Risk-taker, leader, and community builder Zuobin Tang earns the 2022 Macaulay Pioneer Award
Macaulay Honors College is pleased to announce that Zuobin Tang, a member of the Baruch College Class of 2005, is the Macaulay Pioneer Alumni Award winner for 2022. The award was created by and for the alumni community to recognize a graduate who embodies Macaulay’s values and forges a unique path to success. Zuobin was chosen for his cutting edge contributions to computer science education and his innovation in reaching students through technology.
“I decided to stay”
Like many alumni, Zuobin fondly recalls his transition from Flushing, Queens high school student to Macaulay scholar, attending his first Broadway show, and making new friends from across the campuses. “From my perspective,” he explains, “the Macaulay Honors College was an opportunity broker that opened many doors.”
He earned a degree in finance but decided against entering the field. Instead, Zuobin went on to receive his first Master’s degree in Education from Teachers College (he would later earn another in math education at St. John’s) and kicked off a decade of service in a variety of non-profit roles. His work in program development benefitted low-income, immigrant families.
From there, Zuobin pivoted to teaching, driven by a desire to prepare public school students for college and career. He was accepted into the New York City Teaching Fellows program and became a certified secondary math teacher.
“My first year of teaching can be summed up as brutal,” he recounts. “I found myself spending several hours after work each day on lesson planning while also taking graduate courses in math education.” He credits his family and friends with providing the support he needed to persevere, along with a fierce desire to provide opportunities for students.
A defining moment
During his fourth year of teaching, the pandemic shut down the city’s schools and teachers were required to transition to online learning within a week. “This was one of the defining moments of my career,” he shares. Zuobin equipped himself with new educational technology skills to better engage students remotely, devoting many hours to learning the latest educational technology, and earning numerous awards and certifications.
Zuobin then went further, sharing that passion with his school community. He became the school’s Computer Science 4 All CS Lead and focused on promoting equity and access to encourage students (over 70% identifying as Hispanic) to learn to love computer science and get involved in activities across the city.
Creating a culture of computer science
His ongoing efforts have landed him a spot on the selective 2022-2023 CSTA Equity Fellowship where he will work with fellows from across the country to develop leadership in equitable teaching practices and advocacy. In addition to reinventing himself as an educator, Zuobin gives back to the teaching community as a coach in NYC Men Teach initiative. He connects teachers with one another for support, recommends resources to help them succeed in the classroom and beyond, and even puts his finance training to use helping them plan their financial futures.
A proud moment
“I am grateful for all the access to opportunities I have had since college,” Zuobin reflects. “So I was thrilled and proud when I found out one of our students got into Macaulay at City College and plans to concentrate on computer science!”
At the awards ceremony on November 1, the teacher encouraged all Macaulay alumni in attendance to join him in working towards equity for all students. “That’s your homework,” he laughed.