Message From the Dean

Message From the Dean

Photo of the Dean

Dear Colleagues and Friends of GSEAP,

These past few months have been the most challenging of my career; and the most rewarding. Faced with an unprecedented crisis, our faculty and staff, themselves enduring personal hardship, selflessly guided our students through an academic year like no other. They didn’t hesitate or complain. They just got it done. Somehow these Men and Women for Others found a way. I was moved by their generous spirit, inspired by their commitment to the well-being and success of our students. In the end, our students succeeded. We all did. I thank and celebrate our amazing students!

As I mentioned in the fall, this is my last year as dean. It has been an enormous gift to work alongside my faculty colleagues in this unique leadership capacity, and I will miss that. Thank you faculty! I have great affection for each and every one. I look forward to teaching and working with students again. It has been a great, great experience for which I am very grateful. I am pleased to share the news that Dr. Laurie Grupp will be the new Dean effective July 1. Please join me in warmly welcoming Laurie to GSEAP.

Many thanks to our chairs, whose dedication to colleagues and students is constant and unflinching. You have been great collaborators. You’ve made me feel good about being wrong.

I owe our GSEAP Advisory Board a huge debt of gratitude. Your wisdom and tireless advocacy for our faculty and students are very appreciated. I know your work with GSEAP will continue and expect our paths will continue to cross.

Special thanks to my staff colleagues. They put up with my quirks, kept me (more or less) on time, reminded me to thank and recognize colleagues, planned superb events, challenged me, prevented me from over-spending our budget, tracked contracts and schedules, and generally kept me out of trouble. Basically, who needs a Dean? Thank you Pam Kelly, Lynn Holforty, Deana Dunkin, and Linnea May! Thanks too to the graduate assistants who have served so well in the Dean’s Office over the past six years.

Thanks to Dr. David Zera, who retired on May 31. Read more about David’s career in this e-newsletter.

Special thanks to Associate Dean, Stephanie Storms, who has the courage to speak the truth when I don’t want to hear it and to defend the underdog when it’s easier not to.

Thanks to my dean colleagues for your support and friendship and to Provost Siegel and friends in Academic Affairs. And thanks to my colleagues around campus whose seamless work makes this place hum.

Please enjoy reading this spring installment of our e-newsletter. I expect you will be amazed, as I am, by the accomplishments and talents of our faculty and students. I am proud to be associated with them.

On a serious note, I share with you the following statement from GSEAP faculty and staff that was sent out to our larger community about the events surrounding the senseless killings of George Floyd and scores of defenseless Black citizens.

Bob Hannafin
Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions

Our Purpose in GSEAP is:

Guided by the belief in the inherent worth and dignity of each person, a respect for diversity, and commitment to equity and inclusion, we prepare compassionate and forward-thinking education and mental health leaders who empower the marginalized and transform individuals, families, organizations, and communities.

Furthermore, Catholic social teaching emphasizes respect for life and our Jesuit values remind us that the promotion of social justice is an absolute requirement of the work we love and do.

We are compelled then to forcefully object to the way Mr. George Floyd was killed on May 25. There was no dignity, respect, love, or justice shown toward one of our brothers. Since 1619, racism targeting black people has plagued our country – a fact that many are unable or unwilling to accept. That is not in alignment with our shared purpose.

Let us remember Mr. Floyd and the other women and men who have lost their lives merely for “driving, sleeping, or jogging while black.” Let us commit anew to confront racism, classism, and other forms of oppression in everything we do. Let us be passionate upstanders who recognize and respond to incidents of discrimination within our sphere of influence. And with these actions let us create the change necessary for ALL citizens to live safe and healthy lives.

In Solidarity,
Bob Hannafin, Dean
Stephanie Storms, Associate Dean
The GSEAP Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee: Anne Campbell, Bryan Crandall, Gina Ludlow, Stephaney Morrison, Nicole O'Brien, Jay Taylor, and the rest of the GSEAP faculty and staff



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