Fall 2016

Greetings from the Chair

Tom Shields headshot Greetings. Hope you have had a productive, but relaxing summer. We all need the opportunity to take time away from our hectic lives to decompress and reflect on the past year and recharge our batteries for the upcoming school year. This could be done by walking a beach, hiking a mountain, traveling to see friends or family, or maybe hopping on an airplane for a far-off destination. Whatever our means of relaxation, we all need the ability to stop, contemplate, and understand what motivates us and fulfills our purpose.  

Similarly, our organizations need to perform this reflection and understanding of purpose and meaning. In fact, healthy and purposeful institutions constantly need to understand changes happening in the external environment and redefine expectations, including mission and vision, for future growth. For an organization, this is usually done through strategic planning and can be a very engaging and helpful process.

At the University level, our new President, Dr. Ronald Crutcher, has embarked on a multi-year strategic planning process. This process has involved many stakeholders and looks to build on the success and foundation of our last strategic plan, The Richmond Promise. I have the privilege of serving on the Thriving and Inclusive Community Working Group, one of several working groups that has been created to help guide the plan. The link to the process and emerging plan for the University can be found at strategicplan.richmond.edu.

At the School level, our new Dean, Jamelle Wilson, embarked on a strategic planning process for the School of Professional and Continuing Studies. This has been a very thoughtful and engaging process. A Strategic Planning Steering Committee has been created and Graduate Education is fortunate to have Dr. Scott Bray, Assistant Chair of the Teacher Licensure Program, and Dr. Julia Burke, Program Manager, be members of that group. We are pleased that full-time faculty and staff in Graduate Education are well-represented and engaged in these processes. Please do not hesitate to contact me or any of the program Assistant Chairs if you have questions or concerns about the processes or plans.

In this fall edition of our e-newsletter, you will read about the work and successes of our Graduate Education faculty, staff, and students. We bid a fond professional farewell to Dr. Thelma Wheeler, extend a Spider welcome to two new Education Department team members, offer hearty congratulations to several of our alumni and adjunct instructors, highlight a newly published article on redistricting and school closures in Richmond Public Schools, and feature the most pressing professional development needs as identified by our area’s school divisions. Please mark your calendars for October 20 and join us on campus for an event co-sponsored by the Center for Educational Leadership and Graduate Education — a discussion with Dr. Genevieve Siegel Hawley on her new book, When the Fences Come Down: Twenty-First-Century Lessons from Metropolitan School Desegregation

As we start another academic year, the faculty and staff of Graduate Education wish you all the best with your studies and teaching. This time of year is always full of excitement and anticipation and we hope that you have an amazing semester full of wonder, inquiry, and enrichment.

Be safe and be well!

Tom Shields signature
Tom J. Shields, Ph.D.
Graduate Education Chair