Jie-Qi Chen named senior vice president and dean

[img_caption src=”https://www.erikson.edu/wp-content/uploads/Chen.jpg” link=”https://www.erikson.edu/about/directory/jie-qi-chen/” align=”right” caption=”Jie-Qi Chen, Ph.D.” alt=”a great alt”]Erikson Institute is pleased to announce that, after a national search, professor Jie-Qi Chen will become senior vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty, effective November 1.

A member of Erikson’s faculty for 21 years, Chen is a well-established scholar whose work with colleagues on research projects and initiatives has generated more than $20 million in grant and contract funds.

She currently serves as the director of the Institute’s doctoral program, executive director of its China Initiative, and principal investigator of Erikson’s Early Math Collaborative.

National recognition

Founded in 2007, the Early Math Collaborative has grown under Chen’s leadership from a small research project to a nationally-recognized initiative with an annual budget of nearly $2 million. The Collaborative’s staff work to improve teachers’ teaching and children’s learning in early mathematics, with demonstrated positive results.

Its success was recognized after just three years by an Investing in Innovation (i3) grant from the U.S. Department of Education in 2010, one of only 49 grantees from approximately 1,500 applicants. The Collaborative was most recently awarded a four-year, $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation, beginning in September 2015.

Chen’s research interests include alternative and classroom assessments, cognitive development of young children, curriculum and teaching, urban school reform, early math education, and teacher development. She has co-authored, edited, or co- edited eight books, many of which have been widely translate in languages including Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Chinese, along with numerous articles and book chapters.

30 years in the field

As a Fulbright Scholar, Chen traveled across the globe to such countries as Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Taiwan to engage in cultural dialogue about early childhood education theory, research, and practice. Chen holds a doctorate in applied child development from Tufts University.

Growing up in China, Chen became interested in early childhood education when she was sent to a village to work as a peasant. While working in the field, she was invited to teach first-graders in the village elementary school, despite having only a high-school education. When she encountered a young student who wouldn’t turn in his homework on time, Chen tried to reason with him.

“I was using adult reasoning with this little boy and it was beyond his understanding,” Chen recalls. “I realized that I didn’t have the knowledge of child development I needed to make me an effective communicator and a better teacher.”

“I’m humbled by the overwhelming support I received from our faculty, staff, and board members, and I’m eager to work with them to turn our strategic plan into a reality,” Chen says. “Our faculty and staff are Erikson’s treasure – knowledgeable, intelligent, committed, generous, and collaborative. I want to build on their strengths and provide as much support as I can to realize their potential.”

“I’m delighted we’ve had a search that has led to hiring Jie-Qi,” says Aisha Ray, outgoing vice president and dean. “She’s a highly respected scholar, and has shaped the whole practice of early mathematics and professional development. She has a clear vision of where the Institute needs to go.” Ray plans to return to the faculty.