I write with a mixture of sadness and tempered joy to inform you that Stephanie Bynum has resigned her position as assistant dean for academic affairs to assume the position of vice president of programs at Kohl Children’s Museum. Her last day at Erikson is February 13, 2013.
Stephanie has made a significant contribution to envisioning, shaping, and executing programs and services that have been critical to the Institute’s mission. Her work in Academic Programs and in partnership with other departments has always been characterized by high professional standards, an ability to work effectively with diverse constituencies, intelligence, and deep commitment to our faculty, students, and alums.
Stephanie came to Erikson as a graduate student with years of experience in early childhood programs as a teacher and administrator. She graduated in May 2002 and knew that she wanted to stay at Erikson. As she said recently, “My master plan was to hang around and make myself useful,” and indeed she did.
She worked as a research assistant for Barbara Bowman and me on a study on teaching and diversity, served as an adjunct faculty member, and led professional development activities. In all of these efforts, her work was exemplary and she demonstrated what is quintessentially Stephanie — namely, a lovely mixture of hard work, common sense, deep knowledge, warmth, and effectiveness.
In 2004 when Stephanie became director of career services, all of these capacities were brought to the service of the Institute in a profound and lasting way. Stephanie embraced the mandate to create a department that would help the Institute serve its students’ and alums’ professional development and career goals. Stephanie created a highly effective department including a seamless set of services and supports that our students, alums, and our partners in the field have come to rely on.
In addition, she coordinated student placements, directed the Administration Specialization, served as a liaison to the Erikson alumni association, taught as an adjunct faculty member, and sat on numerous committees in Academic Programs. Her duties required that she work with staff across the Institute, including Enrollment Management, as well as within Academic Programs. As is often the case with highly effective people, it is Stephanie’s ability to develop and sustain productive professional relationships that has been a key to her and our success as an institution.
Because of her accomplishments and her desire for a new challenge, Stephanie was promoted to her current position, assistant dean for academic affairs, in 2010. In this role she has continued to direct career services, oversaw student placements, shaped the Academic Success Center, supervised student retention, and supported child development adjunct faculty.
In addition, Stephanie has stepped in with grace and intelligence to support an array of needs that have arisen in the daily life of the Institute. Her contributions to the development of programs and services within Academic Programs and especially the Dean’s Office have been tremendous and significantly improved our effectiveness. It is difficult to remember how insufficient and uncoordinated our support of students, alums, adjunct faculty, and related work was prior to Stephanie taking a set of disparate needs and weaving them into a whole, highly regarded program. She has truly put her mark on the Institute and for that we are extremely grateful.
My feelings are both personal and professional. Stephanie has been a colleague and friend for more than 13 years. I have relied on her, learned from her, and enjoyed our relationship as it has grown over the years. I know that the faculty will miss her greatly. While I am sad to see her go, I am also very happy she has found a new job that will benefit from her considerable gifts and abilities and will challenge her in new ways.
At Erikson, we love to see our alums go out into the world and make it significantly better for children and families. Stephanie represents the very best in our alums and our staff. For more than a decade, she has given her very best to us.
Please join me in wishing her a wonderful experience in her new position at Kohl Children’s Museum and in thanking her for all she has done for Erikson.
Aisha Ray, Ph.D.
Rochelle Zell Dean’s Chair
Senior Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty