We are thrilled to announce our Graider of the Month, Micah Clark Moody. Micah is a freshman at the University of Chicago. In addition to taking classes for her economics and history double-major, Micah serves as a teaching assistant at a Chicago Public School near campus and works part-time as a Graider. She has had an incredible impact on students and teachers, and we are excited to share more about our April award winner below.
About Our April Award Winner
What is something that people wouldn't know about you from your resume?
I really enjoy hiking, running and being outdoors. My family’s favorite vacation is a roadtrip to national parks and over the years I’ve visited 20! My brother has developed a whole plan of how to get to all of them. Since I am a runner, I am thrilled it’s spring in Chicago. I’m enjoying being on the lakefront and the beautiful Hyde Park neighborhood.
I am interested in lots of things, so I am very “undergraduate”! Monetary policy and law have always fascinated me. This summer I’ll be interning at the Columbus Legal Aid Society and the Ohio Criminal Sentencing commission (I am from Columbus, Ohio). I will be working on a research project on the opioid crisis. I’ll study how intervention in lieu of conviction laws, which offer treatment as an alternative to jail, are currently being applied. The hope is to inform future policy so that more people are channeled into treatment instead of into jail.
There are a lot of areas of society that I see the need for policy change, but I’m not sure which one my career will focus on. Throughout my undergraduate program, I am looking for opportunities to intern in offices and schools where I can build relationships with the people who are doing the work in their day-to-day lives. I think this will give me essential insight into which specific field I want to focus on after I graduate.
If you could change one thing about how classrooms work, what would it be?
That’s a big question! For education policy, it’s equity and funding. Certainly, the relationship between property tax and school funding is very challenging. In classrooms, I think building emotional trust between students and teachers can be really difficult. Observing teachers and volunteering in the classroom, I have observed some teachers balance building trusting relationships with classroom discipline. I want to learn how to bend towards safety and openness, creating healthy, constructive relationships with students.
What are some things you’re looking forward to do at U of C?
The classes are the biggest thing I’m looking forward to. A friend recommended a series of classes on the history of monetary policy covering the relationship between the central bank and our nation's history. For my history classes, I’m interested in taking a sequence on colonization. It covers various places and their indigenous culture, then how colonization affected those cultures, and finally how their modern day societies are still affected by colonization.
What is your favorite part of being a Graider?
It’s really fun when I get a properly fantastic essay, usually one or two per class. I love learning something new from their writing! This usually happens as I'm reading for the contextualization point on an AP history assignment. Students sometimes make a connection that is really creative and not one I'd thought of before. I also love when I can identify something, for example, evidence from beyond the documents, or a stronger thesis structure, that if implemented, will really help all the students across the board. I feel like that is really valuable feedback for the teacher. Usually these insights are from my own AP experience in high school; as a Graider, I’m often regurgitating Mr. Hecker’s best advice!
We are proud of you and the impact your work has on students and teachers across the country. Special congratulations to Mr. Hecker for his far-reaching impact as an educator - you should be proud, too!