Tuesday, March 17, 2020

After more than 40 years in education, Leslie Schrier, associate professor in Foreign Language Education, retired from the University of Iowa College of Education in December 2019.

Schrier received her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and History in 1973 from California State University, and her Master of Arts in Latin American Studies from UCLA in 1974. She went on to receive her teacher licensure from Central College and a Master of Arts in Spanish Literature in 1979 from Drake University and a Ph.D. in Foreign Language Education from Ohio State University in 1989.

Schrier joined the College of Education in 1989. Prior to that, she taught for 10 years at Southeast Polk High School in Runnells, Iowa, and at Iowa State University.

Schrier’s passion for language stemmed from growing up in a multilingual community in California as a daughter of immigrants. She had a natural instinct for decoding language and a curiosity for other cultures.

During her time at the College of Education, Schrier helped start the teacher education program in foreign language education and the doctoral program in Foreign Language and ESL Education. She taught thousands of graduate and undergraduate students. Her research is focused on policies, procedures, and practices on how foreign language teachers are educated, developed, and assessed.

Schrier has left a legacy of preparing students for the complexities of classrooms who can easily adapt to change.

“I want my students to be prepared for how complex education is, and the complexity of what composes a classroom, and an understanding that you have to be open and flexible,” Schrier says. “You have to leave how you expected to educate at the door and take what is in front of you.”

In retirement, Schrier is excited to take a gap period and relax, but plans on using her Spanish skills to volunteer in the community. Schrier says she will miss interacting with her students.

“I am extremely proud of our students,” Schrier says. “Our students have taken stellar leadership positions throughout the United States, including here in the College of Education.”