Dear Friends, Students, and Colleagues -
We at the College of Education are excited to begin the new academic year and hope your summer was both relaxing and industrious.
It’s an exciting time at the University of Illinois as the Fall 2017 semester begins. We’re celebrating our sesquicentennial, a historic point in time that highlights the major social and economic accomplishments of our 150-year-old land-grant university. This esteemed and storied history helps us continue to attract some of the most talented educators worldwide, which is evident by the five new scholars who are joining us as assistant professors this semester. We are proud to welcome Stina Krist (Curriculum & Instruction), Rachel Roegman (Education Policy, Organization & Leadership), Christopher Napolitano (Educational Psychology), Elizabeth Biggs (Special Education), and Catherine Corr (Special Education) as faculty members.
This semester the College is pleased to welcome 145 freshmen who have accepted the opportunity to study at Illinois. Fourteen of those students come from countries outside of the U.S., and we welcome more than 50 students from underrepresented backgrounds as well as a wealth of transfer students. With great pride, we look forward to preparing all of these students to succeed and positively change the world.
In faculty news, two of our Special Education scholars were recently recognized by the campus. Professor Michaelene Ostrosky was named the Grayce Wicall Gauthier Professor of Education. She is one of three accomplished scholars—and the first woman—from the College of Education to receive this distinguished honor, which was established in 1995 by C.J. Gauthier, a 1943 University of Illinois alumnus. Dr. Ostrosky is an established leader among her colleagues in the College, across the campus, and throughout the nation. Her distinction as a researcher, teacher, leader, and colleague make her highly deserving of this honor. Please join me in congratulating her.
In addition, Michaelene’s close peer Amy Santos will be joining the provost's leadership team as associate provost for faculty development, effective Sept. 5. Dr. Santos served as interim head of the Department of Special Education in 2016-17 and was provost fellow for faculty development and diversity in 2015-16. In the Provost's Office she will provide leadership in faculty mentoring, support mid-career and specialty faculty, and assist with leadership development. Congratulations to Amy on this exciting opportunity.
Additionally, Professor Peter Kuchinke of the Department of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership was recently inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame, which honors leaders in the fields of continuing education and adult learning, and serves as a record of inspiration for the next generation of continuing education leaders. Peter has been with the College for two decades. He has been widely published and presents often at national and international conferences. We are happy to see this deserving scholar inducted into such a prestigious organization.
I am also pleased to announce the following faculty members who have been promoted:
- Meghan Burke, Associate Professor (Special Education)
- Adrienne Dixson, Professor (Education Policy, Organization & Leadership)
- Maya Israel, Associate Professor (Special Education)
- Robb Lindgren, Associate Professor (Curriculum & Instruction)
In keeping with our College’s tradition of engaging faculty and students with leading senior scholars in different fields of educational scholarship, the Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series offers a rich opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to hear from internationally renowned intellectuals who address a variety of disciplinary topics in education. For the past two semesters we have focused these talks on diversity, and later this fall we will welcome to campus José Angel and Z Nicolazzo. These individuals will talk about life as an undocumented immigrant and how current political strategies impact transgender people in K-12 and higher education, respectively. Additionally, our Dean’s Diversity dialogues have been supplemented recently with numerous podcasts that focus on research and leadership that promote educational equity, justice, and excellence for all students. Please give them a listen.
Innovative technology and state-of-the-art learning environments are areas in which we’ve excelled at for many years, with our first online graduate students graduating back in 2000. Since that time our online programs have become the most robust on campus. Of the 37 online graduate degrees offered at Illinois, 38 percent come from the College of Education.
In addition, we’re welcoming 48 students to our new Online Doctor of Education program this fall. As the only online Ed.D. offering at Illinois, the program has 13 different concentrations within four areas of study and is taught by first-rate educators. This course of study adds another innovative dimension to our commitment of creating convenient access to education and equitable outcomes for everyone. This fall the College is excited to share our knowledge and commitment to making educational accessible by offering a new MOOC class through Coursera called Race and Cultural Diversity in American Life and History.
Other stories in the August newsletter cover a National Science Foundation-funded study that’s striving to increase access for diverse learners, several students from our new Learning & Education Studies major, one of our professors who’s part of the inaugural faculty of the College of Medicine, and a recent interview with Dr. Eboni Zamani-Gallaher on the possible threat of affirmative action in college admissions.
Thank you for your interest in and support of the College of Education at Illinois. We hope you have a productive academic year.
Yours in Orange & Blue,
James D. Anderson, Ed.M. ’69, Ph.D. ‘73
Dean and Edward William and Jane Marr Gutgsell Professor of Education