From the Dean's Desk

James Carl, Dean of the Isabelle Farrington College of EducationWe are pleased to share with you a few of the College’s recent events and accomplishments.  In May we held graduation receptions at the Fairfield and Griswold campuses.  At the Fairfield reception, the College’s new SHU Educators Alumni Association hosted its concurrent inaugural event.  Association president, Jesse Gilbert, announced two award recipients:  Christopher Carr received the Outstanding Educator Award and Anthony Hibbert received the Outstanding Administrator Award.

We hosted the seventh annual Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice (CAPP) Educators’ Communion Breakfast in March, an event that broke attendance records.  It featured keynote speaker Mother Dolores Hart, O.S.B.  Mother Hart enjoyed a seven-year career as a film and Broadway actress prior to her decision to enter a cloistered abbey, and her remarks were spellbinding. 

The College continues its run of graduating award-winning educators: the Connecticut Association of Schools presented its First-Year Principal Award to Norwich’s Billie Shea.  The Education Club earned a Campus Life Leadership Award in May 2015—it was named Club of the Year for its commitment to improving the lives of children and youth in the Bridgeport community.  (Congratulations Francesca Bruno and all the Education Club participants!) 

Under the direction of Executive Director Jeffrey Rumpf, Horizons at SHU featured a successful fundraising event on March 20, 2015 in conjunction with the Aretha Franklin concert at Webster Bank Arena.  Horizons continues to grow—students in grades K-4 are experiencing a wonderful summer of activities that include swimming, music, and academic enrichment.  Our third annual literacy conference, “For Every Student, the Gift of Literacy,” took place on March 14 and attracted literacy candidates and practicing educators near and far.  The keynote speaker was Bridgeport School Superintendent Fran Rabinowitz, who inspired us all.  Also going strong is professional development based on the state’s Math Science Partnership grant, in which Professors Bonnie Maur and Mark Beekey work with beginning and practicing educators to raise student achievement in these areas. 

Much has changed inside the Isabelle Farrington College of Education since our last newsletter.  The College prepared for and hosted a combined site visit May 3-5 of our national accreditors (the Council for the Accreditation for Educator Preparation) and the Connecticut State Department of Education.  Our College will receive its official designations from the state and our accreditors in September and October.  Regardless of the outcome, this in no way affects our ability to grant degrees and offer state certifications. We continue educating candidates to become exceptional teachers and administrators.  The challenge identified by the visit team is to align our procedures and instruments for assessing candidate progress with national norms.  Faculty and staff are already revising our reporting systems. 

To focus our efforts I have appointed Dr. Mary Yakimowski to serve as Assistant Dean for Assessment.  Mary brings a wealth of experience to this position, as we facilitate the participation of faculty, staff, and PK-12 stakeholders in all aspects of assessment.  I am confident that the outcome of this accreditation cycle will ultimately be positive for the college, with the end result that our students, in all of our programs, are better prepared than ever.   

On a sad note, in December the College lost its Associate Dean, Edward Malin.  During his nearly 45 year career at the University, Ed served in a variety of faculty and administrative roles, including president of the university senate and interim provost.  In the College of Education, Ed was a mentor to students, staff, and faculty.  His deep knowledge of educational policy in Connecticut and his kindness to all will be missed. 

Best wishes for an enjoyable remainder to your summer.  I hope you begin the new school year refreshed and recharged. 

Sincerely,

 

Jim Carl
Dean