AACTE Board Members Share Advice on How to Navigate Through COVID-19

Jacob Easley II  Jennie Carr Jesse Perez Mendez

In recent interviews, I met with AACTE Board of Directors to collect their advice for colleges of education to effectively address challenges caused by COVID-19. These videos feature interview participants Jacob Easley II, Jennie Carr, and Jesse Perez Mendez.

“COVID-19 has tested our ability to be nimble and to remain committed to our efforts towards program quality and access,” said Jacob Easley II, dean of the Graduate School of Education at Touro College, who reflects on lessons learned during the pandemic in his video. He previously served as dean of the School of Education and Professional Studies at Eastern Connecticut State University, and chaired the Education Division at University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown. He earned his Ph.D. in educational leadership (curriculum and supervision) from the Pennsylvania State University, an M.A. in applied linguistics/English from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and his bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Morehouse College. He also holds a graduate certificate in educational administration from Georgia State University.

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Jennie Carr, associate professor of education in the teacher education program at Bridgewater College, offers ways to encourage colleagues and students during this global health crisis in her video. “Our students right now may not have much positivity around them and we have the opportunity as teacher educators to be that positive light for them,” she said. Carr earned a B.S. in Liberal Studies at Bridgewater College, an M.A. in education curriculum and instruction from Eastern Mennonite University, and a Ph.D. in curriculum and teaching from North Central University. She taught fourth grade for seven years in Rockingham County Public Schools in Harrisonburg, VA.

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 “We have always maintained a semblance of the four phases of emergency management: preparation, mitigation, response and recovery,” said Jesse Perez Mendez, dean of the college of education at Texas Tech University, who shares leadership tips for navigating crises in his video. Previously, he served as the head of the school of educational studies in the College of Education at Oklahoma State University. He earned his Ph.D. in higher education and J.D. from the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University. He also holds a master’s degree in political science from Texas Tech University and a Bachelor of Arts from Midwestern State University. Mendez is a former fellow of the American Council on Education (ACE) where he worked under the Office of the Provost at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Jerrica Thurman

Director of Marketing & Communications, AACTE