GVSU Education Programs News

Dean Soman interviewed on WGVU

August 03, 2021

Dean Soman interviewed on WGVU

On August 2nd, WGVU's Morning Show with Shelley Irwin interviewed Dr. Sherril Soman, Dean of the College of Education and Community Innovation (CECI). The interview discussed the newly merged college, developing opportunities, and how education and community innovation are connected. Listen to the full interview on the WGVU Public Media website.

Dean Soman has been at Grand Valley State University for 22 years, beginning as a faculty member in chemistry with a specialization in chemistry education. Through the years, Dean Soman has served in a number of administrative roles around the university. She began leading the College of Education in 2018. In 2021, the university announced that the College of Education and the College of Community and Public Services were being merged. Dean Soman was asked to serve as dean for the newly merged College of Education and Community Innovation (CECI), and began her current leadership in July 2021.

In the interview with Irwin, Dean Soman explained that CECI will continue to offer the same programs that have been offered in the past in the former colleges, while looking to increase connections between programs and the community.

"Both of our [now combined] colleges are committed to community service," said Dean Soman. "There will be opportunities for us to collaborate across social justice in ways that we support our community."

Within the new college, Dean Soman explained that GVSU is looking to create a "multidisciplinary environment," with a goal to provide "approaches to learning that support healthy communities." Dean Soman indicated that it is essential for the college to strive to remove barriers to education for students and their communities.

Some of the areas that CECI is looking to explore in the future are opportunities to expand the public safety programs to include emergency services or perhaps fire rescue. The college has a strong background of social justice with trauma-informed practices, and is also looking to further collaborate with health services in the future.

Additionally, CECI will continue to maintain key partnerships in the community, providing students with field sites and hand-on learning. This ensures students have clear connections between their classroom learning and practical work in the field they are pursuing. 

Additional information on the college can be found on the College of Education and Community Innovation website.


Article written by Alex Jacobsson. For more information on this story, contact the Office of Certification and Accreditation - (616) 331-6650.

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Page last modified August 3, 2021