A new chapter in leadership at the College of Education and Human Development


Ingrid Guerra-López, dean of the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) at George Mason University, announced a shift in the structure and focus of CEHD leadership. A new rotational model was implemented to incorporate a wider array of perspectives and enhance collaborative governance. This important transition followed a community-wide conversation that resulted in an updated mission for the college.

"The College of Education and Human Development is an inclusive community of scholars, educators, and practitioners dedicated to the lifelong pursuit of learning, development, and well-being,” said Guerra-López. Through transdisciplinary collaboration, we innovate and produce research that positively impacts the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.”

Embracing this new mission is a new team of deans who join the ranks of senior staff leaders to focus on academics affairs, research, and faculty and student success. Selected through an open internal search process across the college that tapped into the exceptional talent within CEHD faculty, this team exemplifies commitment to inclusivity, transparency, and the value placed on diverse leadership capabilities. The selection process, championed by their peers, highlights the collective effort of the CEHD community to shape the future of the college.

Leading research endeavors, last semester CEHD tapped Jatin Ambegaonkar as associate dean for research. Ambegaonkar serves as a liaison between CEHD and other university departments, research offices, and external partners to foster transdisciplinary collaborations.

In addition, this spring four new deans joined the leadership team, each bringing a wealth of knowledge and a fresh perspective to their respective areas of focus.

Recruited from CEHD’s esteemed faculty, these individuals will play pivotal roles in enhancing our academic programs, elevating our research profile, and enriching faculty development and success. We welcome our four new deans: Joan Kang Shin and Jacqueline McDowell focusing on faculty success, and Dominique Banville and Stephanie Dodman, who together with Dan Minot, assistant dean for student success, form our Student and Academic Affairs leadership team.

Dean Guerra-López expressed enthusiasm for the diverse expertise and perspectives the new deans bring to the team, emphasizing their collective role in advancing the college's refreshed mission. Highlighting the unique strengths of each dean, she is confident in their ability to collaborate as they lead efforts to position the college for the future in ways that best serve the needs of our community and external partners.

Guerra-López expressed deep appreciation for the longstanding contributions of Martin Ford and Ellen Rodgers, acknowledging their pivotal roles in the college's success. “As we embrace this new era, we also extend our deepest gratitude to these two senior deans for their years of distinguished service,” said Guerra-López. “Their dedication and invaluable contributions have been instrumental in our journey, and their support and guidance through the planning and transition process have been vital for positioning our new leadership model for success.”

Highlighting Ford’s development of key processes, alongside his leadership grounded in research on motivation and competence development across the lifespan, and Rodgers' 20+ years of commitment to student success and well-being, Guerra-López added, “Their mentorship and transition support will be deeply appreciated as we continue to benefit from their wisdom and dedication to the college.”