Linda Banks-Santilli

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Clinical Associate Professor

Prior to transitioning to Boston University, Linda served as dean, interim-dean and co-dean for the School of Education, Child Life and Family Studies at Wheelock College from 2015-2018. In these roles, she represented the research, scholarship and practice of the faculty within her school. She also had primary responsibility for overseeing the promotion and tenure process, representing the College at the Colleges of the Fenway Consortium (COF), collaborating with the Center for International Programs and Partnerships, overseeing new program development, hosting the Earl Innovation technology conference, and restructuring the office of educator licensure. She enjoyed collaborating with the deans of arts and sciences, social work, leadership and policy, and International programs and representing the programs internally and externally.

Linda was a tenured member of the faculty at Wheelock College for 18 years. She taught a variety of education courses in the elementary and special education program and served as department chair twice. Linda also supervised student teachers in the nationally known Learning Teaching Collaborative (LTC) in Brookline as well as in schools in Boston, Cambridge and Newton. She was responsible for co-designing the Integrated Elementary and Special Education (IESE) degree program. She also co-chaired the Faculty Senate. Linda also taught one of Wheelock’s signature courses, Racial and Cultural Identities, a required course for all education students at Wheelock.

Before joining the faculty at Wheelock, Linda worked at McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA in the department of psychoeducation. She taught children and adolescents struggling with severe emotional and behavior disorders. After receiving her master’s degree in counseling, Linda became a Boston Public school teacher and taught in special education and inclusive settings at the elementary and middle school levels in the Boston Public Schools for over a decade.

Banks-Santilli received the Golden Apple Award from the Boston Public Schools for her work with students in the Learning Adaptive Behavior (LAB) program. In 1997, she received the James Bryant Conant Fellowship from the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she earned her doctorate. Her thesis was a qualitative study aimed at understanding the school experiences of students in the LAB.

In 2010, Linda received the Gordon Marshall Fellowship and completed research focused on understanding the experiences of first-generation college students at Wheelock College. Linda remains interested in urban education, equity, special education, educator preparation, and supporting first-generation college students. She is an advocate of full-service, community schools.

Horizons National: Preventing Summer Learning Loss in Low-income, Public School Children
“Explo” Summer Enrichment Programs, Trustee and Program Committee Chair
Lexington Montessori School
Middlesex Community College Board of Trustees, appointed by Governor Baker July, 2017

B.S., Wheelock College, 1985
M.A., Lesley College, 1988
Ed.D., Harvard University, 2003

Banks-Santilli, L. & Adelabu, D. (April 20, 2018). Four essential components of a first-generation college student success program. Academic Impressions Webinar.

Banks-Santilli, L. (August 17, 2015). What does it take to become an elementary school teacher? Not just passion.

Banks-Santilli, L. (June 3, 2015). Guilt is one of the biggest struggles first-generation college students face. The Washington Post.

Banks-Santilli, L. (June 2, 2015). Feet on campus, heart at home: first-generation college students struggle with divided identities.

Banks-Santilli, L. (February/2014). First-Generation College Students and Their Pursuit of the American Dream. Journal of Case Studies in Education.

Banks-Santilli, L. & Villegas-Reimers, E. (2013). First-Generation Students and Their Struggle to Succeed. Profiles in Diversity Journal.

McKibbens, D., Shainker, S., & Banks-Santilli, L. (2008). Wheelock College: Focus Child Assessment Project. In (Eds.) Wise, A., Ehrenberg, P., & Leibbrand, J. It's All about Student Learning: Assessing Teacher Candidates' Ability to Impact P-12 Students, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, 203-212.

Banks-Santilli, L. & de Almeida, J. (2007). Brazil. Greenwood Encyclopedia of Children's Issues Worldwide, Greenwood Press.

Alkins, K., Banks-Santilli, L., Elliott, P., Guttenberg, N. & Kamii, M. (2006) Project QUEST: A Journey of Discovery with Beginning Teachers in Urban Schools. Equity & Excellence in Education, 39 (1), 65-80.

Banks-Santilli, L. (2003) "Understanding the School Experiences of Six Learning Adaptive Behavior Students in a Boston Public Middle School." Harvard Graduate School of Education (Doctoral Dissertation).

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