Paria Harirsaz wearing a graduation cap and gown standing in front of a tree

Student Spotlight: Paria Harirsaz, M.Ed. Social Foundations

Pursuing an M.Ed. in Social Foundations from UVA allowed Paria to explore her interest in education with faculty and courses that challenged her to think creatively and critically. Now, she is set to graduate and begin a teaching career.

Laura Hoxworth

Q: What first sparked your interest in studying education?

My interest in education was first sparked when I started coaching competitive cheerleading at the age of 19. I felt like my calling was giving kids a safe space where they could practice what they love while having positive role models to guide them.

Q: Why did you choose to enroll in the Social Foundations M.Ed. program at UVA?

I chose to enroll in the Social Foundations M.Ed. program at UVA for multiple reasons: the prestige of the UVA name, the flexibility with remote education, which allowed me to join the program from California, and the courses and professors involved in the program.

Q: If you had to choose one thing that has had the greatest impact on you during your time at UVA so far, what would that be?

I really enjoyed the courses that took me a bit out of my comfort zone, such as Trauma Sensitive Classroom and Behavior Management in the Classroom. These challenged me to think creatively and critically, which is exactly why I chose this program to begin with.

Q: What will you be doing after graduation?

After graduating, I have secured a position as a middle school social sciences teacher and will be starting my teaching career.

Q: How do you think your M.Ed. experience will help you in your future career?

My M.Ed. experience has already helped me exponentially. From how I approach the children I coach, to the ideas I am able to give in interviews, I'm excited to apply all the material I've learned at UVA into my work with students.

Q: What advice would you give to someone considering applying to the Social Foundations program?

If you are considering applying to the Social Foundations program, my advice would be to really demonstrate why you are passionate about education and working in a school setting. The professors want to see that students care about what they are learning and have high aspirations with where they will take the lessons learned.

Lastly, I'd like to add that it was a gift to be able to receive an education at UVA. The M.Ed. in Educational Psychology- Social Foundations was convenient, challenging, and inspiring.

Social Foundations M.Ed.

Learn more about UVA EHD's Master of Education in Educational Psychology - Social Foundations program.

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Laura Hoxworth