A Message to the UCLA Education and Information Studies Community

As we prepare for the Fall Quarter, I am delighted to share that we have now recruited three new outstanding faculty to join UCLA Education and Information Studies in September – we look forward to featuring these new colleagues in an upcoming issue of Ampersand. We also have leadership changes upcoming. As you know, I will be leaving my position as UCLA Wasserman Dean on July 31 to travel to Boston where I will serve as Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston. UCLA has just announced that Tina Christie, chair of UCLA’s Department of Education, has been selected to serve as Interim Dean for the next year until the search for a new UCLA Wasserman Dean is completed. Tina is an amazing leader, a great colleague, and widely respected across UCLA. I am delighted that I will leave the School in such great hands. Read more here

I also want to congratulate Dr. Pedro Noguera, UCLA Distinguished Professor of Education and Director of the Center for the Transformation of Schools, who has just been selected as the Dean of the USC Rossier School of Education. Pedro is a nationally known scholar of urban schooling for our most vulnerable youth. He is also a great leader and will do a marvelous job in this new role across town. Read more here

As so many of you know firsthand, parents across the nation are struggling to manage their children’s education during this current remote learning era. Project directors at UCLA’s Center X have provided suggestions for parents in this UCLA Newsroom article, which shares ways to incorporate academic subjects into everyday tasks and playtime.

Congratulations to UCLA Education graduate student Josephine Pham (’19, PhD, Urban Schooling), who has been honored by the American Educational Research Association (AERA) with the Outstanding Dissertation Award, a very prestigious honor. Her dissertation, “The Multi-Faceted Nature of Racially Transformative Practices: Bringing to Light the Invisibilized Labor and Leadership of Teachers of Color,” brings to light all of the unseen tasks that teachers do, such as connecting with families and developing culturally relevant and sustaining curriculum with colleagues. This invisible work has become even more apparent to us all during this COVID crisis. Read more here

And this week, I particularly wanted to thank Dr. Jean-François Blanchette, Chair of the UCLA Department of Information Studies, for his leadership during these past few weeks. His work in guiding the Information Studies transition to remote teaching and learning was stellar. Much of the learning there engages students actively through internships and experiences – and colleagues there have done a great job of finding ways to transition these to remote learning opportunities. Dr. Blanchette is an esteemed scholar who examines emerging issues around information such as digital preservation, privacy and data retention, the authenticity of electronic information, and information security. I have had great respect for Jean-François’ innovative thinking and persistence on behalf of the entire Information Studies Department during this very challenging time. 

We will continue to keep you updated as we move forward with UCLA’s planning for the fall.  I thank you all and continue to wish you and yours a safe and healthy week. 

Please take care and keep in touch,

Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco
UCLA Wasserman Dean & Distinguished Professor of Education
UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies