A great fit

She grew up in Alaska, but Megan Hoke knew TU was the only place to study for an early childhood education degree.

Megan Hoke

Megan Hoke is more than 3,500 miles away from home but the College of Education senior is never out of her comfort zone.

Whether she’s in front of a class “where students do not look like me,” or literally maneuvering the fast lane on the Baltimore’s beltway, Hoke fits right in.

She hails from Kotzebue, Alaska, a village of 3,000 people 33 miles above the Arctic circle, one completely off the road system.

But Hoke was never off road when it came to a profession. ”I knew I wanted to be a teacher since middle school,” says the early childhood education major and winner of TU’s Provost Scholarship. Her mom, a kindergarten teacher, is her inspiration. “She is extremely patient and has a way of explaining things to help kids understand,” Hoke explains.

“ During my college search, I googled top schools for teachers and TU popped right up. ”

Megan Hoke

“During my college search, I googled top schools for teachers and TU popped right up,” says Hoke, who was valedictorian of her high school. After a virtual visit and knowing friends and family lived on the East Coast, she packed her bags and moved to Maryland.

 “I had to quickly adjust to highways and aggressive drivers,” she admits, but was amused when TU closed for “icy” conditions. “I went to school in a blizzard,” she says.

Any adjustments to the fast-paced culture were mediated by the warm and welcoming guidance from professors and staff in the Department of Early Childhood Education, including Assistant Professor Sara Hooks and lecturer Gweneth Mahoney. And her experience in front of the classroom in Baltimore City made her feel right at home.  

“The class at Moravia Park Elementary was 100 percent African American,” she says, “but the demographic at home was 95 percent Alaskan native. I’m pretty comfortable being where I don’t mirror the ethnicity of everyone else. That’s what I grew up with. I concentrate on building relationships.”

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