Hambacher obtained a bachelor’s in Elementary Education from UF in 2005. After spending a couple of years teaching in South Florida and Japan, she found that she had lingering questions about justice in the context of education, so she returned to UF to pursue a Ph.D. in Curriculum, Teaching and Teacher Education in 2013.
“In my teaching experience and through my own schooling experiences when I was in K-12 schools, I was seeing a lot of things that did not seem right, a lot of inequities that were occurring,” said Hambacher. “I didn’t quite have the language to be able to articulate what those inequities were, and I felt like I needed to go back and get my Ph.D.”
For Hambacher, her education at UF was an integral part of her career. Through rigorous coursework, hands-on faculty and unique opportunities, she was able to prepare herself for a career as a professor and researcher in education.
The most influential aspect was her mentorship, especially from Professor Elizabeth “Buffy” Bondy, who she developed a relationship with as an undergraduate student in her classroom management course. Hambacher’s positive experience with Bondy eventually led her to apply to UF for a Ph.D. and work with her again.
“I would not be in the position that I am today without her mentorship and without her guidance, said Hambacher. “I’m really thankful that I had and continue to have opportunities to work with her.”
Check out Elyse Hambacher’s feature in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education’s January issue here.