May 31, 2019

Dr. Dianne Gereluk assumes role as dean of the Werklund School of Education June 1

Read Dr. Gereluk's thoughts on the future of education in Alberta and vision for the Werklund School

Dr. Gereluk joined the University of Calgary in 2010 as a visiting scholar and sessional instructor in education, and went on to become an associate professor and chair of the educational leadership, policy and governance specialization in the Werklund School of Education in 2011. From 2013 to 2018, Gereluk served as the associate dean of undergraduate programs in education and while serving in this position she was promoted to professor in 2017.

In this Q & A, Dr. Gereluk provides insight into her role as dean and the importance of education and collaboration.

What is the role of a dean and what excites you about this position?

Well, at a fundamental level, the Dean provides the overarching leadership and vision for the faculty of education.  One of the purposes of the modern research university is to cultivate and share ideas for the betterment of individuals and society.  My role is pivotal in ensuring that this central aim is not lost, and further, to elevate and inspire students, staff and faculty to these ideals.  This is particularly resonant as an education dean, as I believe that education is at the hub of advancing society, both for present and future generations, in order for humanity to thrive and flourish.  If done well, education holds the promise for creating hope and optimism, respect and diversity, and a quest for curiosity and the possible. This truly is what excites me in our collective hope for how an education faculty can make the world a better place.

What does the future of education in Alberta look like?

Alberta is an entrepreneurial province that has historically appreciated the potential of collective work and perseverance to fill a niche or gap, and the University of Calgary is no exception.  I was drawn back to the University of Calgary for its incredible ability to develop alternative ways of thinking and moving forward, its thirst for taking risks, and its dedication to exploring how we might work better together.  I have experienced firsthand the tremendous support that we have received from individuals and leaders in urban and rural communities across Alberta.  Albertans are not afraid to engage in difficult conversations, and I have witnessed how people from the very north of Alberta find common ground and shared stories with those in the far south.  While there may not be consensus, there is a will and a ‘can do’ spirit in how we might address some of the perennial issues we face as a province.

How will the Werklund School of Education help in bringing this future to fruition?

The Werklund School of Education has attracted a vibrant, young and international faculty from across the world who see the potential in working with and alongside our community members, both locally and globally.  There is such momentum and energy in the research and teaching that occurs in this faculty, and together with our colleagues across campus, we can successfully address the complex issues of our day.  I am excited by what the future holds for this faculty. Already we have incredible partnerships across this nation, under three overarching research pillars:  empowering identities, transforming pedagogies, and changing societies.  These principles provide the basis for how we have come together, and how we will move forward in various strategic initiatives.