Spring 2019

Greetings from the Chair

Tom Shields headshot Coming back to an empty campus in early-January before the students arrive is always a gift. The paths between our academic and residential halls are quiet. The winter light on the collegiate gothic buildings and red bricks has a very “Harry Potterish” feel (or at least my kids think so!) In the solitude and quiet of an empty campus, I contemplate how lucky I am to be a member of this University and our wonderful community of staff, students, and faculty.

That foundation of gratitude is what you will see throughout this spring 2019 Graduate Education e-newsletter. You will see staff, students, and faculty who are working hard, but also having fun. Our work is gaining the attention of our colleagues across campus as depicted in Spider Insider, a university publication. Our students continue to earn positions and promotions in schools in the Richmond area and beyond. Our staff and faculty advance their long standing dedication to the community — working with local immigrant groups and providing high-caliber opportunities for professional development to local teachers and school leaders. Despite all the hard work, we also enjoy each other and take time to celebrate and to laugh (see the story on the deer crashing into North Court!)

This newsletter has many important dates, notices, and announcements. Please be sure to check out the information on the upcoming Graduate Education Speaker Series events. There is also an announcement that the School of Professional & Continuing Studies (SPCS) hired Dr. Joel Hanel as the new Accreditation and Assessment Specialist. Joel will be working on accreditation, assessment and evaluation of academic programs in SPCS. His immediate focus will be on our Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) process in Education. Joel has jumped right in and has begun engaging with faculty and staff (and eventually our Education Advisory Board) on CAEP. If you see Joel at a meeting or on campus, please be sure to welcome him.

Finally, I want to call your attention to two Summer Study Abroad opportunities. These courses will offer undergraduate and graduate students in Education the ability to study in either the Galapagos Islands or Germany. Take the time to read about the thoughtful and fascinating concepts that will be studied in these courses to global destinations. Yes, we are always focused on the local community of metro-Richmond, but I believe these courses also show our reach into the global community.

I want to conclude, where I started — with gratitude. We are so fortunate to be associated with such a great institution. However, institutions are only as valuable as the people who work in them. Our work with colleagues, students, and partners in the community is what we value and find so appealing. Thank you for this opportunity and please have a good spring semester.

Be safe and be well!

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