EMPA Student at NYU Wagner Wins Bammy Award

Kindly take a bow, Takiema Bunche Smith! A student in NYU Wagner’s EMPA program for Public Service Leaders, she is the winner of a Bammy Award for outstanding achievement in the field of education.

Ms. Smith is among 25 educators and education professionals who received a Bammy Award statuette presented in Los Angeles on Sept. 27 by the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences. Among the presenters and honorees were Gary E. Knell, CEO of National Geographic; former West Virginia Governor Bob Wise, president, Alliance for Excellent Education; Timothy P. Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics; and the executive directors of several of the leading national education associations.

The Bammy Awards is a cross-discipline honor that identifies and acknowledges the extraordinary work being done across the entire education field every day. The awards were created to help reverse the negative national narrative that dominates the education field, and in recognition of the collaborative nature of education. The awards are organized by the BAM Radio Network.

Ms. Smith is enrolled in NYU Wagner’s Executive program for Public Service Leaders. She is the Vice President of Education and Outreach at Brooklyn Kindergarten Society (BKS), overseeing educational programming and outreach initiatives at five preschools located in low-income neighborhoods in Brooklyn, NY. In a variety of venues, she fosters individual and organizational understandings of the connections between high-quality preschool educational experiences and larger education and social policy issues, particularly related to poverty and equity.

She is also involved in various advocacy efforts related to early childhood care and education funding and policy. She has held various jobs throughout her career in education, including classroom teacher, teacher educator, content director for Sesame Street, and director of curriculum and instruction.