Cecelia Traugh Selected as Graduate School Dean

Dear Colleagues,

Cecelia Traugh

We are pleased to let you know that the search process for the Dean of the Graduate School has reached a successful conclusion. The Search Committee came to a unanimous and strong consensus and our recommendation was enthusiastically endorsed by Shael.

We are excited to announce that Cecelia Traugh has accepted the position of Dean of the Graduate School.

Cecelia currently serves as Dean and Professor at the School of Education at Long Island University’s (LIU) Brooklyn Campus. Prior to becoming Dean in 2006, Cecelia served as Acting Dean and has continued to serve as a teaching member of the University faculty while engaging in research. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of California, Riverside. She received her doctorate at the University of California, Berkeley, in Curriculum and Instruction.

Cecelia has used descriptive inquiry both in higher education and in schools to open up issues, raise questions, and reflect on directions for decision-making and implementation to improve practice. She is steeped in the values and practices of progressive education. Her mentors have included Vito Perrone and Pat Carini. She is known for her capacity in building consensus and her deep commitment to facilitating and sustaining conversation on issues of diversity as they relate to educating teachers and leaders for urban schools and civic institutions.

We will hold a welcome reception for Cecelia on June 3rd and she will officially begin her work as Dean on September 1stIn the meantime, you may want to begin getting to know her through her scholarship, which reflects her commitment to descriptive inquiry as “a way of looking” aimed at “uncovering the particulars of children and their work, of classroom and school issues, of teaching practice.” Cecelia sees descriptive inquiry as a stance that allows educators to deepen understandings by “living” the questions. Cecelia has applied this process to both classroom practice and to whole-school inquiry.

Her writing tacks artfully between the particularities of learning, teaching and leading (an unexpected incident, a revealing exchange, a specific pedagogical move), and big ideas that have implications for the work we do within and beyond the walls of the College. You may be particularly interested in Cecelia’s chapter in the second volume of a collection called Defending Public Education, titled “Finding the Color of the Sky: Inquiry in Teacher Preparation.”  (You can read the article online here, and the full volume here).

The title is taken from the South African poet Willie Kgositsile, who wrote, “When the clouds clear / we shall know the colour of the sky.” It draws on teachers’ narratives to describe struggles with “everyday oppressions” in the face of increasingly standardized content and practice. Another article available as a PDF online is “Learning how to talk (and work) across difference,” which describes the work she has done with colleagues to reimagine teacher education programs at LIU, as well as her inquiry work with several NYC public schools.

We are deeply appreciative of the insights and feedback provided by all the representative groups who took time out of their schedules to meet with all the finalists, and the staff who worked to make this search a successful one.

We know you will join us in welcoming Cecelia to the Bank Street community and supporting her and the Graduate School as we move forward.

Thank you.

Dean’s Search Committee

Sue Kaplan (co-Chair)
Nilda Bayron-Resnick (co-Chair)
Virginia Casper
Jonathan Cole
Barbara Coleman
Ali McKersie
Shael Polakow-Suransky
Rima Shore
Cathleen Wiggins