Georgia College honors graduate pursues career in education reform
By Jen Pirkle
Sam Rauschenberg, '07, Georgia College honors graduate and economics major, wants to change education policy.
After three years of teaching math at Clark High School in Louisiana's Recovery School District, Rauschenberg gained a solid foundation in teaching through the teachNOLA Fellows Program and a real understanding of the shortcomings of public education policies.
"My time in New Orleans opened my eyes to the challenges facing education reform," said Rauschenberg. "Without compromising standards, I had to figure out a way to teach 11th grade math to students who entered my class somewhere between fourth and 10th grade reading and math levels."
This experience was exactly what he needed before starting his graduate work in education policy this fall at Duke University.
"I chose Duke because it has the strongest faculty with research that focuses on education policy," said Rauschenberg. "I'm pursuing a two-year master's in public policy with a concentration in social policy. My primary focus within the area, though, will be education policy. I hope to write my thesis on the post-Katrina public education system in New Orleans."
The national organization of Phi Kappa Phi awarded Rauschenberg with a graduate fellowship to study at Duke.
While attending Georgia College, Rauschenberg maintained a 4.0 GPA. He was also a member of the GC Golf team, earned recognition as a Phi Kappa Phi honor graduate, a Department of Economics and Finance honors graduate, and the J. Whitney Bunting College of Business Student of the Year.
Dr. Ben Scafidi, Rauschenberg’s former economics professor and mentor at Georgia College, has full confidence that Rauschenberg will be a success in his chosen field.
"In his bones, Sam believes education is the key to eradicating poverty and improving lives," said Scafidi. "Having served the last two Georgia governors in the area of education policy, I can state with some authority that Sam will become very influential in the policy arena. He has the intellect, the drive and the passion to do so."
Rauschenberg hopes to become an education policy adviser to an elected official or serve as a policy analyst for a nonprofit organization.
"A policymaking career will give me the opportunity to use my experiences at Clark and my firsthand observations of the post-Katrina education reforms to find ways that will improve public education as a whole.