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Message from the Dean: Fall 2023

Dear SOE Billiken Alums,

What a terrific start to the school year we are having! We are delighted to welcome our largest new undergraduate class in more than a decade.

Our committed team of SOE educators and staff began the semester with a marvelous retreat, where we were deeply engaged in our SLU mission and were also vividly reminded of how fortunate we all are to be part of such a passionate, talented and kind community. The retreat was followed up by several opportunities to welcome and orient our new students, most notably through the SLU Convocation on August 19 at Chaifetz Arena. You may view the full Convocation video, and then perhaps go to 26:30 minutes to see our own Associate Dean Molly Schaller’s inspiring welcome to the students and families.

The SOE continues to grow, and we are pleased to announce five new members of our SOE team in 2023. Kristi Baker Patterson, Ph.D.; Benton Brown, Ph.D.; Jeannine Butler, Ed.D.; Sheldon McAfee, Ed.D.; and Carolyn O’Laughlin, Ph.D. bring expertise that will enhance our students’ experiences.

We also highlight a new partnership with the education community through the addition of Frontier Schools in Kansas City to our public charter school portfolio. Frontier Schools, known for their dedication to empowering traditionally underserved students with high-quality education, aligns seamlessly with the School of Education's core values.

We also feature the work of Jennifer Buehler, Ph.D., who passionately advocates for diverse young adult literature. She offers talking points as a tool that teachers of young adult literature may use to help reframe the conversation about censorship.

This spring, we were also delighted to honor H. Eric Clark, Ed.D., as the recipient of the School of Education’s 2023 Alumni Merit Award. Clark’s career journey has led him to Loyola Academy of St. Louis, where he has served as president for the past 15 years.

Last, but not least, we hope to see many of you on campus this weekend, when the School of Education is excited to host Babaloo, a one-man musical comedy act that is geared for young kids, PreK-Grade 3. The event will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, September 23, on the Fitzgerald Hall lawn during this year’s Homecoming and Family Weekend. We hope to see you there!

As always, please let us know how we might support you better or communicate with you more effectively. We hope you are enjoying our beautiful fall weather in St. Louis, and we look forward to seeing you on campus!

Best wishes,
Gary W. Ritter, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Education