Alumni News

Wentzell named education commissioner

Nov 19, 2015

Dianna R. Wentzell (MEd 1988) was appointed Commissioner of Education for the state of Connecticut by Governor Dannel P. Malloy in April 2015 after having served as Interim Commissioner. Wentzell previously served as the State Department of Education’s chief academic officer, overseeing the Bureau of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment and the Standards Implementation Division. She previously served as assistant superintendent of schools in Hartford and in district leadership positions in both South Windsor and the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) magnet schools.

Tartakov receives Iowa State alumni award

Nov 08, 2015

Carlie C. Tartakov (MEd 1972, CAGS 1983) received the Virgil S. Lagomarcino Laureate award, given annually to an alumna for achievements in the field of education, from the College of Human Sciences and the alumni association at Iowa State University.

Wilson has new appointment

Aug 05, 2015

Donna M. Wilson, Ed.D '08 was appointed Lead Graduate Faculty Dissertation Chair at Capella University's School of Education. She'll coach new dissertation chairpersons on strategies for successful dissertations and direct the milestone approval process for all doctoral theses. She completed her doctoral dissertation in higher education policy & leadership under the guidance of Dr. Joe Berger.

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Elizabeth Dale named Executive VP

May 20, 2015

Elizabeth A. Dale (EdD 1998) has been named Executive Vice President of Institutional Advancement for Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health System. Jefferson is a major academic medical center in Philadelphia that encompasses five hospitals and a university with six colleges that train more than 3900 future physicians, scientists, nurses and healthcare professionals.

Wright receives Noyce Scholar Alumni Award

May 05, 2015

Keith Wright (M.Ed 2007), a chemistry teacher at Springfield Renaissance High School and a Master Teaching Fellow for the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce S2TLC project at UMass Amherst’s College of Education, has been selected as one of seven participants nationally in the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s “Voices from the Field” video series.

Crosson receives Distinguished Achievement Award

May 05, 2015

Professor emerita Patricia Crosson, (MEd 1972, EdD 1974) who served as department chair in the College of Education, director of the Institute for Education Policy, deputy provost, and interim provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs at UMass Amherst, is among three to receive the Distinguished Achievement Awards at the May 8, 2015 undergraduate commencement. She retired in 2001 and is now Senior Advisor for Academic Policy for the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education.

Jeff Pluta, M.Ed. 2008, found his dream job in Nicaragua

Oct 19, 2014

Along with other friends from UMass Amherst, Pluta lives in the barrios of Nicaragua where they run a non-profit organization, Amped for Education, which gives underserved children the opportunity of a high school education. Read the full story.

Alumni Weekend 2014

Jun 07, 2014


Join fellow alumni and friends in Amherst for events during Alumni Weekend. Reconnect with the campus as you learn about new initiatives and the far-reaching impact of the College of Education.



Desmond awarded honorary doctorate

May 29, 2014

Charles F. Desmond, Ed.D. 1992, a longtime educator and chair of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, was awarded an honorary doctor of humanities degree at the 115th Commencement at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts where he gave an “empowering” Commencement address.

According to an article in the Berkshire Eagle, Desmond spoke about “ lessons he learned from his own difficult journey to where he is today, growing up with a single father who suffered from alcohol addiction.” He also told the students that they should “cherish their liberal arts education.” 


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