Gardner-Webb University Announces New Dean for Gayle Bolt Price School of Graduate Studies

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GWU’s Dr. Sydney Brown to Begin New Post Later This Month

Dr. Sydney Brown named dean for the Gayle Bolt Price School of Graduate Studies.BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Officials at Gardner-Webb University are thrilled to announce that Dr. Sydney Brown has been appointed as the new dean for the Gayle Bolt Price School of Graduate Studies beginning this month. Brown replaces Dr. Jeff Rogers, who resigned from the post earlier this summer.

“I’m looking forward to collaborating with colleagues who support our graduate candidates across campus to learn about specific strengths and challenges they have identified in their work,” Brown shared. “I plan to support my colleagues by considering how we can capitalize on strengths to address our challenges.”

Brown has worked for Gardner-Webb for 14 years and is a professor of education. In 2012, she was named the coordinator of the Doctoral Program in Curriculum and Instruction and she also serves as dissertation chair for the School of Education. She is executive editor of “IMPROVE: Instructional Modules for Professional Learning Responding to Opportunities and Valuing Educators.” Prior to her work in higher education, Brown served as an elementary school teacher in various school settings from 1991 through 1999.

“I am thrilled with the experience and energy that Dr. Brown brings to the Dean role,” said Dr. Ben Leslie, GWU provost and executive vice president. “As the faculty coordinator of the University’s doctoral program in Curriculum and Instruction, she has already established herself as a proven leader in the Gayle Bolt Price School of Graduate Studies. Her commitment to quality scholarship, her love and support of students, as well as her exceptional organizational skills are a recipe for success that can only help advance the programs of the School.”

She is a Quality Matters-certified peer reviewer and online facilitator. In 2013, she received the Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award and was named Students’ Choice Award winner five separate times. She also is a recipient of the President’s Award for Community Engagement.

In addition, Brown has co-authored several publications, including “A Perspective on Readiness from the Kindergarten Classroom” (2002), “Taming the Children: The Social Construction of School Readiness” (2012), “Coffee Talk: Negotiating/Disrupting the Hidden Curriculum of Graduate School” (2009), and “Music Matters: Asking Questions, Fostering Agency, and Building Community in Arts-Based Educational Programming” (2004).

Brown’s extensive education and degrees include a Bachelor of Arts in K-6 Education, a Master of Education in K-12 Literacy Studies, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Culture, Curriculum, and Change—all earned at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She resides in Shelby, N.C., with her husband, Kevin Jennings, daughter, Ella Brown, and her parents, Fred and Linda Brown.

“Working together with my colleagues within and across disciplines, I hope to facilitate the improvement of processes for faculty and students,” Brown reflected. “I also hope to connect graduate students to additional opportunities for deeper learning through research and engagement in advanced experiences related to their chosen field.”

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university that prepares students to become critical thinkers, effective leaders and compassionate servants in the global community. Emphasizing a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics, Gardner-Webb is a place where Christian conviction meets intellectual freedom. Ignite your future at