Letter from the Dean Diana Hess for Fall 2018 Learning Connections

Letter from the Dean: Diana Hess

Dear Friends:

Although I started my fourth year as dean of the School of Education this fall, I’m still consistently inspired by the range of impactful efforts taking place across our unique School and its programs spanning the arts, health and education.

Dean Diana HessThe theme for this issue of Learning Connections is impact. In many of these articles you will learn how our faculty, staff, students and alumni are involved in initiatives that are making a difference and changing our community, state and world in innovative and exciting ways.

Read how the School hosted a conference ahead of November’s midterm elections that gave educators the strategies, tools and confidence necessary to talk about politics and controversial issues in the classroom. Check out how Faisal Abdu’Allah, a rising star with our Art Department, helps lead a program that connects area artists and court-involved Dane County teens to foster community engagement, self-expression and skill development. And learn how the Trans Research Lab, founded by Associate Professor Stephanie Budge, is engaged in both community outreach and important research that’s focused on health outcomes for transgender people.

No single issue of Learning Connections can spotlight all, or even a good percentage, of the impactful work taking place across every unit and all 10 of our departments. But we hope these stories give you a sense of the depth and breadth of our efforts, which wouldn’t be possible without a world-class faculty and quality leadership across our School.

Over the course of the current year, we’re hiring 18 faculty members — including 13 of whom joined us this fall. This infusion of talent is one of the largest jumps in faculty since the School’s founding in 1930 and means we’ll continue, and even improve upon, our impactful work in the years to come.

In addition, this summer and fall I added several invaluable people to my leadership team, including: Kimber Wilkerson, who in July was named faculty director of our new Teacher Education Center; Rich Halverson, who on Aug. 1 started his role as associate dean for innovation, outreach and partnerships; and alumna Christina Klawitter, who took over in September as our associate dean for student academic affairs after spending the past seven years at Beloit College as dean of students.

Finally, we have many alumni and friends who have contributed in significant ways to all of what we do in the School of Education. Thank you, and please know how much we value your support.

— Diana Hess

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