George Kabango Fellows 2019


Peter LaMear

The Children’s School at Stephens College

I teach in the open elementary classroom of the Children’s School, the laboratory school of Stephen’s College in Columbia, Missouri. I am currently researching teacher well-being with a team at the University of Missouri. My scholarly interests include psychoanalysis, creativity, learning, learning to teach, and depictions of teachers in narrative and documentary film. Previously, I have worked as an English and math teacher in public schools in Chicago, Illinois; Chelsea, Massachusetts; and Fulton, Missouri. I have trained teachers with Harvard Teacher Fellows, developed an integrated ESOL/Know Your Rights curriculum with Boston College’s Center for Human Rights, and taught sections at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. I hold degrees from St. John’s College and Harvard University.


Charlie Ohayon

Office for Students with Disabilities, McGill University

I am an access services advisor in the Office for Students with Disabilities at McGill University. In my current position, my professional and research interests focus on student success in the areas of student stress, academic motivation, self-determination, and well-being. I strive to provide applicable programs and educational research with the goal of bridging the gap between researchers, practitioners, and students. Prior to working at McGill, I completed my Master’s degree in Inclusive Education. My professional passion is student well-being and finding alternative strategies to help students succeed in their academic journey. During summer 2018, I had the opportunity to write a unique lens theory paper and decided to use a philosophical lens to examine student well-being. Reflecting on my research and work experience, I want to learn more ways of using a philosophical approach in education for mental health and teaching practices. I believe that philosophers have given us a timeless wealth of knowledge and I am hopeful that this conference will continue to inspire me and others to bring philosophy into modern practice.


Yibing Quek

Department of Philosophy & Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

Originally from Singapore, I am a second-year doctoral student in Philosophy and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. I previously obtained an M.A. degree from the same program (2012). In between completing my master’s and commencing my Ph.D. studies, I became certified as a high school teacher, and taught in a community youth leadership school in Singapore for three years. At the school, I oversaw its efforts in citizenship education programming – an experience which brought me to the Ministry of Education in Singapore for a two-year stint. At the ministry, I designed and facilitated professional development workshops for educators, and led curriculum and policy projects. A notable project was a year-long review of Singapore’s citizenship education curriculum. Now returning to graduate work at Teachers College, I relish all opportunities to further my studies in philosophy and education. My research interests include the areas of ethics, social and political philosophy, and global citizenship and human rights education. Apart from my graduate work, I hold a doctoral research fellowship at the Office of International Affairs where I research the field of higher education internationalization. I received my BA in Biochemistry from Cambridge University (UK), and my Post-Graduate Diploma in Education (PDGE) from the National Institute of Education (Singapore).


Tomas Rocha

Department of Philosophy & Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

I am a doctoral candidate in the Philosophy & Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to doctoral studies, I worked at the Mind & Life Institute, where I helped create and facilitate a contemplative-based professional development program for teachers. I also served in a neuropsychology lab at the Brown University Medical School researching the effects of mindfulness-based practices on students at varying grade levels. Though I locate my current research within the philosophy of education, I draw from work in ethics, epistemology, social and political philosophy, Buddhist philosophy, and Latin American philosophy. My dissertation offers a cosmopolitan account of the use of contemplative practices in education. It argues that contemplation is an important educational good insofar as it allows us to inquire into and act in light of democratic, egalitarian ideals. Besides dissertation writing, I currently serve on the coordinating committee and the editorial collective of the Latin American Philosophy of Education Society (LAPES), the Executive Board of the North Eastern Philosophy of Education Society (NEPES) and teach part-time at Fordham University. I hold an MPhil in Politics, Development, and Democratic Education from the University of Cambridge and a BA in Education Studies from Brown.