George Mason University

News at Mason

Mason’s College of Education and Human Development adds high-profile faculty

June 21, 2017   /   by Damian Cristodero

Anne Holton, Alvin Crawley and Spiros Protopsaltis are all joining the College of Education and Human Development. Photos provided.

For George Mason University’s College of Education and Human Development (CEHD), the 2017-18 academic year will be one of creation and integration.

The school is adding 13 faculty members, which means new faces, classes and ideas in a college whose increasing enrollment is bucking the national trend in education preparation.

“It’s energizing,” CEHD Dean Mark Ginsberg said of the new additions. “I’m very excited. We have some really good people who will be joining with us and adding their expertise and experience to our highly respected faculty.”

Those include high-profile additions such as Anne Holton, Virginia’s former Secretary of Education; Spiros Protopsaltis, former deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Education; and Alvin Crawley, superintendent of Alexandria (Va.) City Public Schools.

Holton, who will join Mason as a visiting professor, will also have duties at the Schar School of Policy and Government and will serve as a Senior Fellow of the Center for Education Policy and Evaluation. She will teach graduate courses, mentor students and plan public seminars on topics in education policy focused on improving public education.

Protopsaltis, a visiting associate professor, will teach a graduate class in the fall on critical issues and trends in federal education policy. He, too, will be a Fellow of the Center for Education Policy and Evaluation.

Crawley, an educator for 37 years who Ginsberg called “one of the most respected African-American school superintendents in the country,” will teach graduate courses and mentor students in the CEHD’s Education Leadership Program.

"I see this as an opportunity for me to share my experiences with different administrators, to be able to mentor them, and provide insight into what really happens in practice in school organizations," Crawley said.

Holton will do the same with CEHD and the Schar School, but from a policy standpoint.

“What the deans and I talked about is doing [seminars] to bring the faculty together between the two departments, but also bring the public into the discussion, hopefully, around the same public education topics,” said Holton, wife of U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.). “I’m just thrilled at the opportunity to interact with other faculty and the Mason students at a time when they are looking forward to great futures.”

Protopsaltis, who spent eight years on Capitol Hill and in the Obama administration, cited Mason’s location and collaborative learning environment.

“More than ever it’s important for us to have research-based approaches to tackling the challenges facing our nation’s education system. George Mason’s proximity to the nation’s capital and its vibrant and rigorous intellectual environment provide excellent conditions for collaborative research and the development of sound policy recommendations, which made this opportunity very appealing.”

For Ginsberg, the new hires will help the CEHD keep pace with the demands of its students. While the number of students selecting education as a major has declined nationwide, according the U.S. Department of Education, enrollment at CEHD increased nearly six percent last year, Ginsberg said.

“It has to do with our reputation for preparing well-trained and career-ready educators as well as the currency and quality of our programs,” Ginsberg said. “We continually strive for our programs, activities and initiatives to remain on the cutting edge.”