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Westerhof Named Dean of School of Education

Jolanda Westerhof (SUNY Geneseo/Keith Walters '11)

Jolanda Westerhof has been named dean of the Ella Cline Shear School of Education after a competitive national search. Westerhof began her role as dean on June 24.

"I am delighted to welcome Jolanda to Geneseo," Provost Stacey Robertson said. "Her former colleagues hold her in high regard, and her experience, interests, and vision align perfectly with those that are critical to the position of dean of education at this time. I look forward to working with Jolanda as she leads the School of Education."

An experienced teacher and professor, Westerhof has taught at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, MI, and Principia College in Elsah, IL. Westerhof also served in leadership roles, including as vice president of Educational Programs at the Veritas Institute in St. Louis and as president at Principia College. Additionally, Westerhof was the director of teacher education and served three concurrent years as associate vice president for the Academic Leadership and Change Division at the American Association of State Colleges & Universities (AASCU) in Washington, D.C. Her background in education also includes roles as an instructor in English as a second language and middle school teacher.

Westerhof is the 2018 recipient of the David G. Imig Award for Distinguished Achievement in Teacher Education from the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education and the 2006 recipient of the University Outstanding Teacher Award from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids.

Westerhof’s scholarship is focused on the relationship between education and democracy, deliberation, and intellectual autonomy. She was the 2005 recipient of a Fulbright Lecture Scholarship at the Centre for Research and Training in Human Rights and Democratic Citizenship at the University of Zagreb, Croatia. As a Fulbright Scholar, she co-taught Anthropology of Education with the founder of the Centre, served on a curriculum review panel of a  new, post-conflict General Education Curriculum for Human Rights and Democratic Citizenship (the  University’s first general education curriculum, in its 350 year plus history), and conducted research and presented on prospects and problems faced by proponents of a more deliberative discourse in secondary and university-level classrooms in post-communist, transitional societies.

Westerhof earned a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction at Indiana University, a master’s in international affairs at Washington University in St. Louis, and a bachelor’s degree in history and education at Principia College. She also attended the Institute for Management and Leadership in Education at Harvard University.