College of Education and Professional Studies Dean's Office Update
Posted on August 31, 2020 by Amber Day
Message from the Dean
With a heart of humbleness and gratitude, I write this message on behalf of the USA College of Education and Professional Studies faculty, staff and students. Since the 2019 fall semester, we have experienced an unprecedented year. We faced unparalleled challenges and uncertainty. However, through it all, the strength and determination of our Jaguar family has been unwavering. We continue to support each other by expanding our knowledge and abilities and refining our craft. We look forward to expanding avenues of teaching, research and development.
We celebrate collective milestones and the achievements of many individuals. Importantly, we are beginning to better understand the profound magnitude of diversity, equity and inclusion. We strive to develop a community of inclusivity, where all voices are heard, valued and respected. Ultimately, we embrace challenges as opportunities as our tenacity and resilience define our collective character.
This past year we opened the Office of Adult Learner Services, whose mission is to support nontraditional students seeking undergraduate degrees. The Literacy Center expanded both on campus and with virtual tutoring sessions. Our graduate programs are seeing substantial growth as our faculty continue to share the exceptional opportunities we provide. Throughout the college, we carefully realigned our curriculum to better meet the needs of our constituents. Our students participated in delivering virtual and televised lessons to children, and our faculty provided exceptional professional development to thousands of educators and professionals in our region. In every area, our programs provided a depth of internship opportunities so our students are better prepared for their careers.
We celebrated our graduates in the Mitchell Center in December and virtually in May. We held a college awards ceremony, countless faculty meetings and student engagement opportunities, both in person and virtually, throughout the academic year. We learned the meaning of new terms, such as social distancing and COVID-19. I am truly constantly amazed by the dedication and resilience of our CEPS family to face the opportunities that present themselves.
In all of the unexpected happenings in life, we are thankful for each of you. We are grateful for your support — knowing that you are present and that you continue to share the message of the great work happening in the College of Education and Professional Studies. We are so very appreciative for the difference you make each day, with our faculty, staff and students, and in the community. After all, together, WE ARE the College of Education and Professional Studies.
As I conclude my message, I want to share with you that on September 1, I am honored to begin serving the University as interim provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs. As I begin in this role, the college will transition into the very capable hands of Dr. John Kovaleski who will serve as interim dean. Without a doubt, the future continues to be bright for the college, as the collective power of us makes us stronger.
Yes, WE ARE FAMILY! WE ARE SOUTH!
- Dr. Andi Kent, Dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies and Interim Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs
Get to Know Dr. John Kovaleski
Dr. John Kovaleski (pictured above, right) has served the University of South Alabama for 30 years. While in the College of Education and Professional Studies, Kovaleski served as professor and chair in the Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Sport. Most recently, he served as associate dean and director of graduate studies in the college. As Dr. Andi Kent moves to her role as interim provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs for the University, Kovaleski will serve as interim dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies.
“I am excited to help further the vision and goals created by Dr. Kent through our mission of teaching and learning, advancement of knowledge through research and scholarship, and leadership in service and outreach,” Kovaleski said. “The College of Education and Professional Studies remains focused on our vital goals: to empower our students to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives and to enhance the vitality of the communities that we serve. We will provide a premier educational experience while we implement several protocols grounded in our paramount priority—the health and safety of our students, our faculty and staff, and our campus visitors. As we proceed with the academic year, we will honor our enduring values—especially innovation and courage—while embracing these unprecedented challenges with abiding optimism in a brighter future. Many students have told us that they value the personal educational experiences that we provide at USA, where faculty and students are learning partners, no matter the challenges!”