Dr. Jane Stallings, former dean of the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University, passed away Sunday, January 31. Dr. Stallings was a distinguished educator and author whose career involved the improvement of education for students while elevating the teaching profession.
A native of South Bend, Indiana, Dr. Stallings received her B.S. from Ball State University in elementary education and science education in 1951. Afterward, she moved to Long Beach, California to work as a teacher. She later enrolled at Stanford University where she obtained her M.S. and Ph.D. in education and child development. Her ambitious career blossomed as she sought work at various higher education institutions across the nation.
Her efforts eventually led her to Texas A&M, where she made Aggie history. In 1990, Dr. Stallings was selected as Dean of the College of Education — the first female to ever hold a deanship at the university.
“She paved the way for women in leadership positions across the university,” said Dr. Joyce Alexander, current dean of the College of Education and Human Development.
During her time at Texas A&M, Dr. Stallings helped establish many programs including the Dean’s Roundtable which continues to honor educators who are role models to their students and peers, mentors for new education professionals, servant leaders in their communities and examples of what the college hopes its Aggie graduates will become. This event has recognized hundreds of individuals for the past 25 years and has raised thousands of dollars for the college.
In 1995, she was elected president of the American Education Research Association (AERA) – another first for Texas A&M University. Her role in the organization assisted her in continued strong faculty recruitment through various seminars and educational showcases.
Dr. Stallings also helped establish the Learning to Teach in Inner City Schools teacher program at Texas A&M. Through this program, Dr. Stallings focused on giving student teachers the tools necessary for educational outreach to inner city minority students.
“Her biggest passion was that she developed a way to evaluate teachers in the classroom and make a difference in how they worked with inner city students and minorities,” said Dr. Becky Carr, assistant dean for finance and administration. “She was interested in doing whatever it took to make sure students had access to education.”
Dr. Stallings is remembered by her four children: Lisa Stallings, Larkin Stallings and his wife Jacqueline, Joshua Stallings and his wife Erika, and Shaun Anzaldua; her grandchildren Dylan, Jared, Monica, Nicole, Jordan, Joshua, David, Sophie and Jillian; her brothers Dan and Stan Smith.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Heifer Project at heifer.org.