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Kathryn Chval to become Permanent Dean of the College of Education

Jesse Hall and the Mizzou columns
Darren Hellwege

The University of Missouri Provost Garnett Stokes and Interim Chancellor Hank Foley announced Tuesday that Kathryn Chval will become the dean of the College of Education, effective July, 1. Chval is currently the acting dean while Dean Dan Clay is on special assignment before he departs for the University of Iowa to take on the same position.

Chval has been working at MU since 2003 and says she is looking forward to the new challenge ahead. “I see it as a huge honor and responsibility and am really excited for the next step,” Chval said. She has taken on numerous responsibilities since becoming acting dean, but she says she is ready to take on more as the appointment takes effect.

Chval has actively worked to improve the ability for prospective teachers to communicate with students from diverse backgrounds. She has overseen an expedition to Tanzania to help students immerse themselves in the lifestyle of teaching in areas of hardship. The trip got the group out of their comfort zone and working with language and technology barriers. Chval was impressed with the efforts of her students and said that there is no better substitute for hands-on training.

“We want to make sure that in the college that we’re providing opportunities for our students to interact with people that differ from themselves and we know that that’s going to prepare them for greater success,” Chval said.

One of her most recent initiatives involves creating a safe environment for people to voice their feelings and experiences in life. The “Bridge” initiative is geared toward all demographics and is open to anyone, not just students. She described the initiative as an area of open discussion and inclusion. “It’s a space where people can learn. They can take risks, they can have conversations, but most importantly they can interact with people that differ from themselves in lots of different aspects of their identities,” Chval said.

The “Bridge” initiative is just one of many that Kathryn Chval has headed. She expressed her appreciation of everyone involved in the College of Education and all the good wishes she has received since the announcement of her appointment. Chval said she is thrilled to be staying on at MU and believes there is more to be done concerning the matter of effectively communicating with students of diverse backgrounds. 

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