Message from the Chair

gseap_board_tillinger2_10Dear Alumni, Parents, and Friends:

It was with great enthusiasm that I accepted Dean Susan Franzosa's invitation to serve as Chair of the newly formed Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions (GSEAP) Advisory Board. In my position as principal of St. Ann School in Bridgeport, Connecticut, I have had the opportunity to learn first-hand about Fairfield University's GSEAP. My own educational journey included attendance at the GSEAP where I was welcomed back into the classroom as a graduate student learning from the talented faculty and from a blend of students of all ages who were my fellow classmates. St. Ann's School is also one of the many community partners that engage in mutually beneficial collaborations with GSEAP. Partnerships are a hallmark of the GSEAP programs and serve to truly enrich the learning for the graduate students as well as the educational experiences for children in the local schools.

The new GSEAP Advisory Board also celebrates the idea of partnerships by bringing together interested alumni, parents, and friends - all of whom share a deep passion for the work of the GSEAP's many program areas. Collectively, this group has joined together to assist Dean Franzosa and the faculty as they realize the strategic vision for the GSEAP. The first Board meeting in February 2010 provided a chance for members to get to know one another and to learn from the Dean and the faculty about the School's many programs. The consensus amongst all members was a desire to align personal interests and expertise with the Dean's vision for the GSEAP. Early identification of areas of emphasis include the Marriage and Family Therapy program, the newly forming Early Childhood program, scholarships, endowed chairs, and marketing of programs.

One Board member, Kathy Koslow'05, has generously supported the renovation of a building on campus to be the new home of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program. In addition, she has launched a $125,000 five-year challenge grant in support of the program's work on an annual basis. Board members have taken their commitment to action seriously and will meet during the next couple of months in sub-committees to discuss areas of special interest. Their initial work will be shared with the extended Board during their next Board meeting in June 2010.

The Board's launch has been a great success and I welcome the chance to answer any questions. Please feel free to e-mail me at ttillinger@cathedralcluster.org should you wish to learn more.

Theresa Tillinger MA '02

Chair
Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions