Spring is off to an exciting start in the Faculty of Education!
In early March, we were very fortunate to welcome the Honourable David Eggen, Minister of Education, for a pre-budget talk and Q & A session with students about the Alberta government's commitment to funding for K-12 education, the current curriculum development process and other government initiatives that will impact future teachers.
During my time as the interim Dean of Education, I have appreciated the extraordinary relationship we enjoy with the ministries of Education and Advanced Education and the fact that we share a commitment to providing astounding learning opportunities for future teachers.
In late March, we hosted ENGAGE 2017, a celebration of our faculty’s teaching and research activity, with a focus on one of our greatest strengths: our commitment to community-engaged research and scholarship that contributes to the public good.
I could not think of a better way to launch our 75th anniversary celebrations than with this event, which highlighted the wide array of collaborative research initiatives being undertaken across this faculty by our professors, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with contributors from across Alberta, Canada, the United States and beyond. One of the greatest gifts of serving as interim Dean has been the opportunity to learn so much about the work of my colleagues.
Engaging communities in meaningful ways
In keeping with the focus of our 75th anniversary year, community engagement is also the theme of this issue of illuminate. UAlberta education alumni like Edmonton Public Library CEO Pilar Martinez and those featured in our Class Notes are finding ways to engage their communities in lifelong learning. From the philanthropic work of community-builder and Camp fYrefly supporter Salah Bachir to elementary education professor Douglas Gleddie’s advocacy for re-envisioning health and physical education as a crucial aspect of lifelong learning, inspiring examples of educational outreach abound.
Celebrating the past, looking to the future
As I reflect on my two-year term as interim Dean of the Faculty of Education, I realize that I have never had a more profound learning experience—one that will continue to impact my work as an educator and researcher for years to come. My most sincere gratitude to the colleagues, students and peers who have helped make this leg of my personal and professional journey so rich and meaningful.
On that note, it gives me great pleasure to welcome Dr. Jennifer Tupper as the new Dean of Education, effective July 1, 2017. Dr. Tupper completed both her BEd and PhD at UAlberta and is currently serving as Dean of Education at the University of Regina. Her strong ties to our faculty, her sterling reputation as a researcher, educator and leader, and her proven commitment to responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action commend her to this role and I’m looking forward to seeing her leadership continue and expand on the Faculty Education’s proud tradition of teaching, learning, research and community engagement.
Professor and Interim Dean of Education