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Joanna Masingila Named Dean of School of Education
Syracuse University Interim Vice Chancellor and Provost Liz Liddy today announced that Joanna Masingila has been selected to serve as dean of the School of Education. Masingila joined the Syracuse faculty in 1992 and has served as interim dean of the school since February 2014.
A professor of mathematics and mathematics education, Masingila was previously the chair of the School of Education’s largest department, Teaching and Leadership Programs, and held a dual appointment in the College of Arts and Sciences. She has also chaired the Department of Science Teaching in the College of Arts and Sciences, served as program coordinator for the Mathematics Education Program and has coordinated the process for Syracuse University’s accreditation with the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 2001.
“Joanna has been a forward-thinking, highly collaborative leader at a time when the field of education and the needs of students at all levels, from K through 12 and beyond, continue to evolve and expand at an incredibly rapid pace,” says Liddy. “As interim dean and as a longtime professor of mathematics and mathematics education, Joanna has shown a passion for innovative scholarship and collaboration that advances students’ skills both as aspiring educators and as global citizens. She has brought tremendous expertise, enthusiasm and dedication to her role as interim dean, and I am delighted that she will have the opportunity to continue her good work in a permanent capacity. I have recommended Joanna to the University’s Board of Trustees and I fully expect they will concur with this selection.”
During her time as interim dean, Masingila focused on maximizing existing resources through communication, transparency and community building. She initiated a forum for staff participation and appreciation, and created opportunities for faculty to report on and receive broader recognition for their work. Faculty in all ranks and disciplines have been supported in their roles as mentors and/or mentees through larger meetings and individual support. And, in concert with each member of the senior staff, Masingila developed strategies to be more effective and efficient in each area, including fundraising, finance, admissions and marketing. Consequently, she made it possible to provide extra grant writing support to all faculty.
“Joanna Masingila is an award-winning, collaborative teacher and researcher who has led the school through a time of University-wide transition and extraordinary challenges in the field of education,” says Chancellor Kent Syverud. “She is the right person to lead the School of Education forward at this critical time in our University’s history.”
Associate Professor Cathy Engstrom, chair of the Department of Higher Education and chair of the search committee, says, “The 16-person search committee is delighted about the decision to appoint Joanna as the Dean of the School of Education. During the process, she garnered an outpouring of support from faculty, staff, students, university and community partners, SOE’s Board of Visitors and our alumni. Her strong scholarly accomplishments, including impressive success securing external grants; notable achievements in her varied administrative roles that required collaborations across the University’s schools and colleges, such as the complex NCATE accreditation process; and her record of teaching excellence position her to take on the challenges of the deanship from a solid foundation of experience.”
Engstrom adds, “She has embraced her role as interim dean, working diligently to understand the complex set of challenges that we face. Her open, transparent, collaborative leadership style, record of shared governance, tireless work ethic and lived principles of justice, compassion and inclusion are all essential qualities we noted that will be invaluable as the school moves to develop a collective vision and strategic plan. We offer our warmest congratulations and look forward to working with Dean Masingila to build upon the momentum, energy and upbeat optimism she has already begun to instill in our School of Education.”
Masingila began her tenure at Syracuse University in 1992 as an assistant professor of mathematics and mathematics education in the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Education. In the last two decades, she has risen through the ranks and collected numerous honors, including the Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Recognition Award (2006) and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Unsung Hero Award (2005). She was named a Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor for Teaching Excellence in 2003 and a Gateway Fellow in 2002. In 1998, Masingila was a Fulbright Scholar to Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya, and in 2011 she returned there as a visiting professor for six months.
Masingila’s research interests include teacher development, teacher-educator development, mathematical knowledge for teaching teachers and students’ out-of-school mathematics practice. She has been the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on approximately $5.6 million in research grants, including six from the National Science Foundation and two from the U.S. Agency for International Development. She is widely published in journals and books, and has developed a number of multimedia case studies examining issues in teaching practice.
Masingila is a graduate of Goshen College and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. She received a Ph.D. in mathematics education from Indiana University-Bloomington.