Rider University dean named an Impact Academy fellow


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Dr. Jason Barr, dean of Rider University’s College of Education and Human Services, was recently named an Impact Academy fellow through the national nonprofit organization Deans for Impact.

Barr joins a cohort of 20 leaders chosen for their commitment to improving educator preparation rooted in equity during the fellowship’s seventh cohort, according to a press release through Rider University on July 5.

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The year-long Impact Academy fellowship is designed to empower dean-level leaders with skills, knowledge and strategies to pursue instructional excellence in the face of new challenges, such as preparing teachers and K-12 leaders who are well-equipped to identify and address educational inequities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m looking forward to a year of learning along with some of the most forward-thinking education deans in the country and making a substantial impact on our teacher preparation program,” Barr said.

Barr was named dean in 2021 after serving as interim dean since Feb. 2020 and serving as associate dean. He currently chairs the College of Education and Human Services (CEHS) diversity advisory board, which was formed in 2021 to attract and mentor future educators who are more culturally representative of the communities they serve.

The 2022-23 Impact Academy fellowship combines monthly virtual sessions and two in-person gatherings with regular learning modules and ongoing leadership coaching from veteran leaders. Fellows strengthen their ability to engage faculty, staff and K-12 school partners in a shared vision for change, grounded in a deep scientific understanding about how students learn, according to the press release.

“We’re excited to welcome this new cohort of 20 fellows committed to grounding their educator-preparation programs in equity and improving the field of education more broadly,” said Valerie Sakimura, vice president of program at Deans for Impact. “As we continue to support outstanding educator-preparation leaders to drive transformative change, Deans for Impact aims to realize our long-term vision of building a national collective of leaders who are creating and sustaining conditions for teachers to create rigorous, equitable and inclusive classrooms where all students thrive.”

Before coming to Rider, Barr served as the associate dean of the School of Education at Monmouth University and the dean of the College of Education and Rehabilitation at Salus University. He has also held teaching and research roles at institutions including New York University, Fordham University, Rowan University and the IDEA Center Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving student learning in higher education, according to the press release.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Hartford, master’s in educational psychology from New York University and a doctorate in applied developmental psychology from Fordham University.

Since 2015, Deans for Impact has built the capacity of more than 100 leaders of educator-preparation programs through the Impact Academy, positioning them to make pedagogy a priority within their programs and advocate for more equitable systems of teaching and learning, according to the press release.

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