As you receive this issue of our College email newsletter, it's hard to believe we have a little over a month left of the Fall 2021 semester. Once again, the campus’ SHIELD CU team has delivered on keeping us safe, allowing a world-class in-person learning experience for students this semester in Urbana-Champaign. I am grateful to everyone who has made it possible to engage in-person again: teaching, leading, and serving again in community.
Powerful leadership through service is the clear theme of the stories highlighted in this newsletter. While this has existed through the mission and work of the College of Education for numerous decades, this academic year we created a position dedicated to overseeing service.
In this newsletter, you'll read about Emily Stone, the College's first Director of Public Engagement, and her vision for coalescing and enhancing the various ongoing efforts within the College's centers, research groups, and initiatives. Because public engagement is increasingly prioritized by campus and by funders, this position will support faculty and staff working in community engaged research and public engagement, as well as providing undergraduate and graduate students with opportunities to connect their studies to real-world problems.
We're also better-serving our future and current students. For instance, the redesign of our Principal Preparation program highlights how we're meeting the needs of busy educators by offering more-flexible administration programs. Our Bringing us Back Together project addresses the extra social-emotional and academic needs of students who started at the university during the pandemic.
I am extremely thankful, as I know you are too, to be a part of a College—and university system—that prioritizes service to others.
Yours in Orange and Blue,
James D. Anderson
Dean and Gutgsell Professor
College of Education