2016-17 Annual Report

A Message from the Dean

Dear Friends of the Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development,

Interim Dean Catherine O'Connor

This Annual Report aims to communicate the important progress the Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development has made over the last twelve months in the areas of faculty development, academic and student affairs, research funding, philanthropy, student enrollment, and compositional diversity. Before we delve into the details, there are a handful of key points that merit distinct mention:

  • We successfully completed ten full-time faculty searches, and promoted four current faculty members, including two who were granted tenure.
  • We expressed our gratitude and fondness for our former dean, Hardin L.K. Coleman, as he rejoined the faculty.
  • We again rose in the U.S. News & World Report National Rankings,
    ascending to #36 among our peer graduate schools of education.
  • We saw great success among faculty in their pursuit of federal, state, and foundation-issued research grants, with awards for new projects totaling close to $13.5 million—nearly doubling our amount from the previous year.
  • We re-energized our engagement with alumni, creating Regional Alumni Networks in a number of cities and facilitating active Program Advisory Boards and a committed Dean’s Advisory Board.
  • We yielded a strong incoming freshman class, increased the number of applicants to our graduate programs, and accepted the first cohort of students to our online graduate programs.
  • We accomplished the long-standing goal of securing APA Accreditation for our PhD program in Counseling Psychology, and conducted an extensive review of our EdD program requirements, resulting in greater alignment between those programs.
  • Perhaps most importantly, we graduated close to 400 students into the educational workforce. This includes over 300 master’s students, 72 undergraduates, and 26 doctoral candidates.

Many of these successes are related to our school’s long-term initiatives. They are collaborative achievements undertaken over the course of many years and by many members of our community. It will be my duty, as Dean ad interim of this Wheelock College of Education & Human Development, to ensure that when a permanent Dean is appointed, he or she will be assuming leadership of a School that is deeply committed to taking on the next set of challenges.


Catherine O’Connor,
Dean ad interim
Professor of Education and Linguistics


 Wheelock College of Education & Human Development Vision Statement

Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development (Wheelock) is a diverse, scholarly community dedicated to serving  education through teaching, scholarship, and outreach.

We prepare professionals to lead in education, to practice social responsibility, and to exemplify intellectual curiosity. We conduct scholarship that advances knowledge and refines practice. We collaborate with local and global partners to forge more caring, just, and sustainable societies.

New and Promoted Faculty

Devin G. Atallah
Clinical Assistant Professor
Counseling  Psychology

Dr. Devin G. Atallah joins Wheelock after completing a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine with Harvard Medical School, and at the National Research Center for Integrated Natural Disaster Management in Santiago, Chile. 

Naomi Caselli
Assistant Professor
Deaf Studies

 Dr. Naomi Caselli was hired as an Assistant Professor in the Deaf Studies program. She is the co-developer of ASL-LEX, a first-of-its-kind lexical database for American Sign Language, and previously worked for nine years as a nationally certified ASL-English interpreter. 

Kathleen Corriveau
Associate Professor with Tenure
Applied Human Development

Dr. Kathleen Corriveau was promoted from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor with Tenure. Her research focuses on social and cognitive development in childhood, with a specific focus on how children decide what people and what information are trustworthy sources. Dr. Corriveau also directs the Social Learning Laboratory at Wheelock.

Nermeen Dashoush
Clinical Assistant Professor
Early Childhood Education

 Dr. Nermeen Dashoush was hired as a Clinical Assistant Professor. Dr. Dashoush teaches early childhood science methods and assessment courses and supervises student practicums. Her research is primarily focused on establishing professional communities of practice and increasing teacher efficacy.

Ziv Feldman
Clinical Associate Professor
Mathematics Education

Dr. Ziv Feldman was promoted from Clinical Assistant Professor to Clinical Associate Professor. He teaches undergraduate- and graduate-level mathematics content courses for pre-service and in-service elementary, special education, and early childhood education teachers. He also teaches methods courses for pre-service and in-service middle and high school mathematics teachers. Dr. Feldman joined Wheelock in 2012. 

Elena Forzani
Assistant Professor
Language & Literacy Education

Dr. Elena Forzani comes to Wheelock from Boston College, where she was the Assistant Research Director for PIRLS, an international reading assessment. Previously, Dr. Forzani was a fellow at the New Literacies Research Lab at the University of Connecticut, where she worked on the Online Research and Comprehension (ORCA) project.

Melissa Holt
Associate Professor with Tenure
Counseling Psychology

Dr. Melissa Holt was promoted from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor with Tenure. Dr. Holt’s research focuses on youth experiences with violence in the home, school, and community, with a particular emphasis on bullying. Prior to joining Wheelock in 2011, Dr. Holt was a Behavioral Scientist in the Division of Violence Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Swati Mehta
Elementary Education

Dr. Swati Mehta joins Wheelock having previously worked as an elementary school teacher and activist scholar in New York City, Chicago, and Boston, and as an adjunct professor at Boston College. Strongly influenced by the work of postcolonial feminist theory, cultural studies, and the sociology of education, Dr. Mehta conducts her research in education from a critical interdisciplinary perspective.

Rob Martinelle
Curriculum & Teaching

 Dr. Rob Martinelle was hired as a lecturer in Curriculum & Teaching. His research focuses on the professional knowledge and reflective processes of experienced urban history teachers, and he was the recipient of Wheelock’s inaugural dissertation research award in 2015. Dr. Martinelle worked as a secondary history teacher in several Boston Public Schools. 

Laurie Pohl
Professor of the Practice
Higher Education Administration

Laurie Pohl joins the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development after serving as Vice President for Enrollment and Student Affairs at Boston University for nearly ten years. She has been a member of the University Council, Provost’s Cabinet, and the University Leadership Group. At Wheelock, she will serve as faculty director of the new College Access Initiative, a two-pronged effort involving research on college access and student success.

Marnie Reed
Clinical Professor
TESOL Education

Dr. Marnie Reed, previously Clinical Associate Professor, was promoted to Clinical Professor. She directs Wheelock’s TESOL Education (Non-Licensure) program. Her research, publications, and conference presentations focus on second language acquisition, specifically in phonology. She has been a consultant to academic institutions, government, and industry, both domestically and internationally. 

Catherine Ritz
Clinical Assistant Professor
Language Education

Dr. Catherine Ritz is a former French and Spanish teacher and modern language education specialist who explores foreign language pedagogy, curriculum, assessment, and instruction, as well as effective strategies for shifting teacher beliefs and methods toward proficiency-based curricula.

Stacy L. Scott
Senior Lecturer
Ed. Leadership & Policy Studies

Dr. Stacy Scott’s career in education began with a position as a middle school teacher, after which he became a diversity coordinator for schools. Dr. Scott served as superintendent of two large school districts in Massachusetts, and has founded two successful companies, ExecResults and the Center for Understanding Equity. For the past eight years, he has invested time in fully understanding the challenges school systems face as they seek to turn around underperformance.

Alejandra Salinas
Clinical Associate Professor
Mathematics Education

 Dr. Alejandra Salinas was hired as a Clinical Associate Professor. She teaches both undergraduate and graduate-level courses in mathematics content and methods and is the Practicum Director for the Mathematics Education program. Her broad research interest is the improvement of teacher quality in mathematics.

Newly Appointed School Leadership

Catherine O’Connor
Dean ad interim 

Dr. Catherine O’Connor, Professor of Education and Linguistics and former Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, was appointed Dean ad interim in July 2017. Her research in education centers on the study of classroom discourse, with a focus on the use of discussion in K-12 settings, particularly in math and science. She studies the complex challenges faced by teachers as they attempt to orchestrate academically productive talk, and also studies its effects on student learning. She teaches in the Language and Literacy Cluster in Wheelock, and in the CAS Program in Linguistics. 

Amie Grills
Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs 

Dr. Amie Grills, Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology, began a three-year term as Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs in July 2017. She has previously taken on several leadership roles within Wheelock, including serving as the chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee; serving on the Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure and Academic Affairs Committees; and directing the Counseling Psychology and Applied Human Development academic cluster from 2013-2016. Dr. Grills joined Wheelock in 2013.

Beth Warren
Associate Dean for Research

Dr. Beth Warren, Associate Professor of Literacy, began a five-year term as Associate Dean for Research in January 2017. Her own research builds on the heterogeneity of human sense-making and experience to multiply possibilities for learning and development for youth from communities historically disadvantaged by schooling and society. Dr. Warren has also co-directed the Chéche Konnen Center at TERC where she has collaborated closely with educators, youth, artists, and scientists in Boston and Cambridge. She joined Wheelock in 2016. 

Rankings and Faculty Performance

The most visible public metric of a Wheelock College of Education & Human Development’s reputation is the U.S. News & World Report annual rankings. Although we acknowledge that what such rankings reveal about an institution is inherently limited,
and believe that such rankings should not be solely relied upon by students or faculty when considering joining our community, their impact remains significant.

We are fortunate to have risen nearly 30 spots in the USNWR rankings over the past decade, rising to number 36 among graduate schools of education this year. This sustained rise relates positively to our efforts to maintain an outstanding faculty body, our continued emphasis on conducting impactful research that improves the practice of education, and the selective and rigorous nature of our graduate programs.

We feel it is important to consider internal evaluation metrics alongside the more public numbers. To that end, our school conducts an annual evaluation of faculty productivity in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service. We use the results of this evaluation internally as a basis for establishing faculty merit, and find it helpful to consider the overall findings as a barometer of overall faculty development.

One significant example of increased faculty productivity involves the success rate of our grant applications. Over the past five years, the percentage of successful grant applications submitted by Wheelock faculty rose from 45% to 70%. Over the past eight years the total number of grants applied for by Wheelock faculty rose from 35 applications in 2010 to 64 applications in 2017. We’ll elaborate further on our progress in the area of research funding in the next section.

Research Funding

Beginning in the late 2000’s, faculty members within the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development have sought and have been awarded major grants of consistently increasing size. This trend continued into this past year, with a notable increase in overall efficiency.

In the 2017 fiscal year, Wheelock faculty members submitted grant proposals requesting a total of $25.6 million in funding. Of that requested total, they were awarded grants totaling close to $13.5 million in funding, $7.9 million of which was awarded for use during that fiscal year alone. This marks a significant increase over the 2016 fiscal year, during which our faculty were granted just over $7 million in total awards.

Faculty Grant Requests and Awards, 2010-Present

Note: the figures in the above graph represent the total amounts requested and awarded within each fiscal year, including multi-year awards.


Many of the awards our faculty received over the past fiscal year are notable, in both the source of funding and the projects to which they will be applied. The following pages summarize the major federal and foundation issued grants Wheelock received during the 2017 fiscal year.

US DoED, TRIO, Training Grant:
Michael Dennehy, Director of College Access & Completion, $1,980,000 over five years to continue the
Upward Bound program at Wheelock.

US DoED, IES, Early Career Research Training Grant: Dr. Elizabeth Bettini, $400,000 over four years to explore the nature of the working conditions special education teachers experience in self-contained classes for students with emotional and behavioral disorders.

NSF CAREER Grant: Dr. Kathleen Corriveau, $1,052,377 over five years to explore how adults can best
support the development of scientific inquiry in early childhood. Research will include a partnership with Wheelock’s Early Childhood Learning Lab.

NSF CAREER Grant: Dr. Leslie Dietiker, $898,673 over five years toward her study, Designing and Enacting Mathematically Captivating Learning Experiences for High School Mathematics.

US DoED, IES via subcontract with University of Wisconsin, Research Grant: Dr. Nathan Jones, $256,169 over four years for his study, The Day Reconstruction Method: A New Tool for Measuring Teachers’ Work and Work Contexts.

NIH, NIDCR Early Career Research Grant: Dr. Naomi Caselli, $503,829 over three years toward understanding the factors that predict sign language vocabulary acquisition in children who have been exposed to a sign language from birth. Wheelock’s Dr. Amy Lieberman is a collaborator.

NSF: Dr. Naomi Caselli, $191,563 toward a collaborative research project studying the structure of the ASL lexicon involving experimental and statistical evidence from a large lexical database (ASL-LEX).

NSF: Dr. Suzanne Chapin, $2,000,000 over five years toward the Elementary Mathematics Project, to develop, test, and evaluate instructional units and professional development materials for instructors, with Wheelock’s Dr. Lynsey Gibbons and Dr. Ziv Feldman as Co-PIs.

NSF: Dr. Peter Garik, $1,199,999 over five years for his second Noyce training grant, Preparing Post-Baccalaureate and Undergraduate STEM Majors in the Physical Sciences to be Teachers in High-Need School Districts, with Wheelock’s Dr. Don DeRosa as a Co-PI.

NIH, NICHD: Dr. Amie Grills, $2,357,996 over five years toward her research study, Evidence-based Interventions to Enhance Outcomes among Struggling Readers.   

John Templeton Foundation:
Dr. Kathleen Corriveau, $1,039,619 over three years toward her study, The Role of Religious Exposure in Children’s Conceptualization of the Invisible and the Impossible.

Smith Richardson Foundation:
Dr. Marcus Winters, $200,610 toward his study, Increasing Teacher Quality: Can We Learn from Successful Charter Schools?

The Spencer Foundation: Dr. Scott Seider, $350,000 over three years toward his study, The Develop-
ment of Critical Consciousness in Marginalized Adolescents Attending Progressive and No Excuse Charter High Schools.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation:
Dr. Stephanie Curenton and Faculty Director for Professional Education Jacob Murray, $350,00 for Ed-Vance: A Pathway of Excellence for Teachers of Color, which aims to develop a unique pipeline to a career in education through partnerships between Wheelock, Boston Public Schools, and minority-serving institutions.

Student Research

While the federal agencies, foundations, and dollar amounts related to our faculty grant awards speak for themselves, this report must also give voice to the Wheelock students who are competing for grants and are being recognized for their research.

Doctoral candidate Chelsey Bowman received a $7,500 grant from the NCAA Graduate Student Research Grant Program to fund a one-year project investigating student-athlete bystander intervention; the project will culminate in an article and presentation to the NCAA Research Committee in Fall 2017.

Wheelock Senior Emily Hurd received the BU Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program’s Outstanding Student Researcher Award for her study, The Role of Teachers in Identifying and Supporting Students with Mental Health Problems. Nominated by Dr. Jennifer Green.

Doctoral candidate Di Liu presented and was awarded distinction for his study, Mandarin Speaker’s Emphasis in English and Mandarin Lectures, at the Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Conference. Advised by Dr. Marnie Reed.

Philanthropy and Alumni Relations

Highlights from 2016-17:

For a second consecutive year, the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development exceeded expectations by surpassing its fundraising goal. This was due in large part to the work of our faculty in securing research support from foundations and organizations throughout the country. For the third consecutive year, Wheelock increased the overall philanthropic income to the school, with gifts from foundations accounting for a significant portion of the increase.

The Wheelock College of Education & Human Development community came together in an impressive show of support for BU’s Giving Day this past spring. Wheelock placed third in participation among all colleges and schools at BU, receiving 316 gifts in total on Giving Day.

The Wheelock faculty so impressed our alumni at events in Chicago, Washington, DC, and Boston last year that they will be asked to play an even greater role in future programming for the School and engagement with our alumni   community across the country. 

Wheelock Capital Campaign by Source, 2013-Present


Although it is too early to quantify the financial impact, the emphasis placed on improving our connection with Wheelock alumni has yielded positive early returns. In addition to the efforts that made a successful Giving Day and an increase in overall alumni giving to the School, Wheelock has committed greater faculty and staff attention toward specific alumni-centric groups that are designed to give more alumni an opportunity to meaningfully connect with our School.

Regional Alumni Networks (RANs) are alumni-led groups in key regions throughout the United States that are designed to provide ongoing professional development to our alumni via a social network. RANs in Chicago and Washington, DC were successfully launched over the last fiscal year, and plans for creating a large New England RAN are in place for this fall.

Program Advisory Boards are dedicated groups of alumni and Wheelock community members who work with academic programs at the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development to provide feedback that aims to help our programs become and remain leaders in their fields. They also support the professional development of students within and alumni of specific programs.

The Dean’s Advisory Board provides guidance to the Dean and Wheelock senior leadership on matters of strategic importance. Composed of distinguished alumni and friends of the school, this board is charged with providing advocacy, access, and resources for the School.

In the coming year, Wheelock will continue to refine the roles of these entities. We plan to increase RAN and PAB membership, and will seek new opportunities to further enhance our connection with our alumni and the broader Wheelock community of friends, parents, and community partners.

Diversity at the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development

The goal of increasing the compositional diversity of our student, staff, and faculty bodies has been an important stated initiative of the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development for close to a decade. As the figures below indicate, this is by no means an initiative that we consider complete. While an examination of the racial/ethnic diversity across these groups reveals incremental progress toward greater inclusion of underrepresented minority groups in our community, the bulk of our progress in that area still lies before us.

It is important, too, to note that our School defines diversity in more inclusive ways. The correspondence between race/ethnicity and educational access means that a great percentage of our work will, and must, remain committed to that specific area. But we must continue to support a concept of diversity that considers factors such as gender and sexuality, ability, socio-economic class, and other factors alongside race and ethnicity.

Undergraduate Racial/Ethnic Diversity



Graduate Racial/Ethnic Diversity



Faculty Racial/Ethnic Diversity



Staff Racial/Ethnic Diversity



Student Affairs

Encompassing Undergraduate Student Services, Graduate Student Services, and the College Access & Completion Office, the Student Affairs Office at the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development helps ensure that students who participate in our school’s academic and community programs receive the support necessary to successfully  achieve their objectives.

The 2016-17 Academic Year was eventful for the Student Affairs Office. Most notably, the Office successfully recruited the first cohort of fully-online master’s students into Wheelock, and made significant additions to their staff designed to support these students. Highlights from each group within the Student Affairs Office are collected in the sections that follow.

College Access & Completion

Wheelock’s College Access & Completion Office provides direct service to underrepresented students across the K-16 spectrum with the goal of having students ready for, enrolling in, and graduating from postsecondary education. The term underrepresented includes but is not limited to students who are: low-income; first-generation to attend college; underrepresented in higher education based on race or ethnicity; or students with disabilities. The points below summarize the major outcomes from this office from the 2016-17 Academic Year:

American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE): Dana Dunwoody, Wheelock’s inaugural Holmes Scholar, was elected President of the Holmes Scholar National Council. As a member of the AACTE’s Networked Improvement Community (NIC), Wheelock Director of College Access Michael Dennehy contributed heavily to the NIC concept paper that the AACTE expects to publish in the 2017-18 Academic Year.

Boston University Initiative for Literacy Development (BUILD):
Wheelock graduate students partnered with the BU Student Employment Office to coordinate close to 130 BU work-study literacy tutors at 10 elementary school sites in Boston. This year, Senior Lecturer Evelyn Ford-Connors and doctoral student Alessandra Ward-Goldberg piloted BUILD Book Clubs at the Tobin and Mason schools; a fundraiser initiated by BU’s Office of Enrollment & Student Affairs raised nearly $1,000 in funding for BUILD Book Clubs.

The Calculus Project: The Calculus Project served 75 students from 12 METCO and 3 Boston Public Schools in support of the program’s goal of dramatically increasing the number of low-income, African-American and Hispanic-American students who enroll in and successfully complete Calculus or AP Calculus before graduating high school.

Educators Rising: Wheelock’s partnership with East Boston High School and the Urban Science Academy continued this year, and the College Access and Completion Office is seeking opportunities—utilizing resources such as the Educators Rising Virtual Campus—to expand the number of partner schools, and thus increase the number of students participating in this teacher-pipeline project.

Menino Scholars: The BU Class of 2021 will include 25 new Menino Scholars from BPS high schools, including two who will be joining Wheelock. The Class of 2020 moves into its sophomore year, retaining 20 out of the 21 scholars originally involved. The Class of 2017 graduated in May, with 22 of the original 25 Menino Scholars retaining their scholarship through their senior year.

Upward Bound: Wheelock’s Upward Bound grant (a Federal TRIO program) was re-funded for another five years in 2017. The program served 88 students in the 2016-17 Academic Year, providing them with afterschool academic support, test preparation, and college application and financial aid support.

Upward Bound Math Science (UBMS): UBMS reports are submitted to the United States Department of Education in November for previous program year. UBMS met five of its six funded objectives for 2015-16 including 85% postsecondary enrollment for all participants (including prior year) in the high school Class of 2016. The program fell just shy its funded objective of 70% for postsecondary completion with a 67% rate for the cohort that enrolled in college in September 2010.

Junior Science and Humanities Symposium: Co-directed by Michael Dennehy and Clinical Associate Professor Don DeRosa and sponsored by the Academy of Applied Science, the Symposium featured 49 students from 11 Massachusetts and Rhode Island high schools. The winner competed and finished in second place (Chemistry & Biochemistry category) at the national edition of the Symposium.

Trotter Pen Pals: The National Society of Collegiate Scholars formed pen-pal relationships with 5th grade students at the Trotter school, corresponding monthly and inviting the Trotter students to a campus visit in March. The program involves 24 BU “Pals” and 40 Trotter students.

Ronald McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program: Dr. Laurie Pohl (PI) and Michael Dennehy (Co-PI) submitted a proposal for this funded program, which would serve 25 BU undergraduates who are from either low-income, first-generation to attend college, or historically underrepresented backgrounds, by preparing those students to pursue research degrees.

Campus Visits to Promote College Awareness: The College Access & Completion Office hosted the following campus visits for BPS students:

  • 49 students from Bates Elementary School on October 28, 2016.
  • 37 students from Umana Middle School on November 4, 2016.
  • 32 students from the Trotter, Edwards, and Orchard Gardens Schools (organized by Citizen Schools) on February 1, 2017.
  • 40 students from the Trotter School on March 30, 2017.

Undergraduate Programs

Our undergraduate programs in education are distinguished by their “early and often” approach to fieldwork. Students are placed on-site at area schools as early as their first semester at Wheelock, and continue to teach throughout their undergraduate career. This experience is guided by faculty members who are committed to mentoring students as they develop their classroom skills; these faculty members often extend that relationship beyond the classroom, involving students in research opportunities and extended clinical work. Thus, the students we welcome to Wheelock this fall will make their mark both here, at Two Silber Way, and across Greater Boston. From the Early Childhood Learning Lab on our first floor, to the Trotter School in Dorchester and Chelsea Public Schools, these future educators are immediately impacting the lives of young learners.

Boston University is becoming a more selective institution at the undergraduate level. This fall, the University accepted fewer students into Wheelock undergraduate programs than in previous years. Fortunately, we saw a higher yield percentage among our admitted students this year, meaning that the size of our incoming class has remained in-line with other recent classes.

Undergraduate Program Applications, Admitted Students, and Enrolled Students, 2013-Present



Increasing Undergraduate Program Yields, 2013-Present



Increasing Undergraduate Program Selectivity, 2013-Present



In years to come, our undergraduate program will be shaped further by the requirements being set forth by the BU Hub, a University-wide general education program which will be introduced next academic year. It will be imperative for our programs to provide students seeking their licensure as undergraduates with a viable pathway to complete both BU Hub and state licensure requirements.

Graduate Programs

Our graduate programs have met the University-wide challenge to increase overall applications and enrollment, posting a 25% increase in applications and a 22% increase in deposits over last year’s figures. This success can be attributed to the outstanding efforts of our Graduate Student Services staff and faculty members.

Graduate Program Applications, Admitted Students, and Enrolled Students, FY2015-Present


A portion of the success may also be attributed to the introduction of our online Master’s programs, which allow more students to access our graduate programs, and which help raise awareness for our school as a whole through extensive online advertising.

Graduate Program Yield FY2015-Present



Graduate Program Yield FY2015-Present



Note: All data for Fall 2017 is accurate as of August 20, 2017. All data for Fall 2016 is BU’s official final count. Application, Accepted Student, and Enrolled Student figures reflect fiscal year (July 1 to June 30) totals for each year represented.

What’s Next?

As we approach our 100th year as a school, we look forward to continuing and expanding upon these initiatives. We take great pride in the community we have built within Boston University, and are excited about the possibility of expanding it.

As many of you may have heard, as of September 2017 BU has agreed to enter into formal discussions about a possible merger with Wheelock College, a small local institution whose focus is on educating people to create a safe, caring, and just world for children and families through academic programs in education, human development, and social work. If completed, this merger could potentially bring many wonderful opportunities for students, faculty, and staff and holds significant benefits for our University as a whole. We will continue to share information about this and all schoolwide initiatives as the new academic year unfolds.