Sep. 12, 2012

School of Education welcomes new leader


Anjoo Sikka, the new dean of the Ella Cline Shear School of Education, third from right, speaks with department members this week. Sikka says she looks forward to expanding Geneseo's opportunities for students. /PHOTO BY KEITH WALTERS '11




Geneseo students in the School of Education are in a unique situation to impact future generations, as are the faculty and staff members who help them develop their skills and philosophies as teachers, says Anjoo Sikka.

To do this, she says, they are all immersed in two worlds— higher education and K-12 settings. It's not easy to accomplish.

During her first weeks as dean of the Ella Cline Shear School of Education, Sikka says she is "struck by the culture of highest academic standards for students and the student-centered philosophy evident in our everyday operations. It is clear to me that everyone believes that our students are our first priority."

It has been a busy two weeks at the start of her first semester. As Sikka becomes oriented to the college, department staff are preparing for upcoming accreditation visits.

Before coming to Geneseo, Sikka served in various academic capacities at the University of Houston-Downtown since 1994, most recently as professor of education at the Department of Urban Education. She also served as associate dean in the university's College of Public Service and associate dean for graduate and off-campus programs in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Sikka previously taught at Mississippi State University and worked on several federally funded research and training projects in the area of blindness and visual impairment.

She has researched, published and presented widely on perceptions of effective teaching, self-silencing and depression, and teacher assessment. She is a founding member of the Association for Psychological Science.

At Geneseo, she looks forward to expanding the college's high-quality opportunities for learning, and encouraging more contact between school district personnel and the School of Education, so teachers and principals can bring their perspectives on current issues into the curriculum.

Geneseo's biggest challenges will be to be responsive to changing teacher education policies and standards, and best practices.
"I look forward to working with our partner school districts to prepare excellent and inspiring teachers," says Sikka.