Almanac Between Issues

May 30, 2006

From the President and Provost

Interim Dean of GSE: Stanton Wortham

Stanton Wortham

We are delighted to announce that we are recommending to the Trustees for approval at their June meeting the appointment of Stanton Wortham as Interim Dean of the Graduate School of Education, effective on August 1, 2006.  Dr. Wortham will succeed Susan Fuhrman (Almanac, May 23, 2006), who has resigned to accept the presidency of Teachers College at Columbia University.  A search for a permanent Dean will begin over the summer and continue during the fall semester.

Currently Professor of Education and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at GSE, Dr. Wortham served from 2002 to 2004 as chair of the School’s Educational Leadership Division. He also previously served ably as Acting Dean of the School during the fall 2002 semester, while Dean Susan Fuhrman was on a scholarly leave of absence. 

Dr. Wortham came to Penn in 1998 from Bates College and is a member of the Graduate Groups in Education, Anthropology, and Folklore and Folklife, and a member of the Associated Faculty of the Annenberg School for Communication. Dr. Wortham has written widely on classroom discourse and the linguistic anthropology of education. His research applies techniques from linguistic anthropology to study interactional positioning and social identity development in classrooms, media discourse, and autobiographical narrative. His work has involved action research and service learning, ethnography in urban and rural high schools and their surrounding communities, and discourse analysis. Dr. Wortham's interdisciplinary research has earned him a reputation as one of the premier scholars in the field. He teaches courses in education, culture and society; ethnographic and qualitative methods; and the linguistic anthropology of education.

Stanton Wortham is a Swarthmore College alumnus who earned his Ph.D. from the Committee on Human Development at the University of Chicago in 1992. As a graduate student, he was a University of Chicago Century Fellow and later was named a National Graduate (Javits) Fellow and a Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellow. While at Bates College, he was awarded a National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship and was a recipient of the Maine Campus Compact Faculty Service-Learning Award. In 2001, Dr. Wortham received the American Educational Research Association’s Cattell Early Career Award for Programmatic Research. The author of threebooks, he is currently working on a fourth, How Thinking Takes Place in Organizations, for Cambridge University Press. He has edited five scholarly volumes and authored numerous articles, book chapters and reviews. He is a member of the editorial boards of Critical Discourse Studies, Discourse Processes, Journal of Latinos and Education, Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, and Pedagogies: An International Journal, as well as Theory & Psychology and Mind, Culture & Activity, for both of which he is also Book Review Editor.

The Graduate School of Education has moved into the top ranks of education schools and is playing an increasingly significant role in national policy discussions on the reform of American elementary, secondary, and higher education, as well as in international education. GSE also plays a central role in educational reform efforts in Philadelphia. The School has been a major contributor to Penn’s West Philadelphia initiatives, including the creation of the Penn Alexander School, assisting three nearby low-performing elementary schools through the Penn Partnership, and planning for an international studies high school.  Dr. Wortham’s background and research have amply prepared him to take on this important leadership role in all of these efforts.

We are confident that his prior leadership roles, strongly interdisciplinary perspective, and intimate knowledge of the School and the University will enable Dr. Wortham to continue the significant growth and advancement of GSE during Dean Fuhrman’s 11-year tenure and strengthen intellectual and research ties between the School and the rest of the University. We are fortunate, indeed, that the Graduate School of Education will have Stanton Wortham at its helm during this period of transition. He has our strong support, as well as that of his fellow GSE faculty and colleagues across the University.

                                                                                    Amy Gutmann, President

                                                                                    Ronald Daniels, Provost




Posted 5/30/06

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