University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

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Cynthia Gray-Mash, Robert Hollon
Named Co-Directors of Center
For Collaborative Leadership in Education

 MAILED:  May 12, 2004

EAU CLAIRE — Two veteran faculty members in the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s School of Education have been named co-directors of the university’s new Center for Collaborative Leadership in Education.

Cynthia Gray-Mash, associate professor of foundations of education, and Robert Hollon, professor of curriculum and instruction, will lead the new center on campus, which received administrative approval last fall.

The Center is part of an ongoing initiative by the School of Education and UW-Eau Claire to serve area school districts and to enhance teacher education at UW-Eau Claire. It will provide faculty, students and teachers in the field of education with opportunities to better understand issues and legislative actions at the forefront of schooling today, and to exchange ideas and reflect on developing exemplary practices in the schools of the future, said Katherine Rhoades, associate dean of Education.

“Dr. Cynthia Gray-Mash and Dr. Robert Hollon bring a wealth of talent to the directorship,” Rhoades said. “I am especially delighted that the spirit of collaboration that is so central to the Center’s vision has been extended by hiring co-directors instead of a single person. I know that individually and collectively they will provide an outstanding beginning for Center activities.”

Gray-Mash and Hollon share a strong interest in the role of leadership as a catalyst in improving education. They are in the process of establishing an advisory board and leadership network among faculty, students, teachers in the region, administrators and community members who will work with them to establish the working model of the Center.

Ultimately we seek to employ a plan for students to experience collaborative leadership opportunities on and off campus from the time they enroll to the time they graduate,” Gray-Mash said. “The center will also act as a catalyst for regional forums on collaborative leadership as it applies to complex changes in education today."

Gray-Mash and Hollon say the Center will offer a new “UW-Eau Claire advantage” to education students who demonstrate interest and potential in collaborative leadership.

“I am eager to be a part of this movement,” Gray-Mash said. “For decades the School of Education has consistently graduated excellent teachers and we are strongly positioned to capitalize on these strengths.”

“The Center represents a major advance in professional teacher education,” Hollon said. “It makes us unique and will serve as a stepping stone to the next level of teacher education. Collaborative leadership is a strategy as well as a goal. The Center will initiate and support innovative collaborations with a variety of agencies to enhance professional development for all educators.

“Already we are working with area partners to respond to legislative mandates, exploring funding possibilities for educator development, and working to create shared positions that enhance the productivity of educators throughout the region.”

Gray-Mash joined the UW-Eau Claire faculty in 1998. She holds a doctorate in education from Harvard University. She teaches courses in social foundations, human relations, and the historical, legal and philosophical foundations of education. Her areas of expertise include multicultural education, instructional development, child development and curriculum and instruction. Her research interests are visual anthropology, bridging the gap between the liberal arts and professional training, development of altruism and Foxfire Core Teaching Practices.

Hollon joined the faculty in 1993. He earned his Ph.D. at Michigan State University. He teaches courses in elementary and secondary science methods and a seminar on research in teaching. In addition to elementary and secondary science education, his areas of expertise include instructional technology and science teacher education. His research interests include constructivist pre-service and in-service teacher education, teacher cognition and microcomputer applications in science teaching.

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Updated: May 11, 2004