I hope you had a chance to relax and reconnect with family and friends, infusing your return to work and studies with renewed energy and optimism. The start of a new academic year is always an exciting time of new beginnings, from our first-year students walking into the University to start a new chapter in their lives, to our seniors eagerly awaiting to complete their studies, to our graduate students returning to further their learning and advance their careers.
The summer months were productive for Education at Illinois. We launched a successful conference and workshop series focusing on how sustainability education can advance equity and justice in research and public education. We also hosted a 3-day conference for teachers on Transforming Education for Action, Collaboration, and Hope (TEACH) and a summer academy on Teaching Equitable Asian American Community History (TEAACH) for educators to learn about valuable resources in Asian American curriculum development. And we have begun planning an exciting series of fall events, including the Dean's Distinguished Speaker Series.
Nine new faculty members joined the College of Education, bringing their expertise to our top-ranked programs. This group of scholars expands the capacity for teaching, research, and mentorship of graduate students and will provide fresh leadership and perspective to guide the College's perennial areas of strength. We also welcomed three new postdoctoral students who will help lead new research in collaboration with faculty mentors. Our hallways are once again buzzing as 170 undergraduate students joined our ILLINOIS family—eager to learn and make their mark on the field of education.
I echo Chancellor Jones' message that 'each one of us has a role to play in our university's efforts to increase access to educational, research, and workplace opportunities by upholding the most fundamental principles of academic freedom, equity, and human dignity.' As we engage in earnest with our teaching, research, and public engagement, let's take time to reflect on the meaningful impact we have on one another—as educators, colleagues, and mentors—and move forward with a renewed commitment to honor our diversity and innate value as human beings.
Here's to a successful fall semester!
Yours in Orange & Blue,
Dean, College of Education