Winthrop University: Beth Costner Named Interim Dean of Winthrop’s College of Education Beginning in January
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Beth Costner Named Interim Dean of Winthrop’s College of Education Beginning in January

November 01, 2021

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Since her arrival at Winthrop in 2001, Beth Costner has contributed greatly in the College of Arts and Sciences and now in the College of Education. University leaders said she will provide steady leadership as the institution conducts a national search for a new dean.
  • Current Dean Jennie Rakestraw will retire in December.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Associate Dean Beth Greene Costner has been named interim dean of Winthrop University’s Richard W. Riley College of Education, beginning January 3.

Current Dean Jennie Rakestraw will retire in December.

Provost Adrienne McCormick said Costner has been instrumental in several education grants, programs and curriculum adjustments. “Dr. Costner has a wealth of experience at Winthrop,” McCormick said. “Since her arrival at Winthrop in 2001, she has contributed greatly in the College of Arts and Sciences and now in the College of Education. She will provide steady leadership as we conduct a national search for a new dean.”

Costner earned tenure and was promoted to professor in Winthrop’s Department of Mathematics where she also served as chair from 2008-13.  In addition to her current role as associate dean in education, Costner served as assistant and associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences from 2010-15.

Thrilled for the opportunity, Costner said she will continue to collaborate with the faculty, staff and students in the College of Education. “Through partnerships that benefit both the college and our community, we will continue to develop and strengthen our commitment to a culture that embraces caring, excellence, diversity and innovation,” she said.

Costner started her career in education in 1992 as a middle grades mathematics teacher in the Clark County School District in Kentucky.  She earned both a B.S. in mathematics education and M.S. in middle grades mathematics from the University of Kentucky, and a Ph.D. in mathematics education from The Ohio State University. Costner’s teaching and research has been focused on the content knowledge development of elementary and middle grades teachers.

While at Winthrop, Costner has secured more than $3 million in grants, including the Winthrop Initiative for STEM Education, which is a National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Scholarship project that supports the recruitment, retention and development of science and mathematics teachers.

In addition to efforts directed toward teacher development, Costner has led a number of initiatives related to student services, assessment and accreditation. In the area of accreditation, she served as the lead author on the most recent review of the educator preparation programs at Winthrop that resulted in reaccreditation in 2020 with no areas for improvement.

Costner lives in Rock Hill with her husband, who is also a Winthrop education faculty member. She grew up in rural Kentucky on a farm and credits the example of her parents for her dedication to education and hard work.

For more information, contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at 803/323-2404 or longshawj@winthrop.edu.

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Last Updated: 7/13/22