Dear Alumni and Friends,
As we welcome in a new year together, this special edition annual report both reflects upon the challenges and accomplishments of the past year while recognizing the tireless work of our students, faculty, staff, and especially our alumni and community partners in K-12 education.
Our world is at a critical moment in history as we move into the third year of dealing with a pandemic while political polarization tears people apart, resulting in shouting matches at school board meetings and uncivil interactions.
A beloved Iowa teacher is murdered by two students, and a community continues to reel and try to heal in the wake of such tragic violence. Teachers and students struggle with mental health issues, including suicide and depression, and fatigue is setting in while some educators leave the profession due to burnout.
Despite these challenges, there is reason for hope. Daily, I see the commitment, drive, and compassion of our future teachers, including the most recent 81 Hawkeye Teacher candidates who graduated this past December, filled with the desire and knowledge to shape the future. In fact, our enrollments continue to grow, drawing top-notch students from across the state, nation, and world to our more than 80 academic programs.
Our new Scanlan Center for School Mental Health, a partnership between our college and the Iowa Department of Education, is expanding services, training, and support to Pre-K through 12 students and teachers in schools across our entire state, from rural to metro communities. In fact, our inaugural Iowa BEST Summit drew more than 1,600 people to tackle tough issues, share knowledge, and build new partnerships.
Our college has hired 13 new faculty this past year, including mental health experts, who are conducting cutting-edge research and training the next generation of educators, school counselors and psychologists. We’ve also hired new staff in our Baker Teacher Leader Center to support our DEI and global education initiatives as well as online programs and PD.
We have also launched new certificate programs, including ones in Applied Behavioral Analysis, K-12 Equity and Inclusion, and Institutional Research and Effectiveness.
Phase 2 of our major Lindquist Center renovation was also recently completed, resulting in a welcoming new integrated student services and dean’s suite. This includes a café, and 7 new high tech, collaborative classrooms and multi-purpose spaces. This creates a high-tech teaching and learning environment, a sense of community, and a more student-centered experience. We hope you’ll come to visit these beautiful new spaces.
Finally, I am thrilled that UI WILD (Wildlife Instruction and Leadership Development), became part of our college last fall, giving students, educators, and faculty more opportunities to learn, teach, and conduct research in nature.
You’ll read about all of this and more in our special edition magazine. I look forward to continuing to lead and serve this college as we enter a productive New Year, working together to create a brighter future for everyone.
Daniel L. Clay, PhD, MBA
Dean and Professor
After spending over a year indoors, kids were ready to get outside with School of the Wild.
Thanks to the new Scanlan Center for School Mental Health, students, teachers, administrators, and other education professionals are receiving more support, resources, and training on mental health issues,
Krista Walker came to the College of Education to support students of color, but everything changed when Walker became one of the many Black women who had to advocate for their safety during childbirth.
The pandemic found ways of putting pressure on our students, teachers, and school communities like never before. We are grateful for and proud of the dedication, adaptability, and perseverance of our alumni. Here are a few of their stories.
Professor emeritus John Westefeld shares what fueled his commitment to suicide prevention and awareness in this first-person essay.
Thanks to the college's growing commitment to DEI efforts, professional development, global education, and online programs, the Linda R. Baker Teacher Leader Center staff has expanded, hiring two new associate directors, both alumni.
Students, faculty, staff, and visitors can now experience new high-tech, collaborative learning and teaching spaces in the Lindquist Center, thanks to a major renovation which spanned several years.
Inspired by poet laureate Amanda Gorman, Iowa City West High student Shreya Khullar was inaugurated in Des Moines as Iowa’s first Student Poet Ambassador.
Read more about the research, service, and experience of new faculty at the College of Education.
Check out the College of Education’s 2020-2021 By the Numbers to see the impact of our faculty, students, staff, and alumni.
The new Dyslexia Specialist Endorsement program, coordinated by the Iowa Reading Research Center, builds educators’ knowledge of the literacy development of students with characteristics of dyslexia.
Remembering beloved faculty, David Bills, Linda Fielding, and John Kiraly Jr. and their impact on the world as scholars, mentors, and friends.