Dear Members of the UMBC Community,
I am delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Mavis Sanders, Professor of Education, as the inaugural director of the Sherman Center for Early Learning in Urban Communities.
This new multidisciplinary center has been established with a generous gift from George and Betsy Sherman Family Foundation. The Sherman’s have been extraordinarily generous having launched the Sherman STEM Teacher Scholars Program and supporting UMBC’s partnership efforts with Lakeland Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore City. The new Sherman Center will expand UMBC’s efforts to build a strong foundation for learning among young children in Baltimore City and develop best early education practices for urban schools through applied research, teacher professional development, and partnerships with schools, families, and communities. Under the direction of Dr. Sanders, the center will also support the university’s established and new school partnerships by identifying and working with academic leaders in Baltimore City.
Dr. Sanders joined the UMBC community in 2011, after serving as Professor of Education and Research Scientist at Johns Hopkins University for 16 years. She brings a wealth of research expertise and partnership experience to this important position. Dr. Sanders’ research focuses on the processes and outcomes of school, family, and community collaboration, including how schools and districts develop and scale up their partnership programs. Her work also aims to understand the effects of home, school, and community collaboration on African-American adolescents’ school success, and how community engagement can improve educational experiences and outcomes for low-income and culturally diverse students in U.S. public schools.
Dr. Sanders has an extensive record of publication including four authored/edited books, most recently the 4th edition of School, family, and community partnerships: Your handbook for action (with Joyce Epstein and colleagues) now in press with Corwin Press. Her current research on full-service community schools has been funded by two grants from the Spencer Foundation. Dr. Sanders also has a record of exceptional leadership in service to the UMBC community, including service as co-chair of the Community and Extended Connection Strategic Planning Group and her current service as co-chair of UMBC’s PreK-14 School, Family, and Community Connections Workgroup.
In the coming weeks, Dr. Sanders will be convening an advisory board of cross-campus and multidisciplinary partners that will help shape the vision and early work of the Sherman Center for Early Learning in Urban Communities. Under her leadership, the center will work in close collaboration with the Provost’s Office and the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences to identify and support new initiatives and promising faculty-led research projects. The center will also work with campus partners that currently support K-12 school partnerships.
Please join me in congratulating and supporting Dr. Sanders as she takes on this new leadership role.
Provost Philip Rous