DFI welcomes largest and most institutionally diverse cohort ever to Impact Academy

We’re thrilled to welcome an outstanding group of 24 leaders to Impact Academy, a yearlong fellowship for deans of educator-preparation programs. This sixth cohort is the largest and most institutionally diverse to date. Fellows hail from 17 states, joining from as far north as Alaska and as far east as Brooklyn.

“I’m looking forward to learning alongside these experts as we explore how to improve educator preparation this year,” said John Roberts, Senior Program Director. “Each fellow brings unique insight and perspective based on their local context that will enrich and advance our dialogue.”

The institutions they lead reflect the broad diversity of programs preparing new educators in the United States. They are 42% private and 58% public, and include 10 Minority-Serving Institutions. Collectively, the programs serve over 10,000 future teachers annually. Of these candidates, 42% are future teachers of color.

“We’ve worked hard this year to build a representative cohort,” said Valerie Sakimura, Vice President of Program. “One of our core values at DFI is Design for Inclusivity. Bringing together this diverse group of leaders in educator preparation is an important step towards ensuring every student has equitable access to a high-quality teacher.”

Throughout the year, fellows will participate in monthly virtual learning sessions and ongoing leadership coaching from experienced deans. In the midst of unprecedented upheaval in education, Impact Academy offers an opportunity for leaders to sharpen their skills through self-reflection, collaborative learning sessions and one-on-one coaching.

While other leadership experiences focus on nuts-and-bolts training for budgeting or accreditation, Impact Academy fellows define a strategy for instructional improvement grounded in equity and learning science. In the past, fellows have addressed topics such as how to ensure teacher-candidates are equipped to meet the needs of culturally diverse learners, how to lead programmatic redesign to meet 21st century challenges, and the benefits of challenging their own thoughts and assumptions to stimulate program growth.

“We believe that transformative leadership is the cornerstone of an educator-preparation program that continually works to prepare more effective teachers,” said Benjamin Riley, founder and executive director of Deans for Impact. “We’re thrilled to welcome 24 such leaders into the Impact Academy fellowship, and are excited to support these leaders as they embark on efforts to improve their programs and the field.”

2021-2022 Impact Academy Fellows

Amy Vinlove |University of Alaska Fairbanks
Amy Holcombe | High Point University
Anne Gregory | Purdue University Northwest
April Bedford | Brooklyn College
Barbara Ridener | Kean University
Barbara Schwartz-Bechet | Misericordia College
Carol Ann Gittens | Saint Mary’s College of California
Carolyn Theard-Griggs | Chicago State University
Christopher Ward | Upper Valley Educators Institute
Cynthia Gardner | Maryville College
Danielle Dennis | University of Rhode Island
Dawn Shinew | Bowling Green State University
Jeannine Dingus-Eason | Rhode Island College
Kathlene Campbell | University of St. Thomas
Kip Kline | Lewis University
Leslie Cowell | Faulkner University
Loury Floyd |University of North Carolina at Pembroke
M Cecil Smith| Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Nicholas Shudak | Wayne State College
Paula Price | North Carolina A&T State University
Robin Duncan | California Baptist University
Sarah Hartman | Wayland Baptist University
Scarlet Clouse | Angelo State University
Willis Walter | Virginia State University

Deans for Impact

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