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Second Endowed Professorship
Established at the College of Education

Linda R. Valli named the Jeffrey and David Mullan Professor
of Teacher Education-Professional Development

Linda R. Valli
Linda R. Valli
COLLEGE PARK, MD (September 2007)Curriculum and Instruction Associate Professor Linda R. Valli, Ph.D., has been named the inaugural holder of the Jeffrey and David Mullan Professorship in Teacher Education-Professional Development. This is the second endowed professorship established in the College of Education within a year.

Created through a $500,000 gift by alumna Jean Mullan, '68 (see bio below), who is also chair of the Collegeís Campaign Cabinet, the new endowed fund was named for Mullanís sons, Jeffrey and David. The fund will provide significant support each year for an esteemed scholar to conduct research that advances the field of curriculum and instruction.

"Jean's thoughtful generosity to the College through this fund will do much to enhance our teacher education program and impact classrooms wherever our students choose to work for years to come," noted Interim Dean Donna Wiseman in response to the donation.

An endowed professorship is one of the highest honors a college can bestow and is reserved for an eminent scholar whose work substantially advances the discipline. Valli has been a member of the College of Education faculty for almost 15 years and has spent a significant part of her career studying teaching and preparing teachers to work in challenging school environments. As the principal investigator of nine research and development grants, she has sought to strengthen the preparation of teachers by developing deeper insight into their learning needs and the conditions of their work. Her numerous publications also emphasize the importance of the ethical, relational, and cultural aspects of teaching and learning to teach. (See bio below)

"I'm honored to be named the first holder of this professorship," said Valli. "I share with Jean a passion for teaching and a belief in the importance of good teacher education. I intend to use this gift to strengthen the quality of learning opportunities we provide teachers and teacher candidates, to support those who are preparing to be teacher educators, and to encourage research on our efforts."

The gift from Mullan is among several significant gifts to the College in support of Great Expectations: The Campaign for Maryland, the University of Maryland's landmark effort to raise a record $1 billion in private support. The philanthropic investments of this campaign will provide support to fund student scholarships, recruit and retain top faculty, enhance physical facilities and library and technology resources and reinforce excellence and innovation in academic programs. This support will help make Maryland a top quality research institution with global reach and impact.


For more information on the College of Education, visit:
or contact Jenniffer Manning-Scherhaufer, Assistant Director for Communications, at 301.405.0476, at:
For information on ways to support the College of Education as part of the Great Expectations campaign, contact Darcelle Wilson, Assistant Dean for Development, at 301.405.6644, or email:

Great Expectations capital campaign College Celebrates 85 years of Landmarks and Legacies

Linda R. Valli
Linda R. Valli, Ph.D., is the inaugural Jeffrey and David Mullan Professor in Teacher Education-Professional Development within the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. From her early years as a high school teacher she became interested in issues of teaching, schooling, and equal educational opportunities and pursued these interests in both her research and teaching. A study of high school gender inequalities led her to a broader examination of differentiated high school curricula. Her books, Becoming Clerical Workers and Curriculum Differentiation (with Reba Page), presented ground-breaking analyses of tracking systems from socio-cultural perspectives.

Understanding the important influence of teachers on students' learning and engagement with the educational enterprise, Valli has taught hundreds of pre-service and in-service teachers to study their own practice and reflect on ways to improve the learning context for students who struggle to be at grade level. In her work with doctoral students, she focuses on the professional development and school improvement research with applications to each student's work situation. During her tenure as the College of Education's associate dean responsible for professional development, Valli worked with the Maryland State Department of Education, school districts and universities across the state, and associations such as the Business Roundtable, the National Association of State Boards of Education, and the National Commission for Teaching and America's Future on efforts to improve teaching and learning.

Most recently, Valli was the principal investigator on a five-year, $4.5 million NSF-sponsored (Interagency Education Research Initiative) study of 4th and 5th grade reading and mathematics instruction. Working with colleagues and graduate students from across the college, she examined teaching practices and school policies that benefit or disadvantage low-achieving students in low-income, culturally- and linguistically-diverse schools. Her latest publication with colleagues from the grant, is forthcoming from Teachers College Press: Reshaping Life in Schools: High-Stakes Accountability and Local Enactments.

Valli earned her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in the social sciences and education. She received her master's degree from the Johns Hopkins University and her bachelor's from the Mercy College of Detroit. Prior to joining the College of Education at the University of Maryland, she served as Director of Teacher Education at the Catholic University of America. Valli has been active in a number of professional associations, including the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and the American Educational Research Association. She is also currently an associate editor of American Educational Research Journal. In addition to her four books, Valli has published over 50 book chapters and journal articles in such publications as the Handbook of Research on Teacher Education, Teacher Thinking in Multicultural Contexts, Journal of Curriculum Studies, Peabody Journal of Education and other national and international journals. Valli has been an invited speaker at professional conferences across the country as well as in England, the Netherlands, and Japan.

Jean Mullan
Jean Mullan
Jean Mullan
Jean Mullan is a longtime friend and advocate for the University of Maryland and the College of Education. She earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education from the college in 1968. After her graduation she became a classroom teacher at Cherokee Lane Elementary School in Adelphi, Md.., Prince George's County for two years. She continued teaching second graders when she moved to White Plains, N.Y., and earned graduate credits while teaching second, third and fourth grades. She and her family made their home in several cities throughout the country until moving back to Maryland in 1997.

As she raised her family, she found time to be an active volunteer and leader in various organizations including serving as a Cub Scout den mother and pack leader, and worked as a classroom assistant at various schools. A committed civic volunteer, she has served in various leadership capacities in organizations that represent her interests in child welfare, gardening, education, and culture.

Her devotion to the Terps is family-centered as her father is an alumnus of the University of Maryland. Upon her return to Maryland, she took advantage of the opportunity to become personally involved with her alma mater, generously supporting the university's last fundraising campaign, Bold Vision, Bright Future. At the urging of former dean Edna Mora Szymanski, Mullan became engaged with the College of Education as she recognized the college's need for active and committed alumni involvement. Among her first volunteer activities was to host an alumni focus group at her home. The purpose of those meetings in late 2001 and early 2002 was to gather opinions from a wide array of alumni to gauge potential interest in bringing together a new and energized College of Education Alumni Chapter.

Mullan agreed to serve as the new board's first president, leading the board to focus on supporting college initiatives, planning and attending events, and encouraging participation as alumni association members. Under her leadership the alumni committee secured IKEA furnishings to upgrade the college's student lounge and the college's newsletter for alumni and friends, Endeavors, was launched to help connect with the College's 30,000-plus alumni.

In July 2006 Mullan moved from her role with the alumni board to become chair of the College of Education Campaign Cabinet, a volunteer group of alumni and friends who are helping to increase understanding, awareness, and the value of investing in the college as part of the Great Expectations campaign. Later that year she established the College's first endowed professorship, The Jean Mullan Professorship in Literacy.

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