we were able to discuss and reflect on our role as a professional who deals directly with children with special needs, and the other was the literacy course, where we had an internship opportunity in a public school. This experience changed me, as well as all the advice and support offered by Professor Ruth Wharton-McDonald, who is fantastic at everything she does.

Are you involved in any groups, clubs or organizations?

I am currently part of the Global Leadership Experience, where I can interact with people from different cultures and regions of the world and learn a little more from each of them.

How is COLA preparing you for career and professional success?

Upon completing my master's, I will feel able to offer the necessary support in the learning process for children, especially those with special needs. And in addition to that, I can see myself doing office work, because the experience as a graduate assistant has also given me this new look at the administrative career, focused on education.

What are your post-graduation plans at this point?

I would very much like to have more work experience here in the U.S. after graduating. I can see that I still need this, before starting my Ph.D.

What is the one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?

A curiosity of mine that I like to share is that, besides the fact that me, my mother and my grandmother all work in the education area with a degree in English, I have already published two books, in Portuguese. Chronicle books, which I started writing when I was 15.