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Georgia Southern Administrator Selected as Dean of Richard W. Riley College of Education

Jennie Rakestraw
ROCK HILL, S.C. - Dr. Jennie Rakestraw, associate dean for graduate programs and a professor in the College of Education at Georgia Southern University, was named today as the dean of the Richard W. Riley College of Education at Winthrop University. The appointment takes effect July 1.

University officials conducted a national search for someone to succeed Dr. Patricia Graham, who has been dean for the past eight years.

Winthrop officials said Rakestraw possesses substantial experience in teaching, scholarship and administration. “Dr. Rakestraw understands the world of teacher education for undergraduate and graduate students at local to national levels. She is well prepared to build on Winthrop’s outstanding record of leadership in the state, the region, and the nation,” said Tom Moore, vice president for academic affairs.

The College of Education has more than 50 full-time faculty members and administrators who make up what is considered South Carolina’s flagship institution of teacher preparation. In addition to teacher certification programs, the College delivers programs in athletic training, sport management, exercise science, and family and consumer sciences.

Dr. Rakestraw looks forward to joining the Winthrop community and leading the College. “I wish to nurture a community of teacher-scholars that offers diversity to the college’s programs and its students and that fosters an ethos of mutual respect and continued learning,” Rakestraw said.

In nearly 20 years at Georgia Southern as a faculty member and almost 15 years as associate dean, Dr. Rakestraw has worked in early childhood, elementary and reading education, curriculum, and graduate programs. She has served five years as a state coordinator and consultant for teacher quality for the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. She has obtained more than $2.75 million in grants from state, federal, and foundation sources. Rakestraw has experience in accreditation reviews and with program development, particularly off-campus, technology-based, alternative preparation and international programs.

Prior to going to Georgia Southern, she was an assistant professor at Judson College and a classroom teacher at two elementary schools in Alabama. She holds bachelor and master’s degrees in elementary education from Jacksonville State University and an Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Alabama.

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