Newly Accepted Teach For America Corps Member to Receive $3,000 Grant to Bolster Math and Science Instruction

St. Paul, Minn. – Macalester Senior Derek Ochi has been named one of 100 Amgen Fellows selected from incoming Teach For America corps members with undergraduate degrees in Math and Science. Ochi has been accepted as a 2012 Teach For America corps member and the San Diego native will begin teaching in Los Angeles next fall.

One of the nation’s largest providers of Math and Science teachers, Teach For America is committed to growing the number of effective teachers with relevant backgrounds in those subjects. The Amgen Foundation became Teach For America’s Founding National Math and Science Partner in 2004 and established the Amgen Fellows program to address the urgent need for excellent math and science education in this country, particularly in low-income communities.  Each year, the Amgen Foundation supports 100 new Amgen Fellows who each receive a $1,000 signing bonus and $1,000 each year of their two-year teaching commitment for classroom resources or professional development.

A Biology major concentrating in Public and Global Health, Ochi was selected for his demonstrated commitment to HIV/AIDS prevention education and extensive research experience in areas including aquatic ecology, neuropharmacology, and cancer research. Ochi has also put his science background to work in the Twin Cities community, developing and teaching a nutrition education curriculum for Minneapolis-based non-profit Open Arms to educate students in low-income neighborhoods about healthy eating and where their food comes from.

“Derek’s students will certainly benefit from his expertise in the sciences and his deep commitment to give all students, regardless of their background, an excellent science education,” said Adam Schmidt, Teach For America’s recruitment manager at Macalester. “I’m thrilled to see a growing number of outstanding campus leaders like Derek eager to join the effort to expand educational opportunity for students in our nation’s low-income communities.”

Since Teach For America’s founding in 1990, 100 Macalester graduates have joined the teaching corps, including 10 members of the class of 2011. Teach For America’s final application deadline of the year is coming up on February 10. Interested students are encouraged to attend an information session with Schmidt on Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 7:00 PM in 002 Old Main.

Teach For America is the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates and professionals who commit to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in expanding educational opportunity. Today, more than 9,000 corps members are teaching in 43 regions across the country while nearly 24,000 Teach For America alumni continue working from inside and outside the field of education for the fundamental changes necessary to ensure educational excellence and equity. For more information, visit

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 1,978 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism, and civic engagement.  Learn more at

February 7 2012

Back to top