Nancy Chicola, associate professor and chair of the Elementary Education and Reading Department, has committed her life to education—first teaching in elementary and middle school classrooms, then educating the next generation of teachers. Along with sharing her knowledge, Chicola demonstrates her ongoing commitment to the profession by contributing to Buffalo State’s annual Faculty and Staff Appeal.
The appeal funnels dedicated dollars from faculty and staff members into numerous scholarships and departmental funds through one-time gifts and payroll deductions.
“We have a rich history of teacher education here at Buffalo State,” said Chicola, who chose the latter method. “I would like to maintain that,”
Her contributions support student research and travel, an opportunity she would like more education students to have. Through the Professional Development School Consortium, several elementary education teacher candidates traveled to Zambia and Chile last year to work alongside educators there. It was so rewarding that Chicola is working to expand the program into other countries.
Despite the rich background such an experience provides, international travel is not a possibility for many students due to financial constraints. As it is, a number of students are holding down full-time jobs while carrying a full load of classes, Chicola said. And she understands how challenging that particular equation is, having balanced full-time work with school while earning her bachelor’s degree at Buffalo State (then called the New York State College for Teachers at Buffalo) in the mid-1960s.
“It’s not easy,” she said.
What has been easy is contributing to the Faculty and Staff Appeal every year through payroll deduction, which enables contributors to spread their gifts over the year.
“It’s like giving to yourself,” Chicola said of giving to her department’s fund. “Anything we can do to enhance the profession and the future of the profession, enhances our own position as educators.”