I decided to be a teacher because I realized that in this profession I could combine two of my passions: working with people and communities, and science.”

Hallie’s Story

Teaching Discipline


Why Science

“Physics tries to tackle some of the most fundamental questions in the universe by searching for the most elegant and simplest patterns and explanations.  This brings with it the thrill of solving complex problems, and a humbling but exciting awareness of just how much is still unknown.”

Professional Experience

As an undergraduate student, Hallie completed several internships, including one that allowed her to live and work in Mt. Rainier National Park as a member of an invasive species control crew. Through other internships, she organized “Know Your Rights” community forums with Latinos Progresando, a Chicago immigrant rights organization, and worked in the Chicago Mayor’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Following graduation from the University of Chicago, Hallie worked as Benefits Coordinator at the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry and West Suburban P.A.D.S. shelter in Oak Park and Maywood, Ill., for two years. In this position, she assisted 35–45 clients with applying for public benefits. She also coordinated the food pantry’s transition to a SalesForce-based database, including developing and administering client surveys, conducting volunteer training, and managing data and reports. It was in this role that she decided to pursue teaching as a profession.

To prepare for the transition, she enrolled in graduate studies in physics and education at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). While at UIC, she worked as a Teaching Assistant and a Research Assistant. The latter allowed her to get involved in research on heavy ion nuclear physics. During summer 2015, she’ll work in a control room at the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator.

Volunteer Experience

While studying abroad in Barcelona, Hallie got her first taste of teaching when she led English conversation groups in a middle school and taught math in a women’s prison.

After finishing her undergraduate studies, Hallie served as a resident volunteer at Su Casa, a Catholic Worker house that provides shelter to homeless Spanish-speaking families, for two years. Through this position, she lived on site with approximately 30 community members and worked to sustain the house on donated food and supplies.


Hallie enjoys running, reading, listening to music, and biking around Chicago.

Academic Background

  • University of Illinois at Chicago (Master of Education in Secondary Science Education)
  • University of Illinois at Chicago (Master of Science in Physics)
  • University of Chicago (Bachelor of Science in Political Science)