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William Buchanan ’01


William Buchanan ’01

billy buchananBilly Buchanan ’01 (Hope Essential School) graduated from Berklee College of Music with a B.M. in Jazz Composition. While on deployment with the U.S. Army in Iraq, he enrolled in distance learning courses offered by TUI University, completed an M.A. in Teaching and Instruction, and began work on a Ph.D. in K-12 Educational Leadership. Now back in Rhode Island, he has just completed a second master’s degree in Urban Education Policy at Brown University, where he is an Urban Education Fellow. His Ph.D. dissertation is underway.

Billy is passionate about music education and is determined to help improve access to learning opportunities for students in the public schools. “I knew the program at Brown would give me the knowledge and experience to help school districts and nonprofit organizations develop their capacity to support students in their educational pursuits,” he says. “Being selected as an Urban Education Fellow reinforced my belief that I would gain the additional skills and knowledge required to make the system better for students in the schools now and for future generations. Working on the dissertation is one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced,” he adds, “but knowing that I am working on research that no one else has attempted before makes it worth it.”

When Billy thinks about his experience as a Crusader, he remembers people who offered him help when he needed it most. He is especially grateful to Charles Mahoney for offering ongoing mentoring and good advice, and to Jonathan Flynn, who helped him locate computer equipment required for his courses at Berklee.

While he’s not writing, researching, and analyzing data for his dissertation, Billy manages to find a few minutes here and there. “With the free time I have I try to relax as much as possible,” he says. “I’ve become a big fan of foreign films and Brazilian music. I still try to volunteer around my high school as time permits and try to make myself available for students who are looking to pursue music in college.”

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