New Dean Chosen for School of Education

An associate dean from Ohio State University has been selected to head Pitt’s School of Education.

Valerie Kinloch, who is a professor of literacy studies and the associate dean of diversity, inclusion and community engagement in Ohio State’s College of Education and Human Ecology, will begin her tenure here as the Renée and Richard Goldman Dean of the School of Education on July 1.

Kinloch succeeds Alan Lesgold, who served as dean 2000-16. Faculty member Lindsay Clare Matsumura has been serving as interim dean since Lesgold stepped down last August.

In a prepared statement, Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson said: “Valerie is committed to guiding the School of Education to new levels of excellence in its preparation of educational professionals and scholars, and her vision for the School of Education is well matched with our long-term aspirations for the University of Pittsburgh.

“Her background and experience make her uniquely suited to working with faculty, staff and students to align teaching, research and service with the broader goals and missions of a major research institution.”

A faculty member at Ohio State since 2007, Kinloch currently leads efforts toward building sustainable models of diversity, equity, inclusion and engagement for the College of Education and Human Ecology. Her research focuses on the literacy, language, culture and community engagement of youth and adults, both inside and outside of schools.

She previously was the associate department chair for the college’s Department of Teaching and Learning. In that position, she comanaged approximately 60 faculty members and a large number of staff across the Columbus and regional campuses. She helped to strengthen program curricula, enhance an urban education programmatic focus and evaluate the roles of staff.

She also served as the college’s chief diversity officer and director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, 2014-16. She helped to address increasing the enrollment of underrepresented students and creating an engaging academic climate for all.

Her background and experience make her uniquely suited to working with faculty, staff and students to align teaching, research and service with the broader goals and missions of a major research institution.

Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson

Kinloch also has taught at Columbia University’s Teachers College and the University of Houston-Downtown.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in honors English at Johnson C. Smith University in 1996. At Wayne State University, she earned a master’s in English and African-American literature in 1998 and a PhD in composition and rhetoric, with emphasis in urban studies, in 2000.

Her books “Still Seeking an Attitude: Critical Reflections on the Work of June Jordan” and “June Jordan: Her Life and Letters” examine one of the most influential African-American writers of the 20th century.

Kinloch also is the author of “Harlem on Our Minds: Place, Race and the Literacies of Urban Youth” and “Crossing Boundaries —Teaching and Learning With Youth of Color.”

She is the editor of “Urban Literacies: Critical Perspectives on Language, Learning and Community,” and co-edited “Service-Learning in Literacy Education: Possibilities for Teaching and Learning.”

Kinloch’s honors include Ohio State’s James M. Siddens Award for Distinguished Faculty Advising/Mentoring; a Leadership Program Fellowship from the Big Ten Academic Alliance; the Rewey Belle Inglis Award for Outstanding Women in English Education from the National Council of Teachers of English; the Who’s Who in Black Columbus Award from the City of Columbus; Ohio State’s 2015 University Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award; the Service-Learning Research Excellence Award from the University of Georgia; and the Outstanding Book of the Year Award from the American Educational Research Association.