University Letter

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Five finalists for Dean of College of Education & Human Development will visit UND Jan. 18, 22-25

Education Building

Five finalists have been invited to visit campus for the College of Education & Human Development deanship at the University of North Dakota.

The finalist selected for the position will replace the College’s previous permanent dean, Cindy Juntunen, who became Associate Provost/Dean of Graduate Studies and Research at California State University, Monterey Bay, in September 2023.

Cheryl Hunter, professor of education, health & behavior studies, has since served as interim dean.

Open forums begin Thursday, Jan. 18, and continue Monday, Jan. 22, through Thursday, Jan. 25.  The schedule, CVs and biographies of the finalists can be found on the CEHD dean search website.  We hope that you will be able participate in this important search process.

The following biographies were submitted by the finalists.

Supriya Baily

Supriya BailySupriya Baily is an activist, scholar, and educator. Currently, she is Professor of Education at George Mason University, focusing social justice, the marginalization of girls and women in educational policy and practice, and the role of teacher education to address educational inequity.

She is the Co-Director for the Center for International Education and is the immediate Past-President of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES). She was the inaugural Director for Faculty Development for CEHD. Her scholarship has received multiple awards, co-editing four books and publishing numerous articles and book chapters as well as securing nearly $2m in collaborative grants. She has held a number of influential leadership positions engaging in strategic planning, fundraising, financial and program management, and marketing and communications.

Her board engagement includes serving the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area, the Global Teacher Education Inc and CIES. At Mason, she has chaired search committees, promotion and tenure committees for multiple colleges and she co-chairs the leadership team for Mason’s COACHE (The Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education) Initiative to support faculty satisfaction and was one of four faculty members who served on the Working Group for the most recent strategic plan.

She frequently speaks at events in the US and around the world on education, social justice and gender. She has been a visiting faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania, Oslo Metropolitan University and Southeastern Norway University, in part due to her expertise in teacher education and research methods.

Ronald Jay Werner-Wilson

Ronald Jay Werner-WilsonDr. Werner-Wilson began his academic career in 1993 at Western Michigan University. He has been a faculty member at land-grant, R-1 universities since 1995 that includes appointments at Colorado State University, Iowa State University, the University of Kentucky, and North Dakota State University. After a national search, he was named Dean of the College of Human Sciences and Education at North Dakota State University in June 2022. Following a university reorganization that included merging units from the College of Human Sciences and Education with the College of Health Professions, he was named Interim Dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences after an internal search. The newly merged college includes 2,853 students, 127 faculty, 68 staff, $21 million in tuition, and $9 million in extramural funding. During his term as dean and interim dean, the colleges he led at NDSU have raised more than $2.2 million in private funding to support scholarships, research, outreach, and strategic initiatives.

Additional academic leadership experience includes serving as director of accredited graduate programs, director of graduate studies, and department chair.

Mojdeh Bayat

Mojdeh BayatMojdeh Bayat, Ph.D., is a Professor of Child Development and Mental Health. She is on the faculty of the College of Education at DePaul University. She has held several leadership positions inside and outside of academia, including the Executive Director of a non-profit organization, Department Associate Chair, Program Director, and more recently, the interim Dean of the College of Education at DePaul University. Bayat is an internationally known expert in the education and treatment of children with mental health issues and children with neurodevelopmental disorders, and the author of several articles and books including, Teaching Exceptional Children (3rd ed.) (2023)Positive Interactions with At-Risk Children: Enhancing your Students’ Well-being, Resilience, and Success (2019), and Addressing Challenging Behaviors and Mental Health Issues in Early Childhood (2nd ed.) (2020).

Bayat is deeply committed to promoting the educational rights and quality of life of all children, particularly those who are at risk for mental health issues due to growing up in adversities, and/or due to neurobiological conditions. She has advocated for children’s rights in West Africa and Mexico. Her current research focuses on innovative, and effective methods of working with children as a way of improving their overall wellbeing and health. She has developed an approach called the Resilience-based Interaction Model (RIM), which has been featured in her recent publications.

Bayat earned a Ph.D. in child development from the Erikson Institute, an MA in early childhood special education from Northeastern Illinois University, and a BA in law and society from the American University.

Kristy A. Brugar

Kristy A. BrugarKristy Brugar is a Professor of Social Studies Education, Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum Department Chair, and Robert L. and Nan A. Huddleston Presidential Professor of Education at the University of Oklahoma. She also serves as the Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Council for History Education.

Dr. Brugar is a recipient of the University of Oklahoma Jeanine Rainbolt College of Education Junior Faculty Award (2017); the National Council for the Social Studies, College and University Faculty Assembly Early Career Award (2017); the OU Jeanine Rainbolt College of Education Research Award (2020); and the OU Jeanine Rainbolt College of Education Leadership Award (2024). Brugar’s research focuses on teacher development, social studies/history education, and interdisciplinary instruction involving inquiry, social studies, literacy, and visual arts.

Brugar teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in elementary and secondary social studies education. Previously, she was a middle school history/social studies teacher in Maryland and Michigan.

Shelbie Witte

Shelbie WitteDr. Shelbie Witte is the Kim and Chuck Watson Chair in Education and professor of adolescent literacy and English Education at Oklahoma State University, where she serves as Senior Director of Teacher Education and School Head of the School of Teaching, Learning & Educational Sciences. She is proud to serve as site director emeritus of the Oklahoma State University Writing Project as well as the founding director of the Initiative for Literacy in a Digital Age, which recognizes the annual recipients of the Divergent Award for Literacy in a Digital Age Research and provides theory to practice resources for classroom teachers and students interested in implementing digital literacies in the classroom.

Dr. Witte began her teaching career in 1995 as an English Language Arts teacher in a small city in southwest Oklahoma. Since that time, she has taught every level of adolescents and adults, from middle school through doctoral students, in rural, urban, and suburban communities. Dr. Witte was selected as a finalist for 2008 Kansas Teacher of the Year and earned National Board Certified in Early Adolescence/English Language Arts in 2006. She has a decades-long membership to the National Council of Teachers of English, where she has served in many capacities including the nationally-elected middle-level representative to the Executive Committee and most recently co-editor, along with Sara Kajder, of the premiere middle-level journal Voices from the Middle.

Witte has published extensively in the area of digital literacies and 21st century literacies, including teacher and librarian partnerships, writing in digital spaces, young adult literature and popular culture curricular integrations. Her most recent books include Writing Changes Everything: Middle-Level Kids Writing Themselves Into the World (NCTE), From Text to Epitext (ABC-CLIO) & Literacy Engagement through Peritextual Analysis (ALA and NCTE) both with Melissa Gross and Don Latham, Toward a More Visual Literacy: Shifting the Paradigm with Digital Tools and Young Adult Literature and Young Adult Literature in the Digital World (both with Jennifer Dail and Steven Bickmore) and two titles with Brill/Sense focusing on gaming literacies (with Antero Garcia and Jennifer Dail).