Slesaransky-Poe Named Founding Dean of Education at Arcadia University
Dr. Graciela Slesaransky-Poe, associate professor of education and Frank and Evelyn Steinbrucker ’42 Endowed Chair at Arcadia University, has been appointed founding dean of the University’s School of Education. The appointment is effective June 1.
“Arcadia University is delighted to have Dr. Slesaransky-Poe as the founding dean of its School of Education,” said Dr. Steve O. Michael, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Arcadia. “Her pedagogical background and expertise in inclusivity and special education will go a long way in leading the School in its mission of preparing extraordinary teachers and leaders in education.”
Slesaransky-Poe, who joined Arcadia in 2001, teaches courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and coordinates the special education master’s and certification programs. She has published extensively on inclusive education, family collaboration, gender studies, diversity, and social justice and has presented on these topics at regional, national, and international venues. From 2009 to 2013, Slesaransky-Poe served as co-investigator in a longitudinal study on gender identity and expression and sexual orientation of children with gender variance in collaboration with the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. She also developed protocols to award exemplary practices in inclusive education for the Pennsylvania Department of Education in 2009.
Slesaransky-Poe is founder and chair of the Safe and Welcoming Schools Conference at Arcadia, which brings together K-12 students, families, educators, and the Arcadia community to learn how to create safe, welcoming, and affirming educational spaces for LGBTQ students, adults, and allies. Slesaransky-Poe is a member of several professional organizations, including Rethinking Schools, Phi Delta Kappa, the National Association for Multicultural Education, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the Council for Exceptional Children. She also serves on the Welcoming Schools National Advisory Council, a project of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
“Dr. Slesaransky-Poe’s work at the regional, national, and international levels is but one example of why she is the best person to lead the School of Education at Arcadia University,” said Dr. Nicolette DeVille Christensen, president of Arcadia University. “In order to prepare great teachers and leaders in education, a school must have great faculty and offer great programs and must be led by a dynamic, talented, and dedicated dean. Dr. Slesaransky-Poe is such a leader.”
For her work with inclusivity and special education, Slesaransky-Poe has received several awards and honors, including the Patricia J. Creegan Award for Excellence in Inclusive Education. She also was honored at the Human Rights Campaign’s annual dinner in 2011. She completed a one-year Fulbright Fellowship through the Council for International Programs in 1991.
“Arcadia is supremely lucky to have Graciela as founding dean of the School of Education,” said Dr. Ellen Skilton-Sylvester, associate professor of education and chair of the Department of Curriculum, Cultures, and Child/Youth Studies. “As a collaborative leader, she is sensitive to and understands the needs of both the faculty and the institution. Her work chairing Faculty Council, for instance, has been a clear illustration of her leadership skills. We look forward to supporting Graciela as dean.”
Slesaransky-Poe earned a doctorate in special education at Temple University after earning degrees equivalent to a master’s in education and a bachelor’s and master’s in education at the Instituto de Psicodrama Jacobo L. Moreno and the Universidad Nacional de La Plata, respectively, in Argentina.
The School of Education at Arcadia University offers doctoral, master’s, baccalaureate, and certification programs. The School is organized into three departments: Teaching and Learning; Curriculum, Cultures, and Child/Youth Studies; and Leadership for Educational Equity and Excellence; as well as the Office of School and Community Collaborations.