Letter from the Dean Diana Hess

Letter from the Dean: Diana Hess

At our annual “Welcome Back” celebration for faculty and staff in August, we were dazzled by the Grand Challenges poster fair, in which cross-departmental teams of faculty and staff displayed their innovative thinking. It was the perfect way to start our year, inspiring us to think creatively and motivating us to work collaboratively.

Dean Diana HessThe overall goal of the Grand Challenges initiative is to inspire, support, and fund innovative new projects for community engagement and research across Wisconsin and around the world. In the first “Engage” phase of the project, a review panel of community leaders, faculty, and staff selected eight teams to receive up to $25,000 each to design and implement new ideas that address challenges in education, health, and the arts. I cannot wait to see the ideas proposed for our upcoming “Transform” phase of the project, in which the chosen teams will receive grants of up to $250,000.

In this issue of “Learning Connections,” the Grand Challenges initiative is just one example you will learn about that showcases how seriously we are taking the adage “All Ways Forward” in the School of Education. I hope you notice and appreciate that as a community, we are working intensely on crafting solutions to serious problems. Building on our strengths, I am confident that what our faculty, staff, and students are creating will make a difference. I am excited by and proud of the work our community is doing — and I hope you are, too.

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