Interviewed By: Joanne Choi

Meet Joey Eisman, a second-year master’s student in the Cognitive Science in Education program and one of our incredible TC Student Ambassadors. Joey recently spoke with us about his experiences at TC and living in New York City.

What were you doing prior to enrolling at TC?

Before I came to TC, I was focused on helping improve the leadership of and managing the global network for an international youth organization. I would travel with teenagers to international locations and help run programs. I was primarily focused on considering the management perspective as well as how to create community with my students. 

Why did you choose the Cognitive Science in Education program at TC?

Part of my desire to come back to school after having a career was to utilize my interest in education and my background in neuroscience. I chose the Cognitive Science in Education program because I am interested in the cognitive capacities and competencies of my students and in the way that people think.

What are some of your goals after you graduate?

I am applying to doctoral programs, so I am looking to use this degree not only to help improve my ability as a practitioner, but to learn how to be a better teacher. I am also very interested in the academic space, specifically around measurement and evaluation. I want to make sure that what I’m taking into my classrooms or educational environments is impactful, correct and features proper intervention measures that I should be using. 

How would you describe your classmates and the student body at TC?

The TC student body is one that is engaged, and people here have a passion and a drive. They’re prepared to lead, which is a beautiful sentiment to what people are actually looking to do because it allows us to believe that we can create the impact that we want to create. Students want to help each other in big ways. Surprisingly, I find the culture to be not competitive, but helpful.

Have you attended any particularly memorable events while attending TC?

The most memorable event was helping put on the Media and Social Change Lab’s podcast last year and bringing it together in a big way. MASCLab is a lab at TC examining the relationship between social change and media. It was this really amazing event to see the lab showcase our work in the form of podcasts and multimedia. It was impactful to participate in the event and see how it came together. 

What tips would you offer students moving to the city from distant places who are looking for housing?

I would tell new students not to be afraid of the housing market and to keep looking because there are tons of options, and while things go fast, options are always available. I found my place off campus through Facebook. Living in a 30-block radius around the Columbia University area is a nice option. North Harlem, South Harlem, and the Upper West Side are great areas. The Office of Residential Services is also a great resource for students. 

Where is your favorite place to study on campus? Where is your #1 spot for food and coffee?

Second floor of Gottesman Libraries or the collaboration space at TC, one hundred percent. I spend my overwhelming majority of time there. I go to Butler Library every so often. For food and coffee, Max Caffe on 121st Street and Amsterdam Avenue, across the street from the School of Social Work, is an awesome little place with great food. There’s also Massawa, the Ethiopian place across from Whittier Hall, which just opened up.

What advice or tips would you give to prospective students?

Know your deadlines. Look into the professors. Students should make sure that the coursework and faculty align with their degree as well as career and academic interests. They should consider where they want to go in the future and how faculty will help get them there. They should be asking the following questions: Why you? Why us? Why now? Where’s the fit? I think it’s really important to recognize what TC can offer before coming here. Look at the opportunities outside of your classes because this school offers so much.

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