For senior Danny Gullion, the road to an undergraduate education wasn’t a typical one.
“In high school, I never really thought about going to college,” he said. Coming from a family of union painters, the Revere native was happy to follow in their footsteps.
Despite enjoying his work, the draw of the classroom experience and a love of history convinced him to pursue a bachelor’s degree after several years in the workforce. From his first year at Bunker Hill Community College to evening and day classes at Salem State, he excelled in the classroom and discovered a desire to share his love of teaching with high school students.
After graduation this May, he begins a teaching fellowship with City on a Hill in Boston, an award-winning charter school for underserved students. As part of his fellowship, Gullion will complete his master’s of education degree at Boston University with a significant reduction in tuition.
While balancing full-time work with evening classes for years was a challenge, Salem State’s faculty were there every step of the way.
“The professors here are amazing,” he said. Courses with Donna Seger, Bethany Jay and Andrew Darien helped inspire his continued interest and success. “They really helped me fall in love with history. They are great mentors who are always trying to help you out.”
Gullion excelled in the classroom and was inducted into the Phi Alpha Theta honor society in history. Uncertain of his career path, he tried a few education courses and discovered a passion for teaching.
“Jose Salgado opened my eyes to teaching in a different way… he focuses on student-centered classrooms where students are the ones actively doing the work. I don’t want to be a teacher who just stands at the front and lectures.” His education courses helped him craft a lesson plan about the art, architecture and innovation of the Renaissance that caught the eye of the City on a Hill faculty.
Gullion encourages new students to overcome their hesitation to engage with faculty members. “They’re so helpful if you go after class and talk with them. They’re willing to take one-on-one time with you,” he said.
While his undergraduate experience may not have followed a traditional path, it seems that Gullion’s academic career is just beginning.