Dear Lynch School Community,
One of the pleasures of starting as a new dean is the opportunity to engage with the community of students, alumni, faculty, and staff. People have been welcoming, and I appreciate their warmth. But my positive experiences provide evidence of more than this. Boston College in general and the Lynch School in particular are communities in which people support each other, where the default stance toward others is collaboration and care.
“We’re working on transforming human beings,” says Charles F. Donovan, S.J., Dean Stanton Wortham, who talks about his vision for the Lynch School. “We’re trying to help students be the kinds of people who can go out and shape young people’s development so that they lead lives of meaning and purpose.”
Fifteen years after its launch in eight Boston schools, the Lynch School’s City Connects now serves 30,000 low-income students in 84 schools across the country. The research-based student support and intervention program “has erased two-thirds of the achievement gap in math and half the achievement gap in English” while cutting the high school dropout rate in half at its partner schools, wrote University of California, Berkeley, Professor David L. Kirp, who praised City Connects in a recent New York Times opinion piece on community schools.
The Lynch School welcomes its first associate dean for research and a new associate professor in the Department of Teacher Education, Special Education, Curriculum and Instruction this fall. James Slotta, a pioneer in the study of “collective inquiry” and collaborative learning using new technologies, comes to LSOE as its inaugural dean for research from the University of Toronto, where he was an associate professor and the Canada Research Chair in Education and Technology. Deoksoon Kim joins the faculty from the department of teaching and learning at the University of South Florida (USF), where she specialized in foreign-language education and uses of technology in education and second-language acquisition.
When Charles A. Grandson IV ’05, M.Ed. ’06, Ed.D. ’14, launched his career in education, he never intended to become a school administrator. “l thought, why would I leave the classroom, further removed from educating students?” he recalls. Yet the Washington, D.C., native says he discovered “a passion for education leadership” early, after joining the administrations of underperforming urban schools in Massachusetts and New York. In July, Grandson returned to the Boston area to become interim superintendent of Malden Public Schools.
An estimated 37 million children displaced by crises, war, and economic strife during the past two years are unable to go to school, according to the Overseas Development Institute. In response to this challenge, Professor Dennis Shirley is working with the Jesuit Refugee Service to expand the number of children it educates to 220,000 by 2020.
Associate Professor Laura O’Dwyer was awarded a $3.8 million Discovery Research PreK-12 grant from the National Science Foundation. Research for the four-year grant, titled Supporting Success in Algebra: A Study of the Implementation of Transition to Algebra, will be conducted at Boston College and the Education Development Center.
Boisi Professor Henry Braun gave keynote addresses at the State Innovation Conference in Chicago and the National Superintendents Roundtable in San Francisco this summer, and also testified before the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on educator evaluation.
Alumna Katherine O’Dair, Ph.D. ’13, Higher Education, joined the Harvard College Office of Student Life as its new dean of students in August. O’Dair was formerly Boston College associate vice president for student affairs.
Megan Fischer, M.Ed. ’17, Elementary Education, and Charles Cownie, director of the Urban Catholic Teacher Corps (UCTC) at the Lynch School’s Roche Center for Catholic Education, are featured in “Teaching Together,” an article in America magazine.
Margaret Beale Spencer, Ph.D.
Marshall Field IV Professor of Urban Education and Life Course Human Development
Chair, Department of Comparative Human Development
University of Chicago
Corcoran Commons, Heights Room
Photo: Robert Kozloff/The University of Chicago