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College of Education welcomes Kennedy as new dean

This summer, the College of Education will have new leadership. Colleen S. Kennedy was appointed the new dean of the College of Education on April 29.

Kennedy, who is an expert in special education, comes from the University of Utah and plans to incorporate her research focus on the use of technology in K-12 education.

“I’m very excited … to accept the position of Dean of the College of Education at USF,” Kennedy said.

Born and raised in Washington State, Kennedy got her degrees from the University of Washington, which included a bachelor’s degree in sociology, a master’s in special education and a doctorate in special education, with an emphasis on applied behavioral science.

“We are very fortunate that she has agreed to join us at USF,” said USF Provost S. David Stamps in a news release regarding Kennedy’s appointment.

According to Anne McClard, the administrative assistant to the dean, Kennedy will overlook about eight departments, which include about 30 centers and institutes within the college.

“USF’s College of Education accounts for over 4,200 undergraduate and graduate students all together, counting only those who are declared majors in education,” said Darran Town, graduate data specialist for the College of Education.

Kennedy said there were many different things that attracted her to USF.

“(USF) has a very dedicated and committed faculty,” Kennedy said. “Its value for both research and teaching … and are trying to embrace diversity in the College of Education and society.” Kennedy also mentioned that College of Education has a fine focus on urban schools. Kennedy said the fact that USF is the first public university in the country to have its own charter school shows it “has a lot to offer.”

“(The USF College of Education) tends to be very innovative and is working hard to integrate technology into their teaching,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy said she saw in USF the same characteristics that originally drew her to Utah in 1989 when she was appointed dean at the University of Utah. Kennedy said the new faculty she will oversee “have developed some excellent programs which has received national recognition.”

Kennedy, who fully intends to continue teaching, said she is happy she would be able to continue to teach in her area of specialty.

“Currently, I’m working with both undergraduate and masters students, some who are preparing to be teachers and some who are already practicing teachers,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy also said that she would help the faculty and future educators learn ways to integrate technology into their teaching and to individualize instruction for students with learning problems in regular classrooms as a part of her agenda.

In addition, Kennedy has worked as a co-editor and reviewer for a number of academic journals such as Teacher’s Education and Special Education, Journal of Teacher Education, and the American Educational Research Journal. Presently, Kennedy is a reviewer for Journal of Research on Technology in Education, as well.

Between 1991-1997, Kennedy served on the board of directors of the Homes Group, a national reform initiative for the preparation of educators. She also served on the executive committee of the Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges and Associate Private Universities. Kennedy said that deans of education serving on this committee come from about 85 Research I institutions in the country, plus a number of historically black and hispanic institutions, as well

“Service on the boards can help deans become very familiar with items on a national agenda, which can impact one’s own campus,” Kennedy said. “Also, by attending such meetings, deans become aware of the opportunities for your faculty.”