From the dean
Headshot of Andrew Daire, Ph.D., dean of the VCU School of EducationWelcome faculty, staff and students to the 2020-2021 academic year! This is an exciting time for the VCU School of Education, and I'm honored to have all of you be a part of it.

This semester, we welcome Dr. Luciana C. de Oliveira as our new associate dean for academic affairs, and Dr. Tomika L. Ferguson as our interim assistant dean for student affairs and inclusive excellence. In addition, we're introducing two new undergraduate programs this semester: a Minor in Education and a Certificate in Disability Studies.

We continue to demonstrate our quality and leadership as a school of education by driving meaningful change in how we prepare educators and other professionals. We have previously expressed our solidarity with the recent anti-racist protests and efforts to eradicate structural and systemic racism. As a leader, we support this movement not just with words, but with actions.

 As we begin the fall semester with the realities of COVID-19, our priorities are the health, safety and wellness – both physical and emotional – of our faculty, staff and students. We understand that an in-person return may be stressful for some, but I know that we can succeed if we support each other.

Welcome back and I look forward to another great semester of making an impact together.

Latest news
Aug. 28 convocation to feature Petersburg City Public Schools superintendent
Rodney Robinson, National Teacher of the Year and SOE alum.The VCU School of Education's 2020 Virtual Fall Convocation will feature Dr. Maria Pitre-Martin, superintendent of Petersburg City Public Schools, as keynote speaker. The event will be held from 4-5:30 p.m. on August 28 via Zoom. Hear about our school’s many accomplishments over the past year and get inspired for the year ahead!.
From our centers
MERC launches new website related to digital equity
Dr. Jesse Senechal, MERC director.The Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium’s (MERC), a center affiliated with the School of Education, has launched a new website offering research and resources related to digital equity and distance learning during the COVID-19 crisis. A MERC team is exploring key takeaways from the literature, producing local profiles of innovative practices, and sharing resources for educators, students and parents as they navigate the rapid transition to online learning.
Research news
Drs. Sutherland and McLeod awarded $3.1M NIMH grant
Dr. LaRon Scott, associate professor, Department of Counseling and Special EducationThe National Institute of Mental Health has awarded a $3.1 million grant to Virginia Commonwealth University researchers to study whether evidence-based mental health programs in schools continue after research support is removed. Kevin Sutherland, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Counseling and Special Education in the School of Education, is a co-principal investigator on the grant.
Student spotlight
Tiffany Freeman: Always listening, always learning
Portia Newman, doctoral student in the VCU School of EducationAfter earning a degree in communications, Tiffany Freeman started substitute teaching while looking for work in public relations. She liked it so much that two years later, she earned a degree in special education and teaching. Today, she is a special education teacher at John Rolfe Middle School in Henrico County. She is on track to graduate in August 2020 from the VCU School of Education with a Master of Education in Reading, concentration in K-12 reading specialist.
Alumna spotlight
SOE alum Kiara Lee-Heart (Ph.D. ’19) wins Green Eyeshade Award
Portia Newman, doctoral student in the VCU School of EducationVCU School of Education alumna Kiara Lee-Heart (Ph.D. ’19) has won a prestigious journalism award for a commentary article featured in Teaching Tolerance magazine. The award – known as a Green Eyeshade Award – gets its name from the green visor worn by old-time newspaper editors. The awards are presented each year by the Society of Professional Journalists, the largest journalism organization in the U.S.
Upcoming events
SOE Weeks of Welcome Event: SOE Undergraduate Talent Show
Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020 from 1:00 to 2:45 p.m. (Virtual via Zoom) - Registration

VCU Convocation and Reception
Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. (W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts)

SOE Convocation
Friday, Aug. 28, 2020 from 4:00 to 5:15 p.m. (Zoom) - Registration

SOE Student Teaching Orientation
Monday, Aug. 31, 2020 from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. (Zoom)

SOE All Meeting
Tuesday, Sep. 1, 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. (Zoom)

SOE Weeks of Welcome Event: Themed Photo Challenge
Wednesday, Sep. 9, 1:00 to 2:45 p.m. (Virtual via Zoom)

Dr. Gina Longo Python Workshop
Wednesday, Sep. 9, 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. (RSVP & Zoom)

Minority Education Center's Equity for Educators of Color co-curricular series
2020-21 sessions designed to address problems in the teacher education pipeline - Registration
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