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The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
By Grace McNally, Staff Writer • June 13, 2024
Opinion | Long-distance friendships are possible
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • June 6, 2024

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Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
By Grace McNally, Staff Writer • June 13, 2024
Opinion | Long-distance friendships are possible
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • June 6, 2024

Pitt’s School of Education names Eboni Zamani-Gallaher as dean

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Pitt named Eboni Zamani-Gallaher as dean for the School of Education on May 1, 2024, succeeding the previous dean Valerie Kinloch. 

“Eboni’s exceptional experience and expertise and her demonstrated and deep dedication to the mission-vision of the School of Education and the work of its faculty, students, staff and alumni make her the ideal choice for charting the course for the school’s next chapter,” Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Joseph McCarthy said.

As dean, Eboni Zamani-Gallaher said she is hoping to offer new programs of study for undergraduates, increase enrollment in the school’s masters program, create more hybrid and online programs and continue communicating with K-12 and community college educators.

Reflecting on her appointment, Zamani-Gallaher said, “I felt that this place has so many wonderful people under the roof, so many things we’re doing that I know I can add to those chapters in terms of being a liaison and thinking of how we innovate to propel ourselves forward.”

Zamani-Gallaher said she hopes to foster a Transfer Pathways program and to create a transfer respective culture more broadly beyond the School of Education with open dialogues about community college transfer and opportunities for students to transfer in. 

“We have established what will be five new community college scholarships for this fall,” Zamani-Gallaher said.

Dean Zamani-Gallaher said “There’s well over a million students that are served by community colleges [nationwide],” and over 40% of college students in the state are at community colleges. 

“A vast majority of those students are the first in their families to go. They are lower income, they are Black and brown folks,” Zamani-Gallaher said. “A lot of how I walk my talk relative to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion is in those authentic relationships with community colleges, because they are actually far more culturally pluralistic.” 

Before Zamani-Gallaher was named dean, she served as associate dean for Equity, Justice and Strategic Partnerships at Pitt. 

“Prior to that, I had been at the University of Illinois for eight years. Seven out of eight of those years, I was director for the office for community college research and leadership,” Zamani-Gallaher said. “Much of the work that I did there, as the name indicates, was highly concentrated on looking at the community college enterprise.”

Before Illinois, Zamani-Gallaher said she spent 13 years at Eastern Michigan University as a faculty member and graduate programs coordinator. 

“All of the things that I’ve experienced previously have uniquely prepared me for navigating some of the challenges and the opportunities that this role presents,” Zamani-Gallaher said. 

While at Eastern Michigan, the unionizations within the university gave Zamani-Gallaher the opportunity to learn about bargaining in the workforce. 

“I was, for the better part of my career, accustomed to being in an environment that was rife with collective bargaining agreements all over the place,” Zamani-Gallaher said. “There were a lot of different activities within the union, and I was a part of the bargaining unit. I think also, it gives me some good insights in terms of being on both sides of the desk about understanding the role and the place and some of the benefits of faculty unionization, of staff unions and of graduate student unions.”

After finishing at Eastern Michigan, Zamani-Gallaher started a new job at the University of Illinois, consisting of budgeting and planning.

“Everything in terms of the funding came out of my grantsmanship, and so being responsible for paying the staff and putting all the graduate students through is heavy weight but it also made me more savvy,” Zamani-Gallaher said. 

Due to her experience at Illinois, once coming to Pitt, Zamani-Gallaher said the role of dean was calling to her. 

“I know that I could add to those chapters in terms of not just being someone to steady the ship, but to think about how we innovate, how we propel ourselves to amplify the work we are already doing and to also be the person that understands the areas that might be sore spots and be helpful,” Zamani-Gallaher said. 

Both Zamani-Gallaher and the staff at the School of Education are looking forward to her role as dean. 

“Dean Zamani-Gallaher is a builder, a relationship-oriented leader and a visionary,” Associate Dean for Equity and Justice Sirry Alang said. “I am excited about collaborative initiatives, some of which she started in her role as interim, and looking forward to their impact in SOE, Pitt and nationally.”

About the Contributor
Emma Hannan, Staff Writer