EXPLO at Yale: Faculty - EXPLO


Making the Connection

Our faculty love to teach. But more than that, they love to learn. Which is why our faculty bring that passion — along with months of rigorous planning and training — to EXPLO. In the end, we don’t care how long you’ve been teaching, how long your résumé is or if you’ve got a solid research record. What we care about is good teaching and if you can truly connect with high school students.

The Gold Standard

Time and again, the EXPLO faculty and staff have been described as setting the “gold standard” for summer programs. We are a mix of highly experienced educators and professionals that lead an enthusiastic teaching staff of many talented and mature college and graduate students. Each summer we are joined by visiting scholars and professionals who provide an insider’s perspective into their fields. These experts help our students to see all of the possibilities their future holds, and how to pursue those possibilities — whether it’s majoring in a particular subject, completing internships, or pursuing other experiences that only a successful practitioner would know. It’s a dynamic combination that generates a vibrant and welcoming learning community.

At EXPLO, exceptional teaching is at the heart of what we do, and our talented faculty is required to complete a robust teacher development program at the start of every summer. Our results are so exceptional that schools across the world, nonprofits, and even leading corporations have asked us to develop curriculum and to train their professionals to be more engaging and creative teachers. You can learn about some of that work at EXPLO Studio.

Incredible Mentors

Because many of our teachers are advanced students themselves — deeply engaged with learning, and engaging with the same cultural forces as our EXPLO students, they can break down barriers quickly, and make meaningful, relatable connections between the ideas and the world in which our young people live. They are the perfect role models to inspire and energize EXPLO students. Plus, these aren’t just any college or graduate students. We are in the talent search business, hiring emerging leaders with incredible potential. Learn more about some of the movers and shakers out in the world who worked at EXPLO during college or graduate school.

Teachers Involved in All Aspects of Student Life

Our faculty — residential and day advisors, instructors, event emcees, discussion facilitators, and trip leaders — will engage you in myriad ways and encourage you to broaden your global point of view. It’s not unusual for a staff member to teach developmental psychology in the morning, lead a West African drumming session in the afternoon, debate the merits of public versus private schools over dinner, star in a staff improv show in the evening, and serve as residential advisor for a living group of students at night. With a passion for teaching that goes beyond the classroom, our staff are exceptional guides for an EXPLO summer.

Meet Our Heads of Programs

Sarah Ruter is a singing, dancing, English teacher who detoured into practicing law before returning to her first love: education. Sarah started her education career at EXPLO in 1996, where she’s held numerous positions including teacher, residential advisor, admissions officer, residence director, and Dean of Students, and returned as Head of Programs to EXPLO at Yale in 2010. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin — Madison, where she was a Robert C. Byrd Scholar. For years, she taught high school writing, public speaking, and literature at a public school in Massachusetts. She also headed the school’s Theater Society, where she directed three plays per year for the 100-member drama organization. Sarah attended the University of Minnesota Law School, where she earned her J.D. cum laude. She practiced general, commercial and employment law with regular appearances in state and federal court. Minnesota Law and Politics called her a “Rising Star” and Minnesota Lawyer named her to their list of “Up and Coming Attorneys.”

Andy Smith began his EXPLO career in 2007 and has worked as a senior administrator, including Director of Programming at EXPLO at St. Mark’s and Director of Curriculum and Instruction at EXPLO at Yale. For five years, Andy worked during the academic year in curriculum development at the Exploration Center. While working in curriculum, you might have found Andy writing essential questions for a germ biology course, coaching a teacher on instructional techniques, or in EXPLO’s woodshop, experimenting with crafting a new putting green and hole for a physics-through-mini-golf course. He was a varsity swimmer in college and has coached several swim teams. Prior to joining EXPLO year round, Andy taught English in various New York state public schools. He was teacher in West Ghana and a literacy head teacher in Naivasha, Kenya. Andy earned his B.A. in English and education at the State University of New York, Geneseo and his M.A. in Critical and Creative Thinking from the University of Massachusetts with focus on meaning and purpose in adolescent education.

Join Our Faculty

Want to be a part of something amazing? If you think you’ve got what it takes to make a difference in the lives of our students – and you’re looking to grow professionally and personally in one of the most enriching and challenging experiences of your life – we want you to apply!

Watch the video for more information about what it’s like to work during the summer at EXPLO. Then, head on over to our Faculty Hiring page to find out how you can submit your application.