Mary Sult, PhD

Director, Institute of Educational Leadership and Instructor
(319) 273-2694

University of Northern Iowa
525 SEC
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0607

What drove your interest in your selected discipline? 
I've always been surrounded by excellent role models who loved teaching and were inspired to make a difference through educating students. Both of my maternal grandparents were educators. My grandmother was a 4th grade teacher and librarian, and my grandfather taught high school industrial technology. My two aunts have recently retired from college music faculty positions, and my mother was a middle school science teacher.

Describe an experience that reinforced why you enjoy what you do. 
Dr. Denise Schares and I just spent a couple days up at the Kern Family Foundation to discuss our program and to learn from others running similar programs across the country. It was such an inspiring opportunity to work with others and to connect over the work in educational leadership and character education. I've also appreciated being surrounded by such an outstanding team within my own department at UNI!

What is your teaching philosophy? 
I believe teaching is more about facilitating and work behind the scenes. When you're in the moment with students either as adults, teens, or children, the real learning happens when the learner connects with the material and creates their own connection that content. We as educators are there to provide the opportunities, and to help make those connections to the new learning with the students.

What do you hope students learn from you? 
I hope students learn to enjoy the process of learning and to make growth in their own personal/professional development.

Areas of Expertise: 

Grading systems and gifted and talented education
Learning analytics 


Drake University, PhD, Education
Drake University, MS, Educational Leadership
San Diego State University, MA, Educational TEchnology
University of Northern Iowa, BA, English teaching, minor in educational technology
Cottey College, AS