Fall 2017: Improving Quality of Life of Individuals and Communities

A Message from Joyce Alexander

Joyce Alexadner sitting in front of the Shaping the Future sculpture.Two years ago, I sat down with the faculty to lay out a vision for the College of Education and Human Development. At the forefront of this vision was our commitment to have a transformational impact on our students, community, state and world. We have shared this vision with you, through this publication, one transformational impact at a time. In this issue of Transforming Lives, we focus on our commitment to improving quality of life for individuals and communities.

Education plays a critical role in improving quality of life, but training educators is not our complete charge. We train leaders in health, psychology, science and business; game changers that are uncovering new ideas, developing initiatives, providing resources and building programs to improve everyday life. In the following pages, you will find our continued commitment to this impact.

Our featured story shows you how one faculty member is using narrative research to uncover the challenges surrounding school reform. True to our land-grant mission, you will also see how we are engaging with a local neighborhood to build better school experiences for the children in our community.

Previous issues of Transforming Lives have highlighted our efforts to produce great teachers and leaders in education; work that is combatting the current teacher shortage in Texas. We will introduce you to a parallel effort to reduce healthcare provider shortages by providing mental health resources and treatment options for rural communities.

Our focus, as always, is on our students. We will get to know Paige Ferrell who, as an undergrad, developed a model to enhance teachers’ abilities to address the challenges of students with special needs in a small village in Nicaragua.

Best,

Joyce Alexander
Dean and Profesor, Reta Haynes Dean's Endowed Chair

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