Fall 2020

Welcome to the Fall 2020 issue of the UNI College of Education's Premier Magazine.

Premier is published for University of Northern Iowa College of Education alumni, friends, faculty and staff.

From the Dean: Finding our rhythm forward

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Dean MulhollandWhen I taught seventh through 10th grade, I learned early on that you never have the same day twice. You have to very quickly adapt, revise and re-invent -- and go with it. You have your training, your experience and your best practices and, armed with that, you navigate through. 

Since the disruption and upheaval of the spring and summer, we’ve spent this past semester finding a new rhythm. Not a return to normal, but life that “is what it is.” We’ve committed to our work, our studies and our research, and through it found new patterns of perseverance and resilience. 

Everyone’s experience has been different. At the college, we have talked regularly about grace and flexibility, understanding that each of us has been in different places of acceptance, understanding, frustration and, yes, exhaustion. 

We’re doing the best we can because it’s all we can do. If I can capture that spirit as a “vibe” for our community this fall--that, to me, was extremely impressive. 

welcome fall 2020Masks on, we welcomed our students that first day of classes in August. We adjusted classrooms, protocols and schedules. We worked with our school district, community and clinical partners to ensure students gained critical field experiences. We hosted and “attended” a limited slate of virtual conferences and events. 

I believe this pandemic single-handedly will change how we teach and learn. I don't know what it will look like. My hope is that this challenging time helps us appreciate how extremely adaptable we are and that we remain open to the opportunities that adaptability can bring while grappling with what comes next for higher education and for our college. 

Our nation has suffered great loss from COVID-19 and the impact -- physically, emotionally and mentally -- has been felt by our faculty, staff and students. A common refrain we’ve heard? We need greater connection. We miss each other. We want to engage. 

In a small way, this issue of Premier helps us maintain these important connections with you during this challenging moment. As we weather the winter and earnestly watch for the hints and hope of spring and a world with vaccines for all, our best wishes to you in this shared time of reflection and resolve. 

Stay safe and healthy,

Colleen S. Mulholland
Dean, College of Education