As we wrap up the 2020-2021 school year, I want to offer my deepest gratitude for the excellent work of our faculty, staff, and faculty associates throughout the College and the Lab Schools. This year brought about many great challenges and I am immensely proud of how everyone adapted and continued to offer a great education to our many students. Over the past year, we’ve grown as researchers and writers, teachers and professionals, in dealing with the most pressing social issues of our times.

This year, we employed many innovative teaching practices, explored new educational technology, and offered new professional development opportunities for alumni and practicing educators. Throughout the past academic year, over 50 faculty members participated in the GROWTH professional development sessions that focused on critically examining course materials, design, and instruction to create culturally responsive learning communities. Three new teacher education pathways were developed with school and community college partners in central Illinois and Chicago. We welcomed Dr. Dakesa Piña, the first college-level Diversity, Equity and Inclusion officer in Illinois State’s history, to the college and look forward to her leadership as we continue with our DEI work.

As we turn our eyes toward a much-needed summer break, I hope that you can rest and recharge as we prepare for a more traditional school year. On behalf of the leadership team, thank you for all that you do each day to impact our students and the field of education. I wish you all the best during this summer season.


James Wolfinger, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor