Alum Smith to become dean of Southern Illinois University’s School of Education

M Cecil Smith, an alumnus of UW-Madison, will become the dean of Southern Illinois University (SIU) Carbondale’s reorganized School of Education on July 13, pending approval of the SIU Board of Trustees.

The announcement came via this SIU news release on May 20.

M Cecil Smith

Smith earned his PhD from the human development program within the School of Education’s Department of Educational Psychology in 1988.

Smith is currently graduate program coordinator and professor in the Department of Learning Sciences and Human Development within the College of Education and Human Services at West Virginia University.

“Our students, faculty and staff will benefit from his extensive teaching, administrative and research experience in the field of education,” Meera Komarraju, SIU’s provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, said in the news release. “His expertise, experience at two different universities, collaborative synergy and focus on student success will ensure that we continue preparing excellent teachers.”

Smith served as associate dean for research and graduate education at West Virginia from 2013 to 2018 before assuming his current position with the university. Between 1988 and 2013, Smith held various positions at Northern Illinois University.

In addition to his doctorate from UW-Madison, Smith also holds a master’s degree in post-secondary/agency counseling with emphasis in adult development from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s in education — English/secondary from Wichita State University.

Smith’s research centers on the areas of adult learning, literacy and continuing education.

“I was a first-generation college student, and I appreciate that many students at SIU Carbondale are also the first in their families to attend college,” Smith said in the news release. “As my college education opened new pathways for me that led to countless opportunities for growth, I am confident that the same will hold true for our students.”

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