Isabel Cuervo completed her second year as a GK-12 graduate teaching fellow and received her doctorate in Environmental Psychology program at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her dissertation research was on the key actors' meanings of home and habitat in a state-sponsored low-income housing development in Bogota, Colombia and how these meanings are related to local housing, neighborhood and community building practices. Several years after obtaining a B.A. in Architecture from Barnard College, she discovered this field in which she could explore how people experience the interrelationship between physical and social environments.
Isabel developed her Authentic Research Module (ARM) at the Health Professions and Human Services High School in Manhattan in a Science Research course. Students are challenged to undertake independent research studies and enter science competitions. As a former CUNY Writing Fellow, she was immersed in Writing Across the Curriculum pedagogy. She integrates techniques to improve critical thinking and writing skills as she teaches aspects of her qualitative research. Her experience in the CUNY Middle Grades Initiative/ GEAR UP program also helps to couch her teaching in a college preparation perspective. Isabel hopes that students' will utilize their physical and social environments as catalysts for their research projects and integrate qualitative research methodology to broaden their understanding of science and their research skills set. As a New York City native, she attended public elementary and secondary schools.