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Class of 1996
Metropolitan Center for Urban Education at New York University
[Edward F]Whenever Eddie Fergus speaks to high school students, he always discusses the importance of being pushed academically. This is something he says he experienced while studying political science and education at Beloit College.
Eddie became so accustomed to the intellectual curiosity and rigor of Beloit that he says he wouldn’t have been able to attend a graduate school that didn’t also possess those traits.
After Beloit, Eddie went on to earn his master’s degree and Ph.D. in education at the University of Michigan, making him Beloit’s first McNair Scholar to obtain a doctorate.
The goal of the McNair Scholars Program is to increase the number of students in doctoral degree programs who are low-income and first-generation undergraduates. Eddie says the program was beneficial because it gave him the opportunity to conduct research every summer and it also prepared him for graduate school.
Today, Eddie is the deputy director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education at New York University. He loves his job because he gets to do three things he loves: working in schools all the time, collaborating with schools and superintendents on their educational reform efforts, and researching and publishing.
He most recently co-edited, Invisible No More: Understanding the Disenfranchisement of Latino Men and Boys, a book that brings together current research on education, health, criminal justice, mental health, and employment. Invisible No More was heralded for establishing the first empirical basis for addressing problems affecting this segment of the population.
In addition, Eddie has published numerous other articles and books on the topics of disproportionality and educational opportunity, which are interests that extend back to his time at Beloit where he was a student activist, a founder of Voces Latinas, and a key member of the Black Students United.
“Beloit gave me the intellectual space to be a thinker,” Eddie says. “I could explore out loud what I was thinking about and trying to figure out, but I could also live it intrinsically in the classroom and through various clubs on campus.”