School of Education 50th Anniversary Vignettes

The School of Education at the University of San Francisco is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding. Its antecedent, the Department of Education, began 75 years ago with 22 male students earning secondary teaching credentials. Today the School of Education enrolls more than 1,060 women and men from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds in a wide range of doctoral, master’s, credential, and certificate programs.

School of Education: Vignette #8

Advancing Justice

Beginning in the early 1970s, the Brazilian educator and philosopher Paulo Freire catalyzed a global movement to use teaching as a tool to confront all forms of oppression, including racism, sexism, and colonialism. Freire’s book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, first published in 1968, laid the foundation for critical pedagogy at institutions around the world, including at the University of San Francisco’s School of Education. On November 9th and 10th, 2021, the School of Education’s Center for Humanizing Education hosted a two-night celebration honoring the legacy of Paulo Freire on the 100th anniversary of his birth. During the prior four decades, numerous USF School of Education faculty members collaborated with Freire, who had visited USF on several occasions to engage with faculty and students. Susan Katz, professor of international and multicultural education, recalled that “the very first time I stepped onto the USF campus was in 1985 to hear Paulo Freire speak in the chapel on the hill.” His influence on her was enormous. Katz said, “since I was then making the transition from full-time political activist to public school teacher, his words on the revolutionary power of education deeply resonated.” Others who joined the two-night event also noted the influence of Freire on their identities and work as educators. The first evening’s celebration of Paulo Freire’s life and work began with a poem by Janise Powell, a doctoral student in international and multicultural education with a concentration on racial justice. The evening featured a panel discussion with Catherine Murphy, a documentary filmmaker; Alma Flor Ada, School of Education professor emerita; and Patrick Camangian, professor of teacher education. Murphy reviewed her new film, A is for Angicos, which detailed Freire’s early social justice work in Northeast Brazil. Dr. Ada discussed her collaborative relationship with Freire when the two educators co-produced a series of video conversations about participatory research. Dr. Camangian described how Freire established the foundation for his work in humanizing education and how he influenced policy changes in the San Francisco Unified School District and elsewhere. The conversation on the first night was moderated by Shabnam Koirala-Azad, dean of the school and professor of international and multicultural education. During her welcoming address, she said: “Our school has always had a legacy of understanding and addressing the connection between education and justice. This evening, in some ways, allows us to shine a light on this legacy.” The second night, Remembering Paulo: A Space for Our Stories and Encounters, brought together USF faculty, alumni, and community members who had worked with Freire. The evening provided an opportunity for storytelling and remembering as participants reflected on the lasting influence of Paulo Freire.

Belinda Hernandez Arriaga, Nacho Moya, and Rosa Jiménez
Assistant Professor of Education Belinda Hernandez Arriaga, Muralist Nacho Moya, and Associate Professor of Education Rosa Jiménez (from left to right) celebrate the unveiling of a mural that captures the School of Education’s commitment to social justice through transformative education. In the upper left-hand corner of the mural is an image of Paulo Freire, the Brazilian educator and philosopher, who inspired numerous initiatives to promote social justice throughout the world. USF News

On June 15, 2017, Shabnam Koirala-Azad was selected as the new dean of the School of Education, following a nationwide search involving more than 100 prospective candidates. Her deanship represented several firsts in the USF School of Education and in the nation: Koirala-Azad was the first female and first female-of-color dean of the USF School of Education, and the first dean of Nepalese origin in the United States, a feat that was covered widely in the Nepalese media as well.   She earned her doctoral degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in social and cultural studies in education, and published extensively in international and comparative education, migration and diaspora studies, alternative research paradigms, and a host of other topics. In her eighteen years at the USF School of Education, Dr. Koirala-Azad served as a faculty member, department chair, associate dean, and interim dean. She secured one of the School of Education’s largest gifts for student scholarships, and she co-founded the school’s master’s program in human rights education, and the Ed.D. concentration in human rights education in the international multicultural education program. This new master’s program and doctoral emphasis in human rights education was the first in the United States, and it reflected Paulo Freire’s profound influence on the school. Dr. Koirala-Azad’s helped develop the curriculum for the program, networked with resources at the university and in the local community, and actively recruited students.

Koirala-Azad launched a strategic prioritizing process in the USF School of education that sought to systematize and enhance the recruitment and retention of diverse students to the education and mental health professions, to build institutional capacity for financial support, communication with key stakeholders, and to elevate the School of Education’s profile regionally, nationally and globally. Today, SOE programs are offered in five different locations, the school continues to be regarded as a leader in social justice education, and the student, faculty and staff reflect the diversity that the school is committed to enhancing in the education and mental health professions. Over 65% of students identify and 50% identify as first-generation college students. 70% of faculty identify as BIPOC and the leadership team is comprised of women of color, education scholars. In 2018, Koirala-Azad was recognized as one of the most influential women in Bay Area Business and also received the USF Diversity and Equity Leadership Award.

In 2017, the same year that Shabnam Koirala-Azad became dean, Joan and Bob McGrath gave $10 million to USF to expand scholarships for USF’s Catholic education leadership programs in the School of Education, to create a new multidisciplinary student leadership institute, and to expand international student immersion opportunities for undergraduates through endowed scholarships. More than half of the gift was designed to endow fellowships for graduate education students in the renamed McGrath Institute for Jesuit Catholic Education. Joan McGrath earned a master’s degree in theology from USF, has been a loyal supporter of USF for decades, and currently serves on the USF Board of Trustees.

Consistent with Paulo Freire’s education philosophy, and in response to the increasing diversity of California’s public schools, the School of Education created a new degree program in 2009 that focused on teaching in urban schools, the Master of Arts in Teaching: Urban Education and Social Justice. The program, founded by coordinator Noah Borrero and co-coordinator Patrick Camangian, trains future educators to work in urban settings by focusing on the complex learning strengths and needs of urban students from diverse cultural, educational, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Students enter the master’s program as a group of learners, or cohort, and progress through the program in a series of courses, fieldwork experiences, action research, community building, self-reflection, and professional development activities. Students are placed in schools selected for their strength in teaching diverse urban student populations, and graduates become part of a network of justice-oriented teachers and community partners in the Bay Area and California. The urban education and social justice curriculum requires candidates to develop, write, and implement a research project related to justice-oriented urban education. Graduates will thus become teachers and scholars. A preliminary teaching credential is offered in conjunction with the program, and students enroll in special sections of required credential courses, as well as courses required for the master’s degree. In September 2019, Professor Patrick Camangian developed an equity studies framework that he presented to the San Francisco Board of Education, and that served as the basis for SFUSD’s Humanizing Learning Experiences for an All PK-12 policy resolution. The framework ensures that all students are seen and heard in their course work and that each student’s heritage is celebrated. 

Since then, all two dozen of the School of Education’s credential, Master’s and Doctoral programs have aligned with the school’s unified aim of advancing justice through education. 

Graduating Class of 2023 in the School of Education’s Master of Arts in Teaching: Urban Education and Social Justice
The Graduating Class of 2023 in the School of Education’s Master of Arts in Teaching: Urban Education and Social Justice. Image from Professor Patrick Camangian

The School of Education’s focus on international justice is reflected in its journal: The USF School of Education's International Journal of Human Rights Education. The journal was launched in 2017, and in 2021, the journal received the Human Rights in High Education Award from the University and College Consortium for Human Rights Education. The award “recognizes an individual, organization, initiative, or publication for its outstanding contribution to human rights education.” The USF School of Education journal provides an international forum for the dissemination of research and experiences by scholars and activists. The online journal was founded by USF students and faculty members in the School of Education, and it is peer-reviewed, open-access, and committed to the dissemination of theory, philosophy, research, and praxis central to the field of human rights education. Since 2017, journal articles have been downloaded more than 25,000 times from individuals living in more than 150 nations. The journal is free and available to download from the USF Scholarship Repository of the Gleeson Library. The original production and editorial team of the journal consisted of eight SOE students (Maria Autrey, Rachel Brand, Brian Davis, Jazzmin Gota, Michiko Kealoha, Lina Lenberg, Lori Selke, and David Tow) and two SOE faculty members (Susan Katz and Monisha Bajaj). Dean Shabnam Koirala-Azad said of the journal and its award: “For almost a decade now, the School of Education, particularly our master’s program in human rights education, has been contributing to the evolving discourse and practice of human rights education,” and the journal “emerged from this commitment and reflects a beautiful collaboration between faculty, students, and alumni towards the generation and diffusion of new knowledge that is so relevant to this moment.”

Consistent with the school’s human rights focus, Professor Daniela Domínguez of the School of Education, was one of several USF professors, staff, and students who made visits to the border between the U.S. and Mexico to support migrants and refugees. In June 2019, Professor Domínguez went to a detention center for undocumented immigrants in McAllen, Texas. She brought art materials for the children placed there, and as a counselor, she worked with the children. Professor Domínguez said, “We talk about drawing the home where they’re going,” and asked the children, “Who’s waiting there for you?”  Professor Domínguez believes that “when they see into the future, they go from something traumatic to what makes them hopeful.” In 2022, the School of Education was selected as one of five educator preparation programs in the state to join the inaugural California Educator Preparation Innovation Collaborative (CalEPIC). This network of innovative programs is designed to build the capacity of California educators to support equity, diversity, inclusivity, and the whole child.

In June of 2023, fourteen students, alumni, and faculty members from the School of Education attended the International Peace Research Association conference in Trinidad and Tobago. The conference has been held since 1964, but it was the first time USF has sent students to it. Members of the SOE delegation presented papers and gave workshops. For example, Michiko Kealoha, who received her Ed.D. in 2022, and Brian Anthony Davis who received his M.A. in 2021, and will receive his Ed.D. in 2024, gave a workshop on “Bias, Equity, and Justice in K-12 and Community Colleges.” Davis said that USF “prepared me well and equipped me with the tools necessary to engage in international conversations around peace, justice, and equity,” Kealoha noted that “to be in community with educators from around the world, United Nations members, and former prisoners of war was surreal.”

The School of Education at USF has graduated many outstanding leaders since its founding. Vignette #4 highlighted Martha Kanter, appointed by President Barack Obama as Under Secretary of Education in 2009. There are many other SOE alumni who assumed leadership positions and who brought a social justice perspective to those positions. Some of those alumni are noted below.

Suzanne Giraudo, who earned her Ed.D. in Counseling Psychology from USF’s School of Education in 1989, became Clinical Director of the Kalmanovitz Child Development Center Department of Pediatrics at California Pacific Medical Center. She has been active in the Medical Center’s community health programs for over 25 years. Dr. Giraudo also served on the Children and Families Commission for San Francisco for 12 years. In 2019, she was appointed a Health Commissioner to the San Francisco Health Commission, where she chaired the Community and Public Health Committee and represented the Health Commission on the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation. Dr. Giraudo’s professional background includes the development, administration, and supervision of pediatric clinical programs, grant administration, teaching, and clinical work with children and families. She has participated in research and given many presentations in the fields of education, health, child development, and mental and behavioral health. She is the founder and a trustee of the DeMarillac Academy, a Catholic school located in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco that addresses the needs of underserved children and families. Dr. Giraudo is on the advisory board of the University of San Francisco Health Professions. She has served on the boards of many other nonprofit organizations, including the Hamilton Family Center, Home Away from Homelessness Catholic Charities, and Coleman Advocates. She also served as San Francisco Families First Five Commission Chair. Her other civic commitments include with St. Anthony’s Pediatric Clinic, Marin Community Pediatric Program, and the Northeast Medical Services Pediatric Clinics. Dr. Giraudo has been honored for her many contributions with the Bank of America Local Heroes Award, The California Pacific Medical Center’s Presidents Award, and the State Legislature 12th Assembly District Woman of the Year Award. She also received the Fr. Alfred Boeddeker Award from the St. Anthony Foundation for her efforts in championing socially responsible and economically accessible education in San Francisco.

Suzanne Giraudo
Suzanne Giraudo earned her Ed.D. in Counseling Psychology from USF’s School of Education. She is Clinical Director of the Kalmanovitz Child Development Center Department of Pediatrics at California Pacific Medical Center, a Health Commissioner with the City of San Francisco Health Commission, and has held many other professional positions. She has served as a founder, supporter, and award-winning advocate of numerous social justice programs for underserved children and their families. Image from the City of San Francisco

Dr. Giraudo co-authored the book, Disastershock: How to Cope with the Emotional Stress of a Major Disaster, which is based on research with children and families after the Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989, during the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 and 2021, and during the recent California wildfires. Dr. Giraudo’s co-authors are Brian Gerrard and Emily Giraut, emeriti professors of counseling psychology in the USF School of Education; Vallerie Appleton, who earned an Ed.D. in Educational Psychology from the USF School of Education and serves as dean and professor at Eastern Washington University; and Sue Linville Shaffer, who earned an Ed.D. in Counseling Psychology from the USF School of Education and is a counselor in private practice, working with individuals, families, and groups who need healing following traumatic events.  The book provides twenty different cognitive-behavioral, evidence-based, and practical techniques to lower stress and reduce the effects of trauma after disasters. These techniques help adults lower their own stress, and can be employed by parents, teachers, and others working with children. The book also lists relevant publications, videos, and internet resources. All royalties from the sale of the book go to disaster relief.

Onllwyn C. Dixon received his Ed.D. in International and Multicultural Education in 2008 and serves as National Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging at Year Up, a San Francisco nonprofit workforce development organization. While at USF, he was selected as an outstanding doctoral student by the faculty of the department of international and multicultural education and served as the vice president for the graduate student association. After graduation, he was an adjunct faculty member in the School of Education for 14 years. He also taught undergraduate courses for the University of San Francisco Muscat Scholars Program from 2007 to 2017. He served as the Education Coordinator for the Booker T. Washington Community Service Center from 2005 to 2008. During that period, he was an academic coach at USF, working directly with academic support services, student disabilities services, international student and scholar services, and the athletics department to strengthen the academic skills of student-athletes, international students, and students with disabilities. 

Over the decades, many other School of Education alumni have assumed leadership positions and received honors for their work. Cynthia Rapaido, who earned her M.A. in Organization and Leadership in 1996, and her Ed.D. in International and Multicultural Education in 2011, served in public education for more than 30 years as a high school principal, assistant principal, and science teacher. She was honored with several awards, including the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the United States Award from the Filipina Women’s Network; the Secondary Co-Administrator of the Year Award from the Association of California School Administrators; and the Assistant Principal of the Year State Finalist Award for the State of California from the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Susan Cota earned her Ed.D. in Organization and Leadership in 1993, and later became president of Mira Costa College, where she received the 2006 Harry Buttimer Distinguished Administrator Award from the Association of California Community College Administrators. Jan La Torre-Derby earned an M.A. in Educational Administration in 1986, and an Ed.D. in International and Multicultural Education in 1993. She later became the superintendent of the Novato Unified School District. Sandra Stefani Comerford received her Ed.D. in Learning and Instruction in 1999, and she later became dean of the language arts division at the College of San Mateo. Garrett Naiman earned his Ed.D. in International and Multicultural Education in 2016 and is dean of students and associate vice chancellor for student development and engagement at UC Santa Cruz. Mark Hurtubise earned his Ed.D. in Organization and Leadership in 1989, and later became president and CEO of Inland Northwest Community Foundation, now named Innovia. While Hurtubise was president of Inland Northwest Community Foundation, he refused to donate to an organization that was found to promote hate. He stood in opposition to the Northwest Community Foundation board’s initial position on that issue.

Many other School of Education alumni have pursued successful careers in service to their communities. To highlight but a few, Craig Borba earned his Ed.D. in Counseling Psychology in 1984 and became Director of Special Education and Assistant Superintendent of Pupil Personnel Services for the Palm Springs Unified School District. He also consulted on special education design, delivery, and fiscal planning throughout California. For his work, Borba was named state Pupil Personnel Administrator of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators. Judith Miner earned an Ed.D. in Organization and Leadership in 1982, and she became president of Foothill College in Oakland, California. Adrian Peterson earned an Ed.D. in Organization and Leadership in 2016 and became superintendent of the Catholic schools for the Santa Rosa diocese. Doug Evans received an Ed.D. in Catholic School Leadership in 2011 and is principal of Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, California. Prior to Doug Evans, Stephen Phelps, who earned his Ed.D. in Private School Administration in 2003, also served as principal of Bishop O’Dowd High School.

Over the years, many faculty members and administrators at the University of San Francisco have earned their doctorates from the USF School of Education, including the two most recent deans of the University Library. Tyrone Cannon received his Ed.D. in 2007, in learning and instruction. Although Tyrone was already dean when he earned his Ed.D., the program broadened his perspective and, by joining a community of scholars, led to leadership roles in the broader higher education arena. Dr. Cannon served on the Western Association on Schools and Colleges Substantive Change committee for nine years and led teams reviewing curriculum changes at several WASC institutions seeking accreditation or reaccreditation. He served on an international team that reviewed an institution in Kenya, and he led a number of reviews in northern California and one in Hawaii. Dr. Cannon also participated in broader library leadership roles in several national organizations, and he became an adjunct faculty member at the University of North Texas School of Library and Information Sciences. In February 2020, Dr. Cannon was selected to serve as Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at USF, the first Black and openly gay individual in the history of the university to hold that position. Cannon believes that his many honors and opportunities were “the result of obtaining my doctoral degree at the School of Education.” He feels that “the curriculum and instruction emphasis was a wonderful and rigorous program. The faculty were first rate and exceptionally supportive.”

Shawn Calhoun, USF’s current university library dean, also earned his Ed.D. from the School of Education in learning and instruction. He was associate library dean in 2012, the year he received his doctorate. Following Tyrone Cannon’s retirement, Shawn Calhoun was appointed university library dean in August 2022. At the core of his doctoral work, was the enhancement of his skills as a librarian in the Jesuit tradition, to ensure that USF's library was the best possible place for students, staff, and faculty to learn and grow. Toward that end, Dr. Calhoun believes that his doctoral work helped him “to increase the efficacy and accessibility of the skills librarians teach students—in the Jesuit tradition.” He is also proud of the fact he is part of three generations of a family that was Jesuit educated. His father and two sons went to Jesuit universities. Being dean of the university library, Calhoun says is “more than work, it's a vocation. And one that I feel is shaped by my education at USF and the Ignatian traditions and expectations many of us share on The Hilltop and with my family.”

The alumni of USF’s School of Education personify the school’s mission “to act collectively and leverage our resources in ways that are driven by our Jesuit mission and responsive to our constituents' needs.” Graduates of the school, the mission states, will “strive to have a measurable impact in schools and communities, particularly for those most affected by injustice.” The School of Education thus shares a mission with the University of San Francisco to enhance students’ understanding of what it means to be involved in Jesuit education, to educate leaders with a global perspective, to work for social justice, and to make the world a better place.


Paulo Freire’s book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, was first published in Portuguese in 1968. The most recent English translation of the book is: Paulo Freire. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. London: Penguin Classics, 2017. Information about Paulo Freire’s educational philosophy, his visits to USF, and the 100th anniversary celebration of his birth appears in a School of Education online article, written by Lisa Klope, and published on January 31, 2022. Information on The Master of Arts in Teaching: Urban Education and Social Justice was supplied by Professor Patrick Camangian, and is described on the School of Education website. Biographical information about Shabnam Koirala-Azad appears in the Summer 2017 issue of USF Magazine, p. 6, and is available online. Professor Camangian’s equity studies framework for the San Francisco Board of Education, and Professor Dominguez’s visit to a Texas detention center for undocumented immigrants are referenced in the December 2019 issue of USF Magazine, p. 6. Details on the International Journal of Human Rights Education are found in an SOE newsletter sent to the USF community on March 11, 2022. This same newsletter also addressed the School of Education’s involvement with the California Educator Preparation Innovation Collaborative (CalEPIC). Details about the School of Education group that attended the International Peace Research Association conference in Trinidad and Tobago are found in an article by Mary McInerney, “USF Group Delivers Peace Research to a Global Audience,” that appeared on June 29, 2023, in USF News. Suzanne Giraudo’s career is outlined on the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation website, and on the City of San Francisco website. The impact of the doctoral program on Tyrone Cannon and Shawn Calhoun was illuminated by a series of email exchanges between these two deans and the author. Information about other prominent School of Education alumni came from several sources, including from Taryn Moore, USF’s Director of Alumni Engagement, and from announcements that appeared in USF News and in USF Magazine from 2010 to 2023.

Alan Ziajka, Ph.D. 
University Historian Emeritus
University of San Francisco

August 31, 2023

Beginning as a fledgling department in 1947 with a mere twenty-two students, a robust School of Education had developed by 1972, and by 1978, the school enrolled more than one thousand students. During the mid-1970s and into the late 1980s, the School of Education offered numerous programs at facilities in local school districts and churches throughout the state, including in Sacramento, San Jose, Oakland, Los Angeles, Fresno, Santa Barbara, Santa Rosa, Stockton, Walnut Creek, and many other cities. The academic programs at one or more of these locations included multiple-subject, single-subject, service, and specialist credentials; master’s programs in teaching, counseling, private school administration, educational technology, international and multicultural education, learning and instruction, organization and leadership, and teaching English as a second language. No doctoral programs, however, were offered at off-campus sites.

During the late 1980s, some of the School of Education off-campus programs were moved from local schools and churches to regional campuses, originally established by USF’s College of Professional Studies for its off-campus degree programs. The regional campuses in Northern California included Sacramento, the South Bay, Santa Rosa, and San Ramon. The Sacramento Campus opened in 1975, and it began offering School of Education programs in 1989, including the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology and the Master of Arts in Teaching with a single or multiple-subject teaching credential. Other School of Education programs continued to be offered at local churches and schools in the Sacramento area. The South Bay Campus, which opened in 1980, moved to Cupertino in 1993, and to San Jose in 2011. That campus began offering School of Education programs in 1989, including the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology and the Master of Arts in Teaching with a single or multiple-subject teaching credential. The San Ramon Campus opened in 1986. In its first years, several School of Education programs were offered at that campus, including the MAT in the Teaching of Reading, and the MAT in Teaching Reading as a Second Language. The San Ramon campus moved to Pleasanton in 2012, and it began offering the Master of Arts in Teaching with a single or multiple-subject teaching credential. The Santa Rosa Campus opened in 1996, and by 2011, it enrolled School of Education students in its counseling and teacher preparation programs. In 1983, the College of Professional Studies opened a regional campus for its off-campus degree programs in Orange County in Southern California, under the auspices of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange. In 2016, the School of Education offered a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at the Orange County Campus. Today, the School of Education continues to run robust MAT and MFT programs in San Jose, Santa Rosa, and Sacramento. In fact, as the university closed campuses in San Jose and Santa Rosa, the School of Education decided to stay in those regions under a new partnership with Santa Rosa Junior College and San Jose City College. This change has allowed USF to be more integrated into the life of those communities and to consider pipelines from community colleges to the teaching and mental health professions.

Following Paul Warren’s retirement as dean in 2002, Larry Brewster served as acting dean for the School of Education from 2002 to 2004, while he simultaneously served as dean of the College of Professional Studies. Dean Brewster provided a bridge between the administration of Paul Warren and that of the next dean, Walter Gmelch. Dean Brewster devoted considerable energy and attention to the regional campus programs in both the School of Education and the College of Professional Studies, which were the two primary providers of regional programs for USF. He also commissioned a working group of faculty and administrators to study the possible merger of the School of Education and the College of Professional Studies. After several weeks of discussion, the group voted not to merge the two schools.

In 2004, Walter Gmelch, dean of the College of Education at Iowa State University, was selected after a nationwide search to be the new dean of the School of Education. From 2004 to 2013, Dean Gmelch’s administration developed several successful initiatives. Many programs, for example, were developed to advance global education and leadership. Beginning in January 2008, Project Learn Belize, coordinated by Assistant Professor Geoffrey Dillon, S.J., and in cooperation with University Ministry’s Arrupe Immersion Program, sent dual degree seniors and School of Education graduate students to the Central American country of Belize to teach as volunteers in private schools, such as Sacred Heart Catholic Elementary School. The project marked the first effort to provide students in the USF teacher education program with an education-focused experience outside the usual channels of American education, exposing students to the realities of the developing world. Other programs included an international and multicultural program in Ecuador led by Professor Susan Katz; and a Global Citizen program in Salzburg, Austria, for USF undergraduate and graduate students. The School of Education also developed master’s degrees and certificates for international school administrators in several schools in East Asia. Approximately three-quarters of School of Education students have been able to have international experiences through Fulbright awards, Oxford Seminars in England, and programs in Mexico, South America (Ecuador and Peru), Central America, Korea, Southeast Asia, England, Austria, Australia, and other international locations.

Due to the international education efforts of all of USF’s Schools and Colleges, including the School of Education, the university was among five institutions of higher education in the nation, and the only one on the West Coast, to win the 2010 Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization. The award, created in 2003 and presented annually by the National Association of Foreign Student Advisers (NAFSA), recognized outstanding and innovative efforts in campus internationalization, a cause for which the late Senator Simon was a strong advocate. For decades, the School of Education has offered international immersion programs, summer institutes, and apprenticeships that sensitize students to cultural, ethnic, and linguistic differences. Students have lived, performed community service, and engaged in educational activities at international sites. Programs examined the impact of globalization and immigration on education and human rights worldwide. As noted in Vignette #1, the school offers a master’s degree and a doctorate in international and multicultural education. Many faculty members and administrators have international backgrounds.

During Dean Gmelch’s tenure, eighteen new faculty members were hired, sixteen of whom were faculty of color. The first of those new faculty members was Shabnam Koirala-Azad, who is now the school’s dean. The school witnessed faculty and staff working collaboratively to set a new strategic direction. From 2004 to 2013, the School of Education built a diverse and multicultural community of scholars, students, leaders, and staff; developed a cadre of outstanding senior and junior faculty; and empowered others through leadership development. In 2011, Walter Gmelch was honored for his two years of service as President of the Council of Academic Deans at Research Education Institutions (CADREI).

May, 2023. A team of fourteen students, grads, and faculty members from the School of Education embarked on a transformative journey to Trinidad and Tobago. Together, they championed the power of education and engaged in international conversations around peace, justice, and equity at the International Peace Research Association.

Following Walter Gmelch’s transition from dean to professor of education at USF, Kevin Kumashiro was selected as the school’s new dean in 2013, following a nationwide search. During his four years as dean, he led the school in unanimously adopting a five-year strategic plan centered on justice, witnessed an eight percent increase in student enrollment from 970 students in the fall of 2013 to 1,046 students in the fall of 2017, and saw an increase in incoming students of color.

On May 1, 2015, The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing re-accredited USF’s School of Education credential programs for the maximum period of seven years. The re-accreditation was based on a review of the school’s self-study; supporting documents available during the visit; and interviews with administrators, faculty, candidates, graduates, and local school personnel. Dean Kumashiro established the SOE Dean's Council to support development and external engagement, tripled the SOE endowment, tripled the dollar amount of annual student scholarships, and tripled the number of students receiving annual scholarships and assistantships. During Dean Kumashiro’s tenure, the School of Education building was renovated, resulting in more gathering spaces, including a new faculty and staff lounge and a new student commons area. Dean Kumashiro also partnered with local school districts to create new pathways to teaching, including dual-credit courses for high-school students, and tailored programs for paraprofessionals to earn teaching credentials. Kevin Kumashiro co-founded and served as the first chair of Education Deans for Justice, a national network of hundreds of deans of education across the U.S.; and he co-founded and hosted the semi-annual gathering of deans of education throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area. In 2016, he received the Social Justice in Education Award from the American Educational Research Association, and in 2016, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Lewis and Clark University.

Kevin Kumashiro left USF in 2017, and Shabnam Azad-Koirala became the interim dean. After a nationwide search, Shabnam Koirala-Azad was appointed as the new permanent dean of the School of Education on June 15, 2017. Her administration will be discussed in the next vignette.

Over the past five decades, School of Education faculty members have received numerous awards from the University of San Francisco and from other institutions. USF awards are based on a rigorous selection and assessment process, involving hours of committee work, research, and recommendations from throughout the university. Below is a representative sample of those awards given to School of Education faculty and staff.

Four faculty members in the School of Education have won the Distinguished Teaching Award from the USF Faculty Association and USF during an academic year. They are Susan Evans (1981-1982); Alma Flor Ada (1984-1985); Patricia Busk (1988-1989); and Patrick Camangian (2011-2012). Noah Borrero won the Distinguished Research Award from the USF Faculty Association and USF during the 2010-2011 academic year, as did Patrick Camangian during the 2021-2022 academic year. It is noteworthy that in the history of the Distinguished Teaching Award and the Distinguished Research Award, which dates to 1979, Patrick Camangian is only the fourth USF faculty member to have won both awards.

In 1992, USF initiated the annual Ignatian Faculty Service Award, which recognizes an outstanding commitment to students, the university, and to the broader community, in the spirit of St. Ignatius, founder of the Jesuit Order in 1540. To date, ten School of Education faculty members have received this award: Larry Bishop, Allen Calvin, Elena Flores, Sister Mary Peter Traviss, Mathew Mitchell, Patricia Mitchell, Patricia Busk, Daniela Domínguez, Belinda Hernandez-Arriaga, and Mohammad Sedique Popal.

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership Award recognizes and honors a USF faculty or staff member who has made exceptional contributions to enhancing and supporting diversity and inclusion within the USF community. In 2012, Elena Flores won USF’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award, as did Shabnam Azad-Koirala in 2017, and Daniela Domínguez in 2019. In 2012, Doreen Jones received the Sr. Vicki Siu Award for outstanding contributions and service to USF. In 2023, Leyla Pérez-Gualdrón received the Mission Unity Award, which honors an individual who exemplifies dedication to the university’s vision, mission, and values, while fostering an inclusive global community that extends beyond the boundaries of the USF campus, creating a more compassionate and equitable world. In 2010, Christine Yeh was selected by USF for one of three Faculty Mentor of the Year Awards. Yvonne Bui also received the Mentor of the Year Award in 2014, as did Belinda Hernandez-Arriaga in 2019, and Susan Katz in 2022.

The USF Sarlo Prize, named for philanthropist George Sarlo, recognizes excellence in full-time teaching based on the moral values that are the foundation of USF's identity and values. Susan Katz received that award in the 2013-2014 academic year, as did Sarah Capitelli during the 2018-2019 year. In 2014, Helen Maniates won the Education Partner Award from the nonprofit agency, Mo’Magic, for the summer reading program that she organized for at-risk children, utilizing the skills of reading-specialist students from the School of Education. Emily Nusbaum received the Arthur I. Karshmer Award for Distinguished Service on Disability Issues during the 2017-2018 academic year, as did Kevin Oh during the 2021-2022 academic year. In 2022, Daniela Domínguez received the Outstanding Professor Beyond the Hilltop Award for her superb teaching in the marriage and family therapy program in Santa Rosa. During the 2006-2007 academic year, Patricia Busk received the university-wide Center for Instructional Technology Award for the Innovative Use of Technology.

School of Education faculty members have also been honored by external agencies, organizations, and schools. As noted in Vignette #3, Sister Mary Peter Traviss received a lifetime achievement award in 2005 from the National Catholic Educational Association for her research and promotion of Catholic education. She was also honored at Georgetown University by the Center of Applied Research with the Richard Cardinal Cushing Award for the Advancement of Church Research. In 2010, Christine Yeh was named a Distinguished Fellow by the Asian American Psychological Association, and in 2011, Alma Flor Ada received the California Council for Teacher Educators Service Award. In the same year, Christopher Thomas was recognized by the Association of California School Administrators as the Professor of the Year. This award is one of 19 presented annually to recognize outstanding performance and achievements.

Since 2003, three School of Education faculty members have received Fulbright Global Scholar Awards. The Fulbright Global Scholar Program, financed jointly by the United States and a host country, permits U.S. academics and professionals to engage in multi-country, trans-regional projects. As a worldwide program, U.S. scholars can propose research or combined teaching and research projects in two to three countries with flexible schedules. Projects can be conducted within one academic year or spread over two consecutive years. The Fulbright Global Scholar Program is designed to expand and strengthen the relationships between the people of the United States and citizens of the world. To support this mission, grantees are asked to give public talks, mentor students, and engage with the host country, in addition to their primary research or teaching activities.

Joan Avis, professor of counseling psychology, received a Fulbright Award to teach and conduct research in Mexico during the 2011-2012 academic year at Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán in Mérida in the Facultad of Psicología. Her Project Yucatan sought to improve the life quality of high potential, economically disadvantaged Mayan youth and their families, by fostering educational opportunity, intervening in the poverty cycle, and promoting economic growth and employment diversification through education. Susan Katz, Professor of International and Multicultural Education, received two Fulbright awards. In 2003, Professor Katz was at the University of Pécs in Hungary, researching secondary education for Roma students, and in 2010, she was at the Bilingual Intercultural Teacher Training Institute of the Shuar Indigenous Nationality in Ecuador. Professor Katz used her second Fulbright award to trek into the remote Amazon rainforest to study and live among the Shuar, an Indigenous population in the southern Amazon region of Ecuador. She also delivered a series of presentations on her earlier bilingual research at the Latin American Academy for the Social Sciences in Quito, and she conducted new research with the Shuar Federation on the effects of bilingual education in its schools. Judith Pace, in the Department of Teacher Education, received a Fulbright Global Scholar Award for the 2023-2024 year at the University of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Universities of Pretoria and Cape Town in South Africa. She will use her award to expand her current research and work in preparing educators to teach about controversial issues in divided societies, and to strengthen democracy and peace worldwide.

The three Fulbright Scholars noted above personify a global perspective that has been one of the core values of the School of Education for decades. Today, the M.A. and Ed.D. in International and Multicultural Education reflect this global perspective and are premised on critical social theory, the practice of critical pedagogy, and engaged scholarship that has a meaningful impact on local and global communities.

Several School of Education adjunct faculty members have won the Distinguished Adjunct Faculty Award, including Mohammad Sedique Popal (2012-2013), Maureen Adams and Patricia Cowick (2013-2014), Benjamin Baab and Autumn Wagner (2014-2015), Amy Milligan (2017-2018), and Dennie Marenco (2021-2022). Autumn Wagner also won the Outstanding Regional Campus Professor Award in 2018 for her teaching in Santa Rosa. The ITS Part-Time Faculty Innovations Award for incorporating new ways of using information technology in education went to Yvette Fagan in 2010. Fagan’s students used multiple software programs to create movies of students studying social sciences and developing Internet-based learning activities.

School of Education staff have also received USF awards and honors. In 2008, Janice Dirden-Cook, director of the Upward Bound Program in the School of Education, received the Fr. William J. Dunne Award, the highest honor given by USF to any of its staff members for extraordinary service to USF and the community. In 2006, John Bansavich, Director of the Center for Instruction and Technology, then in the School of Education, won an individual merit award, given for contributions and achievements that are above and beyond the scope, responsibilities, and expectations of the position and that have made a significant positive impact on the department, division, the university, or the community. In 2019, Nicole Cuadro, Director of Outreach and Communications in the School of Education, won an individual merit award, as did Lisa Klope, Associate Director, Admission Communication and Outreach.

During the past 50 years, School of Education faculty members have published numerous books, book chapters, and refereed journal articles. Faculty members have generated hundreds of professional citations for their scholarship, and have written many successful federal, state, and private grants. In one eight-year period, for example, between 2010 and 2018, School of Education faculty members published 11 books, 22 book chapters, 126 journal articles, and had their work cited 1,089 times by other scholars.

From 2000 to 2010, USF’s Office of Institutional Research conducted a graduating student survey of all USF students, including students in the School of Education. SOE students consistently gave excellent marks to their professors and indicated a high level of satisfaction with their learning experience while at USF. For example, among all the SOE respondents in 2010 (n=235), 95.2 percent “strongly agreed” or “agreed” with the following statement: “Overall, I was satisfied with my USF education.” Likewise, 98.3 percent of those surveyed “strongly agreed” or “agreed” that “my instructors took an active interest in my learning,” and 97.8 percent felt that instructors were “reasonably accessible outside of class.” The percentage of “strongly agree” or “agree” responses on the items addressing satisfaction with education, instructor interest in student learning, and instructor accessibility were all above 88 percent on all these survey items during the decade.

As the University of San Francisco School of Education celebrates its 50th anniversary, it can proudly look to its faculty and staff as the wellspring for its reputation for academic excellence within the tradition of Jesuit education.


Information about the School of Education’s regional programs was gleaned from various reports issued to the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) from 1980 to 2016; select USF internal memos; emails from Michael O’Neill, former Dean of the School of Education; and from a series of reports written by Alan Ziajka for the USF provost’s office between 2015 and 2022 ( The administrations of Larry Brewster, Walter Gmelch, and Kevin Kumashiro were illuminated by a series of email exchanges between these three former deans and the author. School of Education faculty awards and honors are described in various documents, including all issues of the USF Fact Book and Almanac from 2005 to 2019, authored by Alan Ziajka; from records maintained by the USF Office of Human Resources; and by announcements that appeared in USF News from 2010 to 2023. For example, an article about Judith Pace’s recent Fulbright Award, written by Annie Breen, appeared in the online USF News on June 8, 2023. The data regarding faculty publications was compiled by Alan Ziajka in preparation for submission of USF’s Self-Study to the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) in 2016. The USF graduating student surveys from 2000 to 2010 were also conducted by Alan Ziajka and are available from the author (

Alan Ziajka, Ph.D.
University Historian Emeritus
University of San Francisco

July 31, 2023

The University of San Francisco and its School of Education have a long history of community engagement. Soon after its founding in 1855, St. Ignatius College, the antecedent of USF, encouraged its faculty and students to provide social services to the people of San Francisco in hospitals, schools, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and prisons. This focus continued into the 20th century and reached a new level in the 1960s. As noted in Vignette #2, one of the primary examples of community engagement at USF during the 1960s was the Student Western Addition Project (SWAP), under the guidance of sociology professor Ralph Lane. This project was initiated in 1962 when two students, John Dervin, the student body president, and Joe Spieler, sophomore class president, approached Professor Lane about increasing student service to the community. At about the same time, Dr. Lane was asked by consultants from the Western Addition District Council to help supply volunteers from USF to help improve conditions in their community. Out of discussions with representatives from the agencies associated with the District Council was born SWAP, along with a commitment for direct USF student involvement in helping the citizens of the Western Addition. During the spring of 1963, under Dervin’s and Spieler’s leadership, and with guidance from Professor Lane, the first three SWAP projects were undertaken. These projects included a survey of health attitudes among Western Addition citizens for the Westside Health Center; backyard cleanup projects and assistance to families to improve rundown buildings; and the establishment of a study hall and special tutoring project by USF students for grade-school pupils, held at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. By 1964, 11 service projects conducted by USF students were underway. The original study hall project expanded to the Buchanan YMCA and included junior and senior high school students. Other USF students arranged guest talks by diverse executives to youth organizations, developed recreational projects, and conducted surveys of family use of public health services. Twelve USF College Players conducted a drama project at a junior high school, providing instruction to students on acting, production, lighting, and costume design. By 1969, there were approximately 250 USF students involved in SWAP, the largest student group on campus at the time. 

The foundation for another USF community engagement project was laid in 1964, when Congress passed the Economic Opportunity Act authorizing Upward Bound. The goal of Upward Bound was to prepare youth from underserved communities to gain admission to college and successfully complete a postsecondary education. The focus of the program was on skill development, motivation, and self-esteem for potential first-generation college students. In 1966, Jack Curtis, a USF sociology professor, submitted USF’s first grant program for Upward Bound. The grant was approved, and USF inaugurated its first Upward Bound Project for 39 low-income high school students from ethnically diverse backgrounds whom their school counselors had recommended as potential college students. Funded by the Federal Office of Economic Opportunity and by USF, the first students spent six weeks living on the USF campus during the summer, attending special classes and lectures by USF faculty, and receiving advice on applying for college. Beginning in 1984, Upward Bound was administered by the USF School of Education, under the direction of Janice Dirden-Cook, who began as a teacher in the program in 1975. The project’s objectives were to retain 80 percent of the participants through graduation from high school, place 90 percent of the graduates in post-secondary institutions, and document that 80 percent of those students completed college or would still be attending college in five years. The Upward Bound program served approximately 100 participants per year in a summer residential program as well as in an after-school program during the regular year. The participants were drawn from the ninth and tenth grades from twelve public high schools, three charter high schools, and one Catholic high school in San Francisco. A supplementary federal grant for five years was awarded in 2009 for the Upward Bound Math and Science Project to serve an additional 50 students per year. During its last full academic year in 2015, 77 high school students were enrolled in the USF Upward Bound Math and Science Project from seven San Francisco Unified School District high schools. During that year, 25 USF undergraduate and graduate students in education and other graduate programs were employed as advisors and tutors. Their duties included tutoring, assisting with academic programming, facilitating program events, and creating project plans. 

The 1980s witnessed other examples of community engagement by the School of Education. In 1985, Emily Girault and Brian Gerrard, associate professors of education, developed the Catholic Schools and Family Counseling program to provide counseling services for elementary school children and their families in the Mission District of the Archdiocese of San Francisco and to train master’s and doctoral candidates. During the program’s operation, thousands of children and their families received help from the USF School of Education faculty members. In 1988, the program received a grant from the Stanley S. Langendorf Foundation, one of several foundations that lent their support to the project. 

The School of Education’s community engagement efforts continued to flourish in the late 1980s and 1990s under deans Dorothy Messerschmitt and Paul Warren, and with the efforts of several outstanding faculty members. Dorothy Messerschmitt, who began her career at USF in 1978, and was a professor of education, served as acting dean of the School of Education from 1987 to 1989, the first woman to hold that position in the school’s history. In 1989, Paul Warren, former professor and dean of education at Boston University, became the dean of the School of Education. He held this position until his retirement in 2002. Among Warren’s accomplishments were the development of a dual degree program with the College of Arts and Sciences for students seeking a five-year program culminating in bachelor’s and master’s degrees, plus a teaching credential. Warren also helped create the Center for Teaching Excellence and Social Justice, under the direction of internationally known writer and educator Herb Kohl. The center was designed to prepare educators to reform schools in urban settings and to make social justice a major focus of the School of Education. 

In 1993, the School of Education became the first school in the state to offer an alternative learning specialist (LH) credential approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). Directed by Susan Evans, professor of education, the program enabled students to earn the LH credential in one year while teaching in a special education classroom with full pay. This innovative program represented a collaborative effort between USF and Bay Area school districts. During Warren’s administration, the School of Education also developed the Home Link Program, a community outreach project at Plaza del Sol, a housing project in the Mission District. At the project, USF graduate students in education staffed a resource center that offered tutoring, computer-assisted instruction, and social support to children and youth living in the project. The resource center was also used in the evenings to teach English as a second language to the whole family. Beginning in 1990, Warren hosted an annual awards ceremony for students from neighborhood elementary, middle schools, and high schools to recognize outstanding local students, their teachers, and their parents. In 1994, when the Cross-Cultural Language and Academic Development (CLAD) credential became available in California, the USF School of Education received approval from the CTC to offer it as an option to the basic credential at the multiple subjects (elementary school) level. Rosita Galang, professor of education, prepared the documents to secure state approval, and she coordinated the CLAD program at USF. 

The various degree and credential programs in the School of Education were complemented by several other community-based service and applied research centers and institutes. These agencies included the Center for Child and Family Development, founded by professor Larry Palmatier, which provided counseling services to low-income families in San Francisco’s Mission District and the city’s schools; the Center for Instruction and Technology, noted previously; and the Center for Multicultural Literature, developed by Professor Alma Flor Ada, which sponsored special programs, colloquia, and conferences for educators, students, and children that focus on the rich literary heritage of a multicultural society. 

In 1997, USF began to participate in the America Reads Program, a federal program to train college students to tutor elementary school students in reading. Kathleen Jonson, assistant professor of education; Susan Murphy, associate dean and director of financial aid in academic services; Alan Ziajka, assistant dean of academic services; Janice McAlister, student employment administrator; and Edgar Callo, assistant coordinator of the learning center, developed a collaborative project to meet the federal program guidelines. To deliver the program, USF worked with the San Francisco Unified District’s Reading Recovery program, selected Catholic elementary schools, nonprofit children’s centers, school principals, primary teachers, and reading specialists. Initially, 18 USF students participated in the program as tutors. During the 2015 academic year, 70 USF students spent more than 7,000 hours reading approximately 5,000 books to more than 3,300 elementary school students during the regular sessions of the academic year. The America Reads Program provided training and educational experience to more than 1,000 USF students during its first 20 years. Many of these students went on to teaching careers. Other students pursued different interests, but they too benefitted from an opportunity to give back to the San Francisco community. America Reads sensitized staff and students to the concerns of children, families, and schools in the community, and assessment from the schools and parents was consistently positive. The program enhanced the linkage between USF and the community while concurrently providing critical support to understaffed schools as they tutored children in one of life’s most important skills. In 2019, The 22-year-old America Reads program at USF was relocated to the Leo McCarthy Center’s Engage San Francisco. 

The Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good educates leaders for ethical public service, develops and maintains community partnerships, and supports community-engaged learning. It coordinates public service programs at the local, state, national, and global levels, and cooperates with all the schools at USF, including the School of Education, in community engagement programs. The Center also supports USF’s service-learning requirement at the undergraduate level by providing resources and training to faculty and community partners. The Center was established in 2001 through a major gift from Leo T. McCarthy, USF graduate and former Lt. Governor of California. The Center also received major grants from the CNCS Learn and Serve America Program, FIPSE, the California Public Utilities Commission Foundation, and several individuals and private foundations. The McCarthy Center continues to expand Engage San Francisco, a multifaceted and sustained relationship with the residents and service providers in the Western Addition of San Francisco. Among the activities are health fairs and summer reading programs, during which faculty and students deliver services prioritized by community service providers and residents.

The Summer Reading Program brings the School of Education full circle back to the children of the Western Addition of San Francisco. This program for K-8 students is designed and implemented in partnership with USF candidates for the Master of Arts in Teaching Reading (MATR), community-based organizations in the San Francisco Western Addition, and the schools of the Sacred Heart in the San Francisco Archdiocese. Launched in 2004 under the leadership of master teacher Kathy Rosebrock and community activist Dr. Sheryl Davis, the program is housed in the USF School of Education, Teacher Education Department, and it has ranged from 60 to 200 K-8 students each summer. MATR candidates and community-based program staff work together to plan and co-teach a five-week program focused on increasing reading engagement. Since 2010, Dr. Helen Maniates, Associate Professor of Teacher Education, and coordinator of the Master of Arts of Teaching Reading Program, has led the program, and it has expanded to address community-identified needs for summer learning, shared leadership with partner program staff, and reciprocal learning between reading teachers and community-based educators. The summer reading program puts aspiring reading teachers into a community-based setting where they learn how to support K-8 students’ out-of-school literacy development and collaborate with community program providers who know their students and families best.

Today, the School of Education’s counseling programs are also engaged with the community. Graduate students in the school’s counseling programs gain direct experience in Bay Area schools and community clinics. According to a 2022 report by the news organization CalMatters, the need for school counselors, therapists, social workers, and psychologists is greater than ever. Concerns about the pandemic, the economy, wildfires, school shootings, and racism have prompted many families and individuals to seek professional help. Simultaneously, large numbers of mental health professionals are leaving the field, causing a shortage of trained personnel. This shortage is especially acute for school-age children. According to the American School Counseling Association, there is an average of 527 students per school counselor in California. The recommended professional ratio, however, is 250 students per counselor. Students in the School of Education Marriage and Family Therapy and School Counseling programs are working at multiple internships, and most serve populations where the mental health service gap is greatest. The Counseling Psychology Department in the School of Education offers Master of Arts degrees in Counseling Psychology with two main concentrations: Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) and School Counseling with a Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential. Students in either concentration have the option to pursue additional requirements to become eligible for a California Professional Clinical Counseling (PCC) license. The MFT and PCC programs are accredited by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, and the School Counseling Program is accredited by the California Commission on Teaching Credentialing. Among the School of Education’s 18,628 living alumni in 2023, there are 1,288 therapists, psychologists, counselors, or social workers.

SOE Students addressing inequality in half moon bay
Beginning in the summer of 2020, School of Education graduate students Azucena Ramos and Mauricio Diaz de Leon, along with Belinda Hernandez-Arriaga, SOE assistant professor of counseling psychology and director of the Latino-centered non-profit Ayudando Latinos A Soñar (ALAS), address racial and economic inequities within the farmworker population in Half Moon Bay.

Over the decades, the University of San Francisco and its School of Education have transitioned from providing service to the community to a position of consciously learning from the community and about its strengths. The school now uses those strengths to develop programs that involve planning by community members themselves. Community education is a two-way street. USF’s centers, offices, and schools, including the School of Education, continuously assess the work of its students in cooperation with more than 250 community partners.

Due to USF’s community engagement, the Corporation for National and Community Service placed USF on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll every year during the life of the Honor Roll, from 2005 to 2016, and four times with distinction. Reasons for USF’s selection included the large number of students engaged in service-learning and community engagement in a single year, the total number of hours USF students were engaged, and the outstanding nature of USF’s community projects. USF was also among a group of 62 universities in 2006 to receive the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s community engagement classification for both curricular engagement and outreach and partnerships. In their award letter, the Carnegie Foundation said that USF’s community engagement programs were “exemplary,” and that the university demonstrated an “excellent alignment between mission, culture, leadership, resources, and practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement.” In 2015, this classification was renewed by the Carnegie Foundation for ten years. USF was also selected as one of five universities in the nation to receive the 2012 Higher Education Civic Engagement Award from the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars. USF was recognized for its contributions to the community, leadership and professional achievement, and enrichment of student learning. USF received a $20,000 scholarship to support student participation in the Center’s programs.

USF and its School of Education are continuously engaged with its community partners to learn from the community, to address pressing problems, and to promote social justice in the Jesuit tradition.


The community service efforts of the nineteenth-century Jesuits of St. Ignatius Church and College are described in The First Half Century: St. Ignatius Church and College by Joseph Riordan, S.J., pages 126, 148, and 199, and in Jesuits by the Golden Gate: The Society of Jesus in San Francisco, 1849–1969 by John McGloin, S.J. Fr. McGloin extends the history of the San Francisco Jesuits well into the twentieth century. The SWAP and Upward Bound programs at USF, for example, are described in Fr. McGloin’s book, pages 263–279. Details on the SWAP program are also found in the USF Alumnus Magazine, July 1964, pages 3–6. Information about Upward Bound was provided by Janice Dirden-Cook, former director and instructor in the program. Details about the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good came from Star Plaxton Moore, Director of Community-Engaged Learning and McCarthy Center Programs. Star Moore received her Ed.D. from USF in Organizational Leadership in 2021, and in 2023, she received the prestigious Campus Compact’s Nadinne Cruz Community Engagement Professional Award, which celebrates the ethical leadership and advocacy demonstrated by Community Engagement Professionals. Additional information about Upward Bound, the America Reads Program, the Leo T. McCarthy Center, and other USF community engagement programs are found in the reports submitted from 2005 to 2016 by Alan Ziajka to the Corporation for National and Community Service for the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, in the reports he wrote in 2005 and 2015 to The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to attain and renew USF’s community engagement classification for both curricular engagement and outreach and partnerships, and the report he wrote in 2012 for the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars. These documents are available from the author ( The paragraph on the Summer Reading Program was provided by Helen Maniates, Associate Professor of Teacher Education, and coordinator of the Master of Arts of Teaching Reading Program in the School of Education. Information on the School of Education’s Counseling Programs is found in an article by Mary McInerney, titled “School of Education Students Fill a Need in Mental Health Care,” appearing in USF News on January 19, 2023, and on the School of Education’s website. The photo and caption about SOE’s work at the Latino-centered non-profit Ayudando Latinos A Soñar (ALAS) is described by Michele Kilmer in an online article from the School of Education that appeared on October 11, 2021. Current alumni data regarding the number of therapists, psychologists, counselors, or social workers who graduated from the USF School of Education was furnished by Taryn Moore, USF’s Director of Alumni Engagement.

Alan Ziajka, Ph.D. 
University Historian Emeritus
University of San Francisco

June 30, 2023

For seventy-five years, the Department of Education and the School of Education at USF have graduated thousands of gifted teachers. In 2010, for example, Valerie Ziegler, who earned her MA in Educational Technology from USF in 2004 and holds both single and multiple subject teaching credentials, was named California Teacher of the Year. Ziegler was among five teachers, and the only one in Northern California, to receive this honor in 2010. At the time, Ziegler taught U.S. government, history, and economics at Lincoln High School in the San Francisco Unified School District. She was the first teacher in the school district to receive this prestigious statewide award. Ziegler put her educational technology skills gained at USF to superb use in the classroom. At Lincoln High School, Ziegler was known for fostering engagement by using technology to help students interpret primary sources in history. In 2010, she incorporated flip video cameras for student interviews and a Smart whiteboard, which allowed her students to digitally write and erase like a chalkboard. She also incorporated computer capabilities such as drag and drop and video viewing. Ziegler’s students also benefited from classroom laptop computers. She noted that “I have had students use laptops to create newsletters from the depression era camps, play an online simulation to solve the national debt problem, and create résumés.” John Bansavich, USF’s director of learning technologies in the center of instruction and technology (CIT), and one of Ziegler’s former instructors, remembered her as an outstanding student.

Valerie Ziegler
Valerie Ziegler, who earned an MA in Educational Technology from USF’s School of Education, was named California Teacher of the Year in 2010. USF News

In 2011, Kadmir Rajagopal, who earned a BA from the University of California Berkeley in 2003, and an MAT in Secondary Education from USF’s School of Education in 2004, was also named California Teacher of the Year. Mr. Rajagopal taught mathematics in grades 9 through 11 at Grant Union High School, Twin Rivers Unified School District, in Sacramento County. He also taught Algebra I and special day classes in mathematics and English-language Arts in the district, taught and tutored at Berkeley Alternative High School, and taught at two Oakland secondary schools. Kadmir said, “I put more emphasis on students’ mastery of key concepts than simply racing through concepts. I teach with the belief that my students’ lives depend on their success in my class. If my students fail, I will feel like I am a doctor who has failed his patients. If they fail, I fail. This belief is at the heart of my teaching.”

Kadmir Rajagopal
Kadmir Rajagopal, who obtained his MAT in Secondary Education from USF’s School of Education, was named California Teacher of the Year in 2011. USF News

In 2015, The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) named USF doctoral student and high school English teacher Diana Neebe its outstanding young educator of the year for her innovative classroom use of iPads and other technology. Two years later, Neebe earned her Ed.D. in Learning and Instruction from USF’s School of Education. In her high school English class, Neebe used technology to create shared lessons, inviting students to add meaning to texts in the form of art, video, and written analysis. To support her students' reading of The Scarlet Letter, for example, Neebe created a multimedia iBook that allowed students to watch imbedded video footnotes about deeper textual meanings, and use iBook’s interactive features to define challenging vocabulary, annotate the text, and respond to questions. To further enrich the novel, students contributed their own illustrations and artwork to the digital text shared with the class. Neebe also used a flipped classroom approach, having students tackle the hardest writing essays at school, where she was available to answer questions and offer immediate feedback. When students wrote at home, she held virtual office hours, editing their writing in real time using Google Docs and offering suggestions via chat. After receiving her doctorate, Neebe became an adjunct faculty member in the Master of Educational Technology program at USF’s School of Education, and the director of faculty development for an independent college preparatory school in Silicon Valley. She is the co-author of Power Up: Making the Shift to 1:1 Teaching and Learning (2015). Her research interests focus on the intersection of literacy and technology.

Many other teachers who received their training from USF’s School of Education have made award-winning contributions to their school districts and to education. These individuals include Hal Urban, who attended USF as an undergraduate on an academic/athletic scholarship. At USF, he made the Dean’s Honor Roll every semester, played Division I basketball, and was a student body officer. After earning his bachelor’s degree, Urban continued his education at USF, earning a California teaching credential, a master’s degree in history, and a doctorate in education (curriculum and instruction) in 1978. Urban was a teacher for 36 years. He taught at high schools in northern California and part-time at his alma mater, the University of San Francisco. He won numerous awards, including the Character Center’s National Educator of the Year award in 1999. Students at USF awarded him the Lifelong Learning Award in 1988 and the Most Supportive Professor Award in 1990. Urban won a Distinguished Teacher Award at San Carlos High, and he was Teacher of the Year twice at Woodside High School. In 2005, he was presented with the Sanford N. McDonnell Lifetime Achievement Award in Character Education at the Character Education Partnership’s National Forum in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the author of eight books and has donated portions of his book royalties to USF.

Another educator from USF who gave back to her alma mater is Mary Dorothy Graham. In 1978, she received her bachelor’s degree from USF, with a double major in ethnic studies and sociology. The next year, she earned her teaching credential from USF’s School of Education, and began her career in the Oakland public schools, while running a financial planning business and a catering business on weekends. She specialized in her favorite foods from her native Hong Kong. After more than 30 years of teaching, she retired, sold one of her investment properties, and created an endowed scholarship to support other Oakland public school teachers in pursuing graduate degrees at USF. “I think everybody can do a little bit if it’s from your heart,” Graham said. “Everybody is capable of giving back, of doing something. I’ve been blessed all my life. People were so good to me.” 
Many of the graduates of the USF School of Education achieved prominence as college professors. Kevin Graziano, for example, is a professor of Teacher Education in the School of Education at Nevada State College. In 2003, he received his Doctor of Education from the University of San Francisco in International and Multicultural Education with a minor in Educational Technology. Dr. Graziano teaches educational technology and TESOL courses to preservice and in-service teachers and conducts research on teachers’ technology integration in the classroom. He is the recipient of the 2012 Nevada System of Higher Education, Board of Regents’ Teaching Award. He also received the Nevada State College iTeach Award. In 2012, He was awarded a Fulbright Specialist grant from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. to provide training on educational technology to preservice teachers at Sakhnin College in Israel. In 2012, Dr. Graziano also completed two international fellowships at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, and at the Marino Institute of Education in Dublin, Ireland, where he trained teacher educators and preservice teachers on photovoice and technology. He has authored or co-authored numerous international research reports and articles. 

Among the School of Education’s 18,628 living alumni in 2023, there are 1,635 K-12 teachers and 369 college professors. Since its origins in 1947, the school has made a major commitment to the preparation of outstanding teachers at all levels. Periodically, that commitment has been renewed and strengthened by the addition of new content areas. The 1980s was one of those periods, especially with the incorporation of educational technology into the curriculum. In 1983, William Garner became dean of the School of Education, and he increasingly refocused the school on teacher education. Most significantly, he initiated a master’s degree with an emphasis in educational computing and a 15-unit certificate program in educational computing. He hired Mary Furlong as an assistant professor to help run the education computing programs and to direct the teacher education program. In conjunction with the new degree and certificate emphasis, Garner and Furlong developed the Center for Instruction and Technology (CIT) in the fall of 1983 as a model classroom environment for students in teacher education. In 1984, with $5,000 seed money from the university, the CIT lab opened in the basement of the Lone Mountain campus with nine Commodore computers. By 1987, the center had 150 Apple IIe, Apple MacIntosh, and Hewlett-Packard computers. 

The school’s certificate program in educational computing was designed for classroom teachers, school administrators, and doctoral students and included courses in the instructional use of computers, issues and trends in educational computing, programming languages, and computer management of school instruction systems. During its early years, several research grants were awarded to the center, including one from the Markle Foundation to support research on the use of technology for older adult learners. Initially, classes in Computers for Kids over Sixty were taken by more than 200 older adult students. This program, directed by Mary Furlong, was renamed SeniorNet and rapidly expanded to become a national network of seniors that brought significant media coverage to USF. Another grant from Apple Computer provided the center with state-of-the-art multimedia equipment. Over the next decade, CIT collaborated with Information Technology Services (ITS) and with the Office of Human Resources at USF to offer training to the university’s employees and assistance to faculty members with course development. In December 1987, Garner resigned as dean but continued to direct the CIT, first with Mike Benedict, and later with John Bansavich. In 1994, Garner supervised the move of CIT, with the assistance of Harold Hansen, USF’s chief engineer of plant services, to the School of Education building, formerly the campus of Presentation High School. In 1993, Garner secured $100,000 from the university to reestablish the CIT in the new School of Education building, and in 1999 he helped obtain a $750,000 federal grant to assist education faculty members to improve their technology skills and to integrate technology into the credential curriculum. The CIT moved to USF’s Gleeson Library in the summer of 2017, and it was renamed Instructional Technology and Training (ITT). John Bansavich is now director of instructional technology and training. In 2005, John received his doctorate from USF’s School of Education in Learning and Instruction with an emphasis in Educational Technology. In the spring of 2023, Dr. Banasavich was a recipient of USF’s Academic Innovation Award, which recognizes one or more faculty members, librarians, or staff members who have discovered and implemented innovative ways of serving students, or advancing a more just, humane, and sustainable world. 

The USF School of Education continues to offer an MA in Educational Technology. The program provides innovative ways to integrate technology with various pedagogical approaches for the classroom teacher, technology coach, instructional designer, and other educators. The program is offered in person, online, and hybrid. Students apply technology to a multitude of educational communities, adapt to rapidly changing educational and technological landscapes, and learn the structure and function of educational technology systems. The MA in Educational Technology requires a capstone project where students integrate the skills and knowledge learned throughout the program to create a product that will be useful to a specific audience in an educational community. The MA in Educational Technology is also designated as a STEM program (science, technology, engineering, and math). Eligible international students may apply to work in the United States for additional time via the Optional Practical Training (OPT) benefit and OPT STEM extension. The MA in Educational Technology can be combined with a single subject credential, a multiple subject credential, a single subject/bilingual authorization credential, or a multiple subject/bilingual authorization credential. The School of Education also offers a certificate in educational technology: an advanced study 12-credit program that offers graduate level courses in person, online, and hybrid.

Today’s graduate educational technology curriculum focuses on various tools to increase student engagement, motivation, and active learning. Course projects require students to apply new skills to discipline-specific content needs, just as Valerie Ziegler did twelve years ago in the teaching of history. The use of innovative technologies and approaches to serve students and the community has been the hallmark of USF’s School of Education since its origins.


Information about Valerie Ziegler, Kadmir Rajagopal, and Diana Neebe, can be found in articles by Edward Carpenter in USF News, April 12, 2010; February 2, 2011; and June 12, 2015. Hal Urban’s USF education, his awards, and his many accomplishments are summarized by Jady Ojiri in USF News, May 6, 2021. An article on Mary Dorothy Graham appears in USF Magazine, May 2022, page 44. The Nevada State College Website supplied many details about Kevin Graziano. Current USF alumni data, including the degrees held and years of graduation for SOE alumni were furnished by Taryn Moore, USF’s Director of Alumni Engagement. The development of the School of Education during the last 50 years is described in numerous publications. Especially helpful were the following issues of the USF Monday Bulletin: February 23, 1987; December 21, 1987; June 6, 1988; May 10, 1993; December 5, 1994; May 22, 1995; June 26, 1995; April 8. 1996; November 18, 1998; July 16, 1999; and November 10, 1997. USF News Online carried useful articles on April 2, 2002, and May 6, 2003. Other information about the development of the School of Education can be found in the general catalogs of the university, especially the editions of 1987–1989, 1994–1996, 2000–2003, and 2003–2005, and in the annual reports of the USF School of Education. Michael O’Neill, former dean of the School of Education, provided many key details about the history of the school, as did John Bansavich, director, instructional technology and training. Details on the current MA in Educational Technology and the Certificate in Educational Technology are provided on the USF website.

Alan Ziajka, Ph.D. 
University Historian Emeritus
University of San Francisco

May 31, 2023

The School of Education has produced many outstanding leaders at the local, state, and national levels. One of those leaders, Martha Kanter, was appointed by President Barack Obama as Under Secretary of Education in April 2009, and confirmed by the Senate in June of that year. Kanter has a Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis University, a Master of Education from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Education in Organization and Leadership from the University of San Francisco. She served as chancellor of the Foothill–De Anza Community College District and established the first program for students with learning disabilities at San Jose City College. In 2007, Dr. Kanter founded the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources, which promotes the awareness and adoption of open educational policies, practices, and resources. While at the U.S. Department of Education, Kanter oversaw policies, programs, and activities related to post-secondary education, vocational and adult education, federal student aid, and open educational resources. In 2013, after stepping down from her Obama administration post, she took over the leadership of College Promise, a non-profit agency, begun under the Obama Administration, to increase college access, affordability, quality, and completion in higher education. She is also a senior fellow at New York University’s Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy. Martha Kanter utilized her doctoral work at the USF School of Education to develop a distinguished career in education. Drawn to USF by what she referred to as an “extraordinarily accomplished” faculty, Kanter credits courses like advanced statistics, educational research methodologies, and higher education law for advancing her career.

Martha Kanter
Martha Kanter, who holds a doctorate in education from USF, was Under Secretary of Education under President Barack Obama; chancellor of the Foothill–De Anza Community College District; director of College Promise, a non-profit agency; and senior fellow at New York University’s Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy. USF News Image

Martha Kanter, who holds a doctorate in education from USF, was Under Secretary of Education under President Barack Obama; chancellor of the Foothill–De Anza Community College District; director of College Promise, a non-profit agency; and senior fellow at New York University’s Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy. USF News Image

Martha Kanter earned her bachelor’s degree in 1970 and witnessed the social and political upheavals of the late 1960s as a college student. Like many others who graduated in 1970, she saw a continuation of many of the problems from the 1960s into the 1970s, including several new challenges for institutions of higher education. The Vietnam War continued until 1975, and in its wake the nation faced a huge war-related national debt, recession, and runaway inflation. Compounding the economic problems that affected all segments of the nation, institutions of higher education also faced a decline in the number of traditional undergraduate students as the last cohort of children born immediately after World War II moved through the nation’s schools. Colleges and universities were caught in a cycle of rising prices, national recession, and declining enrollments. The University of San Francisco was especially hard-hit by these external forces. Albert Jonsen, S. J., who served as president from 1969 to 1972, and William McInnes, S.J., who was president from 1972 to 1976, sought to grapple with the mounting financial and enrollment crisis at USF. In the face of significant budget deficits, Fr. McInnes instituted major budget cuts, wage freezes, a large tuition increase, and he began the process of cutting staff and faculty. As was the case at many other colleges and universities that were facing similar economic problems and potential layoffs, the faculty at USF decided to unionize, and in 1975 the USF faculty association was born. Fr. McInnes resigned in 1976 and was replaced the next year by John Lo Schiavo, S.J., who began a 14-year tenure as president of USF.

Overall enrollment at USF declined from 6,830 in the fall of 1970 to 5,818 in the fall of 1976, a 15 percent decrease. USF’s School of Education, however, witnessed extraordinary growth in student enrollment during the 1970s. Enrollment in the School of Education climbed from 302 students in the fall of 1972 to 1,063 students in the fall of 1978. In 1978, the School of Education enrolled 14 percent of the total USF student body, and it played a significant role in keeping USF financially viable during a challenging period. This growth, however, necessitated major academic, organizational, budgetary, and scheduling changes. Following the resignation of Dean Allen Calvin in 1978, it fell to the school’s third dean, Michael O’Neill, a faculty member in the School of Education and founding director of the Institute for Catholic Educational Leadership, to implement those changes. O’Neill instituted the doctoral program schedule still in use today: doctoral classes are held on the USF campus every other weekend, on Friday night, and all-day Saturday. One result of this common schedule was the development of general courses in research methodology and statistics to be taken by students in all the doctoral concentrations. Both O’Neill and Calvin mandated that no doctoral programs were to be held at regional sites. In contrast to Calvin, however, O’Neill limited the number of new doctoral students to 125 per year. He also strengthened the entrance requirements and insisted that all doctoral candidates be required to take a statistics course, a course in basic research, and another course in advanced research design. Years later, students such as Martha Kanter noted how valuable these courses were to her career. 

For the on-campus master’s and credential’s programs, O’Neill’s tenure also saw the program directors and faculty members agree to a common schedule, which produced a two-block (late afternoon and early evening) weekday format. The result of this scheduling change was the elimination of classes with low-enrollment and duplicate courses. The scheduling change also permitted students from one program to take elective courses in other programs. Dean O’Neill also reorganized the off-campus master’s and credential’s programs, placed Dan Muller in charge of those programs, and designated him assistant dean for external programs. Given the financial difficulties faced by USF during the 1970s, O’Neill was charged with streamlining staffing patterns and the budgeting process. During his tenure, there were several major budget cuts and significant personnel reallocation within the School of Education. With the school’s program directors, O’Neill also implemented one- and five-year planning systems. He also insisted on national searches for all new tenure-track faculty positions and major administrative positions, and he required that the final list of candidates include people of color and women. In addition to a more rigorous hiring process, O’Neill implemented a more comprehensive system of faculty and staff evaluation. He also converted four of the eight faculty positions in the multicultural program from largely grant-funded term positions to tenure-track status, and he required a national search for the four tenure-track positions. 

During O’Neill’s tenure, several new programs were developed in the school, including a Master of Arts in Teaching English as a second language and a specialist credential in school psychologist services. During the three years O’Neill served as dean, the School of Education moved from Campion Hall to the Rossi Wing of the Lone Mountain Campus; developed a closer working relationship with various USF service offices; enhanced its relationships with local school districts; developed an advisory council composed of district superintendents, representatives from the California State Department of Education, businesses, and local schools; instituted the first school catalog, newsletter, and student handbook; and reactivated the Education Alumni Society.   
In October 2015, USF celebrated the 40th anniversary of the first doctoral programs in the School of Education at the University of San Francisco. The event was organized by Patricia Mitchell, chair and professor of leadership studies in the School of Education, and recipient of USF’s Ignatian Service Award, which recognizes an exceptional commitment to service at the University of San Francisco. The on-campus event brought together hundreds of alumni, current students, current and former faculty, and current and former administrators, including Allen Calvin, the dean who began the doctoral programs in 1974. In the fall of 2022, USF enrolled 238 students in its four education doctoral programs: Catholic Educational Leadership, Organization and Leadership, International and Multicultural Education, and Learning and Instruction. USF’s School of Education continues to educate great leaders for the city, state, nation, and the world.


Information about Martha Kanter is found in an article by Edward Carpenter, appearing in USF News on April 8, 2009, titled “Alum Confirmed as Undersecretary of Education,” and in an announcement from the U.S. Department of Education ( › news › staff › bios › kanter). Valuable information about the development of the School of Education from 1970 to 2005 can be found in the general catalogs of the university, especially the editions 1976–1978, and 2003–2005, and in the annual reports of the USF School of Education. Michael O’Neill, former dean of the School of Education, furnished many important details about the history of the school during the 1970s. Enrollment statistics for SOE’s doctoral program in the fall of 2022 were furnished by Nathan Cain, interim associate vice provost at USF.                                                            

Alan Ziajka, Ph.D. 
University Historian Emeritus
University of San Francisco

April 27, 2023

Tommie Lindsey, one of nine children of an ironworker and homemaker, grew up in Oakland, California. He was raised by his grandmother after his parents died. As a child, he listened to the powerful rhetoric of local Baptist ministers and national civil rights leaders, such as Martin Luther King, Jr. In high school, he successfully competed in Rotary and Lion’s Club speech contests. After high school, he enrolled at the University of San Francisco, and in 1973, he earned a bachelor’s degree from USF in Communication Arts and Social Sciences. He was the first Black valedictorian in the history of the university. After obtaining his secondary teaching credential from USF’s School of Education in 1976, he began his career as an educator in the California public school system, teaching at the Alameda County Court schools; at El Rancho Verde High School; and in 1988, at James Logan High School in Union City. At James Logan, he taught forensics, rhetoric, and debate, and was the head coach of the James Logan Speech and Debate Team. Against considerable odds, Tommie Lindsey recruited students for successful debate teams that won four state championships. Twenty-five of Lindsey’s debaters won tournaments at the state level and three at the national level. James Logan High School drew largely from a blue-collar community, and only about one-third of the students went on to college. About 90 percent of Lindsey’s students, however, enrolled at four-year colleges or universities. In 2000, Tommie Lindsey was named National Forensics Coach of the Year, and in 2002, he was featured in the PBS documentary Accidental Hero, the story of students from a multiethnic high school who acquire life changing inspiration from their coach, through the art of public speaking and debate. In 2003, Lindsey was awarded Oprah Winfrey’s Angel Award, and was among the recipients of the One Hundred Black Men Excellence in Education Award. In 2004, Tommie Lindsey received one of 23 MacArthur Foundation Fellowships or “Genius Grants,” in the amount of $500,000, given to an individual for creativity and contributions to society,. Mr. Lindsey later co-authored the book, It Doesn’t Take a Genius: Five Truths to Inspire Success in Every Student. In May 2007, USF awarded Tommie Lindsey an honorary doctorate for his visionary leadership.

Tommie Lindsey
Photo courtesy of MacArthur Foundation.

Tommie Lindsey earned a bachelor’s degree from USF in Communication Arts and Social Sciences, was class valedictorian, and received his secondary teaching credential from USF’s School of Education. He was a highly successful high school teacher and debate coach, whose teams won numerous state and national championships. In 2004, Lindsey received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship or “Genius Grant,” given to an individual who has made an exceptionally creative contribution to society.

In 1972, while Tommie Lindsey was a USF student, the university’s Board of Trustees voted to upgrade the Department of Education to the School of Education. Edward Griffin, chair of the department, made the transition from department chair to first dean of the School of Education. He was followed in that capacity by Allen Calvin, who served as dean from 1974 to 1978. Under his leadership, the School of Education developed the university’s first doctoral program, not counting the juris doctor (JD) offered by the School of Law. In 1975, the first students commenced work on the Doctor of Education Degree, which soon included concentrations in curriculum and instruction, educational psychology/counseling, organization and leadership, private education leadership, and multicultural education. The doctoral program grew rapidly in enrollment, and its graduates soon played significant roles in California educational leadership. Dean Calvin also initiated a multicultural program, first directed by Jose Llanes, followed by John Tsu. The program offered a bilingual/cross-cultural specialist credential in Spanish, Cantonese, Filipino, and Japanese; a master’s in multicultural education; and a doctorate in multicultural education. The multicultural programs attracted many new students and a significant number of federal grants. Dean Calvin also hired more faculty for the School of Education, especially minority faculty.

During Allen Calvin’s administration, the School of Education also expanded its off-campus programs to facilities in local school districts, eventually offering credential and master’s programs at regional USF campuses throughout Northern and Southern California. In 1975, Calvin and other USF administrators were approached by John Sperling who was developing a non-traditional approach to adult learning and needed an institutional base. Mr. Sperling’s newly formed company, the Institute for Professional Development (IPD), helped develop and market USF’s continuing education programs in Northern and Southern California and some of its off-campus education programs. For accreditation reasons, however, and because USF personnel thought they could do a better job themselves, the university terminated the contract with IPD in 1978. John Sperling later founded the Apollo Group, moved to the desert hills of Arizona, and started the University of Phoenix, which became the largest for-profit university in the country.  

Dean Calvin also hired Donald Erickson to direct the newly created Center for Research on Private Education. Erickson was an eminent scholar on private education and educational administration, was vice president of the educational administration division of the American Educational Research Association, and had been a tenured full professor at the University of Chicago and at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia. The School of Education also developed an Evaluation Institute, and Michael Scriven was hired away from U.C. Berkeley to become the institute’s founding director. Scriven was a world-class scholar on evaluation, helped create the field of educational evaluation in the 1960s, and published scores of books and articles on evaluation and related topics. Some of Scriven’s most important work on evaluation took place in the middle and late 1960s, when the federal government, especially under President Lydon Johnson, initiated major social programs, such as Head Start, and needed evaluation of these programs to persuade Congress and the nation of their value. 

In 1976, Michael O’Neill, soon to become the third dean of the School of Education, launched the Institute for Catholic Educational Leadership (ICEL), a program that coordinated academic offerings and community service programming for educators in Catholic and private education from throughout the nation. It was the first stand-alone university program in the country teaching lay Catholic educators. The program was intended to meet the needs of Catholic and other private elementary and secondary school administrators, religious and secular, and it did indeed draw many of its students from the ranks of non-Catholic private school administrators, including Lutheran, Episcopal, other Christian denominations, and Jewish school administrators. From 1976 to 1981, 15 percent to 20 percent of the students in the program were non-Catholic private school administrators. The institute offered a doctorate in education with a concentration in private education leadership, a master’s in private school administration, community service symposia and conferences, workshops for diocesan teachers and administrators, and various research initiatives. ICEL also offered Summer West, a six-week summer session of academic courses and workshops for master’s and doctoral students from throughout the nation and the world who were preparing to assume leadership roles in Catholic and private schools. In 2001, ICEL celebrated its silver jubilee, marking 25 years of service to the community. 

After Michael O’Neill became dean, the two key figures leading ICEL for more than two decades were Edwin McDermott, S.J., and Sister Mary Peter, O.P. In 2005, Sister Mary Peter received a lifetime achievement award from the National Catholic Educational Association for her research and promotion of Catholic education. She was also honored at Georgetown University by the Center of Applied Research for the Apostolate with the Richard Cardinal Cushing Award for the Advancement of Church Research. In August 2004, Brother Raymond Vercruysse, of the Congregation of Christian Brothers, assumed the directorship of ICEL, followed by Steve Katsouros, S.J. The ICEL programs are currently directed by Jane Bleasdale, department chair of leadership studies. A preliminary administrative services credential can currently be combined with the Doctor of Catholic Education Leadership. This program prepares future principals, assistant principals, teacher leaders, curriculum coaches, specialists, and district administrators to assume contemporary school leadership roles. As of the fall of 2022, there were 24 students enrolled in the master’s and doctoral programs in Catholic Educational Leadership. 

In 1978, the year Allen Calvin left the dean’s office to return to teaching and Michael O’Neill became the new dean, the School of Education enrolled 1,063 students. This represented 14 percent of the total student enrollment at USF. The school offered myriad programs at the master’s and doctoral levels and was authorized to offer a wide range of credentials by the California Commission for Teacher Preparation and Licensing, including credentials for multiple-subject instruction for elementary school teachers, single-subject instruction for secondary teachers, bilingual/cross-cultural education, early childhood education, special education, administrative services, pupil personnel services, reading, and speech pathology. In its mission statement, the School of Education articulated both interpersonal and broad social goals: “to establish a learning environment which promotes an individual’s growth as a person who is also an educator; stimulate an educator response towards creating a better human community; and prepare educators who have the courage to take risks responsibly.”  

During its first 30 years, the USF School of Education, and its antecedent, the Department of Education, grew from 22 to more than 1,000 students; developed a wide range of credential and graduate degree programs; and articulated a mission that encompassed educational, developmental, ethical, and social goals.


Information about Tommie Lindsey is found in the PBS documentary Accidental Hero, and the USF citation for his honorary doctorate, written by Alan Ziajka, and granted in May 2007 (contact Alan Ziajka at The complex  relationship between John Sperling and other institutions, including USF, is recounted from Sperling’s point of view in his book, Rebel with a Cause. Michael O’Neill, former dean in the School of Education, and Robi Woody, former associate dean, provided many important details about the history of the school during the 1970s.

Alan Ziajka, Ph.D. 
University Historian Emeritus
University of San Francisco

March 28, 2023

Burl Toler was the first Black secondary school principal in the history of the San Francisco Unified School District. After earning a secondary teaching credential and master’s degree from the Department of Education at the University of San Francisco, he became a teacher in San Francisco. In 1968, he was named principal of the Benjamin Franklin Middle School, where he had taught for 14 years. In honor of his outstanding accomplishments as a teacher and administrator for the school district, Benjamin Franklin Middle School was renamed the Burl Toler Campus. 

Burl Toler’s first career was not in education, however, but in football. Burl was born in May 1928, in Memphis, Tennessee. His father was a Pullman porter, and his mother ran a small store and boarding house. After Burl graduated from Manassas High School in Memphis, he moved to Oakland and enrolled at City College of San Francisco in 1948. In 1949, Burl transferred to USF on an athletic scholarship in football, along with his roommate at City College, Ollie Matson. Burl earned a Bachelor of Science in Business from USF in 1952. He was co-captain of the famous 1951 USF football team, which was undefeated and untied, and from which a record nine players, including Burl, were drafted by the National Football League. Despite fielding one of the best collegiate football teams of all time, the 1951 Dons were not invited to play in any post-season bowl games unless they left their Black players—Burl Toler and Ollie Matson—at home. The team unanimously voted to refuse this offer, standing on principle against the racism of the times. Burl was drafted by the Chicago Cardinals professional football team, but he suffered a serious knee injury in the 1952 college all-star game in Chicago. Instead of playing football, he began officiating football. Starting with high school games, he worked his way up until, in 1965, he was invited to join the NFL, becoming the first Black NFL game official, and the first Black official in any North American professional sports league. Burl was an official in Super Bowls XIV and XVIII. From 1991 to 2001, Burl traveled throughout the Western region of the United States, recruiting officials for the NFL. In 2008, he was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame. 

In 1956, Toler obtained a secondary teaching credential from USF, and in 1966, he earned a master’s degree in education from USF. From 1954 to 1970, he served in the San Francisco Unified School District as a teacher, counselor, coach, dean, assistant principal, and principal, concurrent with his work with the NFL. From 1970 to 1991, he was Director of Personnel for the San Francisco Community College District. Burl dedicated his life to public service, and was a life member of the NAACP, a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity (Berkeley Alumni chapter), and a member of Sigma Pi Phi fraternity. He served on numerous boards of advisors and regents, including for the YMCA, Saint Ignatius College Preparatory, Hanna Boys Center, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, San Francisco Fine Arts Museums, and the Salvation Army. He was active in St. Emydius Catholic Church in San Francisco and was a member of the University of San Francisco Board of Trustees from 1988 to 1996. Among his many honors, Burl Toler was elected to the San Francisco African American Historical and Cultural Society’s Hall of Fame in 1977, was selected as the School of Education’s Alumnus of the Year in 1985, and he received USF’s Alumnus of the Year Award in 1995. 

Burl Toler considered both of his careers, as an educator and as an NFL official, as equally rewarding, and he gave a great deal of credit to USF. “They weren’t just interested in me as a football player, Toler said of his professors and advisors at USF, “when you have an institution that cares about the whole person, all these good things happen.” Burl Toler personifies the Jesuit values of USF and its School of Education: social justice, academic excellence, and community service. On May 9, 2017, USF honored Burl Abron Toler, Sr. by naming its first residence hall, built in 1955, in his memory. He was one of the institution’s truly outstanding graduates.

Burl Toler courtesy of the History MakersBurl Toler obtained a bachelor’s degree from USF, pursued a career as an NFL official, earned a master’s degree and a teaching credential from USF’s Department of Education, and became the first Black to serve as a principal of a secondary school in the history of the San Francisco Unified School District. Active in public service, and the recipient of many honors, USF named its first residence hall in his honor. History Makers, the Digital Repository for the Black Experience.

In 1951, when Burl Toler was an undergraduate at USF, the United States was still a largely segregated society. Neighborhoods, restaurants, public and private accommodations, and schools at every level across the nation were segregated by law and custom. The supreme law of the land, as interpreted by the United States Supreme Court, permitted separate public schools for white and black children. The famous Supreme Court decision in Brown v. the Board of Education declaring segregated schools to be “inherently unequal” was still three years down the legal road. In the South, segregation was virtually absolute everywhere and was upheld by city ordinances, state laws, and violence. In the North, segregation was also widespread and buttressed by social mores and on occasion by force. In July 1951, while the local police stood by and watched, a white mob of more than 2,000 people violently prevented a Black couple from moving into an all-white neighborhood in Cicero, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Change, however, was slowly coming to the nation. In 1947, Jackie Robinson signed a contract with Branch Rickey, general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, to become the first Black baseball player in the major leagues in 61 years, and the next year, President Harry Truman officially integrated the armed forces by executive order. 

The University of San Francisco was decades ahead of most of the nation in racial justice and fielded its first integrated football team in 1930. By that year, all of USF’s programs had become fully integrated. The 1951 USF football team, with its shoulder-to-shoulder Black and white players, was relatively rare by contemporary 1951 intercollegiate standards, but reflected a long-term value system on the hilltop campus. The finale to the 1951 football season, when racism prevented the Dons from playing in any post-season football games, revealed just how unique the USF value system was in the United States.

By the time Burl Toler received his master’s degree in education from USF in 1966, the United States had entered one of the most tumultuous decades in its history. The 1960s were punctuated by political assassinations, civil rights struggles, urban riots, a costly overseas war that led to demonstrations and death at home and abroad, and international tension that brought the world to the brink of nuclear annihilation. On the domestic front, widespread racial tensions, demonstrations, and demands for civil rights led President John F. Kennedy to propose sweeping civil rights legislation in 1963. Before Congress acted on that legislation, however, Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963. Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon Johnson, successfully pushed through Congress the most significant civil rights legislation since Reconstruction, as well as laws affecting health care and education for underserved children and families. During the Johnson administration, the nation also became increasingly mired in what many Americans perceived as an unjust war in Vietnam. As the death toll mounted in Vietnam, demonstrations increased at home against the war, especially on college campuses. In the face of massive opposition to the Vietnam War, Johnson chose not to seek reelection in 1968. Senator Robert Kennedy of New York, John Kennedy’s brother and former U.S. attorney general, emerged as one of the leading Democratic contenders for the presidency, campaigning for an end to the Vietnam War and for increased civil rights and social programs at home. On April 19, 1968, Robert Kennedy visited USF as part of his presidential campaign in California. Senator Kennedy addressed a capacity audience in War Memorial Gymnasium, calling for action on behalf of the nation’s poor and an end to the Vietnam War. Less than two months later, Robert Kennedy was killed by an assassin’s bullet. On April 4, 1968, the leading civil rights leader in the nation, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., was also assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. In the face of demonstrations on the home front that increasingly turned violent, and with the Democratic Party in disarray after a riot-plagued Democratic Convention in Chicago in the summer of 1968, former vice president Richard Nixon, the Republican candidate, was elected president. In October 1969, more than a million people across the nation publicly demonstrated against the war in Vietnam.

During the 1960s, the University of San Francisco was affected by events on the national and international fronts, though the campus never experienced the level of violence and student strikes over the Vietnam War that rocked other college campuses such as Columbia, the University of Wisconsin, San Francisco State University, and the University of California at Berkeley. A small number of USF students were highly vocal, however, in their criticism of society’s ills and called for an end to the Vietnam War, greater rights for the nation’s underserved, and curriculum changes. Beginning in 1962, some USF students answered President Kennedy’s call for participation in the Peace Corps, and to this day USF is ranked as one of the top schools in the nation for its size with respect to the number of students who volunteer for the Peace Corps. 

In the immediate community, USF students were active in the 1960s in providing service to others. In 1962, for example, the Student Western Addition Project (SWAP) was founded, under the guidance of USF sociology professor Ralph Lane. By 1968, SWAP had become the largest student organization on campus, with approximately 250 members. The students’ goal was to assist underserved groups in the Western Addition of San Francisco, including providing special education and tutorial programs for children in local schools, recreational activities for families, and assistance to senior citizens. An offshoot of SWAP, called Whites Against Racism (WAR), tried to sensitize the student community to racist attitudes and policies prevalent in the broader community. A small number of students also traveled to the South to help register Black voters. 

In addition to a limited number of protest activities at USF during the late 1960s, the decade also witnessed the full integration of men and women into the traditional undergraduate program in 1964, some growth in the diversity of the student population, and the formation of the Black Student Union (BSU) in 1968. The 1969 USF Don Yearbook reported that with the founding of the Black Student Union, “blacks at USF laid the groundwork for the development, at the Hilltop, of a new program of social awareness.” 

Joseph E. Marshall Jr. was one of the co-founders of BSU in 1968, the year he received his bachelor’s degree from USF. In 1970, he obtained his teaching credential through USF’s Department of Education and was a teacher and administrator in the San Francisco Unified School District for more than 25 years. In 1987, Marshall co-founded the Omega Boys Club of San Francisco, which provided at-risk, inner-city youth, a support system that encouraged and supported them in academic pursuits and helped send many young men and women to college. Street Soldiers, the club’s violence-prevention effort, reached out to the community, and it included a radio talk show hosted by Marshall and violence-prevention training for its members. The Street Soldiers program was replicated in Los Angeles and Detroit. In 1997, Marshall was awarded the MacArthur Genius Award for his creativity and contributions to society. He also received the Children’s Defense Fund Leadership Award, the Essence Award, and the Use Your Life Award from Oprah Winfrey. In 1997, he obtained a Ph.D. from the Wright Institute of Berkeley, California. He was a contributing writer to the Huffington Post, was a member of the San Francisco Police Commission, and served on the USF Board of Trustees. In 2006, Joseph Marshall founded the Alive & Free Movement, which is dedicated to eliminating violence in the lives of young people worldwide, providing educational support, and granting scholarships to young people to attend college. In 2008, USF granted Marshall an honorary doctorate, and in 2017, it awarded him the California Prize for Service and the Common Good, the first USF graduate to receive that honor.

In 2018, BSU celebrated its 50th anniversary, and invited London Breed, San Francisco’s Mayor, and a graduate of USF’s MPA program to attend the anniversary celebration. Joseph Marshall was also in attendance at the anniversary celebration and was part of a discussion panel associated with the BSU celebration. In the fall of 2018, USF launched the Black Achievement Success and Engagement Program (BASE). The program offers high-impact academic and extracurricular programs for undergraduate and graduate students centering on the unique and varied experiences of Black students. BASE also provides Black students with a critical sense of belonging; opportunities for engagement in all aspects of university life and the broader Bay Area community; and the resources, skills, and support necessary to achieve academic success and secure rewarding careers.

Many of the issues and values articulated in the 1960s find expression in today’s graduate programs in the USF School of Education. In 2009, the school became the first in the nation to offer an emphasis in human rights for master’s and doctoral education students. In response to the increasing diversity of California’s public schools, the school was also one of the first in the nation to offer a master’s degree in urban education and social justice with a teaching credential. This program trains future educators to work in urban settings by focusing on the complex learning needs and strengths of urban students from diverse cultural, educational, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The School of Education currently offers a master’s in human rights education and a human rights education concentration within its doctoral program in international and multicultural education. These programs examine inequities of race, class, gender, sexual identity, and religion, among many other critical social justice issues. In 2022, students in the international and multicultural doctoral program founded and published an educational journal that addresses Black education from academic and nonacademic voices. The journal, named The Black Educology Mixtape, includes academic and nonacademic articles, poetry, images, and musical lyrics. The journal’s editors, including Brian Davis and T. Gertrude Jenkins, are education doctoral students in the international and multicultural program, and they obtained several grants to support the costs of publishing the journal. The Black Educology Mixtape is available online in the USF Scholarship Repository of the Gleeson Library. It has been downloaded nearly 500 times throughout the world, and there are plans for a second volume. Through the internet, the journal’s words and images reach an international and multicultural audience. The School of Education’s social justice and values-focused tradition continues. 


  • The highly segregated nature of the United States in 1951 is well documented in numerous publications, including African American History: Primary Sources, edited by Thomas Frazier, pages 365–386, and Reporting Civil Rights, American Journalism, 1941–1963.
  • The definitive study of the 1951 USF football team is found in the book, Undefeated, Untied, and Uninvited: A Documentary of the 1951 University of San Francisco Dons Football Team by Kristine Setting Clark, who holds a doctorate from USF’s School of Education.
  • Excellent short summaries of the 1951 football team and the season can also be found in the pages of the San Francisco Chronicle, including articles by Ken Garcia on July 8, 2000, and by Dwight Chapin on June 17, 2002.
  • Information on Burl Toler appears in an interview of him on March 7, 2006, that appeared in History Makers, Digital Repository for the Black Experience, and in several newspaper articles, including in the New York Times.
  • Information on Joseph E. Marshall Jr. appears on the website of the MacArthur Foundation (fellows › class-of-1994), and in an article by Mary McInerney, USF News, from March 9, 2017.
  • Details on The Black Educology Mixtape are found in an online article by Mary McInerney, in USF News, September 22, 2022: “Students Launch Black Education Journal”

Alan Ziajka, Ph.D. 
University Historian Emeritus
University of San Francisco

March 1, 2023

Twenty-two young men walked across the stage of the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, their names were called, and they were handed their secondary teaching credentials by the President of the University of San Francisco, William Dunne, S.J. The men joined 350 other USF graduates at the institution’s ninetieth commencement, held on June 5, 1949. Four years earlier, in April of 1945, at the close of World War II, 282 delegates from 46 nations came to the same War Memorial Opera House to attend the United Nations Conference on International Organization and to establish the United Nations. The University of San Francisco invited the United Nations delegates to attend the Mass of the Holy Spirit in St. Ignatius Church on April 24, 1945. At the Mass, Fr. Dunne blessed the conference, scheduled to open the next day. On June 26, 1945, the delegates signed the United Nations Charter, which in its preamble called for the member nations “to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained.” In the history of San Francisco and of the world, it was a significant day, though the charter’s ideals of justice and world peace are yet to be realized.

To help service members return to civilian life after World War II, Congress passed, and President Franklin Roosevelt signed, the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, better known as the GI Bill of Rights. It was one of the most important pieces of legislation in the history of the nation. It entitled former military personnel to guaranteed loans for buying homes and setting up businesses, provided unemployment insurance, and most important for the nation’s colleges and universities, allocated funds to cover educational expenses. Thousands of individuals who had previously been deterred from attending college because of cost now had a major portion of their education subsidized by the federal government. This one law had a monumental educational and social effect on the nation and on its institutions of higher education, including the University of San Francisco.

The return of veterans at the end of World War II had major social consequences for the United States. For example, the number of births went from 2.5 million in 1940, to 3.6 million in 1950, and to slightly more than 4 million in 1955—a 57 percent increase in 15 years. This increase in births dramatically affected the nation’s schools, especially in California. Increasingly, California’s schools became overcrowded, and credentialed teachers were in short supply. To meet this need, the California State Department of Education sought out top-quality institutions of higher education that did not have teacher preparation programs and asked those schools to consider adding teacher-training programs to their curriculum. The University of San Francisco was one of the schools that repeatedly received these requests, and in the spring of 1947, USF started a Department of Education, chaired by Paul Harney, S.J. In January 1948, the State Department of Education approved USF’s granting of secondary school teaching credentials in content areas including foreign languages (French, Latin, and Spanish), English, life sciences and general science, physical science, and social studies. There was a heavy demand for the services of these newly minted teachers in 1949. The USF Placement Bureau reported in the Spring of 1949, more than 200 requests for the twenty-two credentialed teachers. The greatest need was for teachers of English, social studies, physical and life sciences, and business education.

black and white aerial view of lone mountain
The University of San Francisco as it appeared in early 1955. St. Ignatius Church, completed in 1914, is in the lower left of the photo, and to its right is Welch Hall (the Jesuit residence), built in 1921 and torn down in 1970. To the right of Welch Hall is the Liberal Arts Building, built in 1927; later named Campion Hall; and in 2008, renamed Kalmanovitz Hall. From 1947 to 1978, the Liberal Arts Building housed the Department of Education, renamed the School of Education in 1972, and many of USF’s other academic programs. In 1955, some classes were still held in barracks left over from World War II, as seen in the upper right of this photo, behind the Liberal Arts Building. UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO ARCHIVES

The founding professors of the USF Department of Education included Paul Harney, S.J.; John Martin, S.J.; Edward Griffin, who became the second department chair in 1956; professors John Devine and Henry Hall; and Thomas Reed, S.J., who later became principal of St. Ignatius Preparatory High School, and who also served on the San Francisco Board of Education from 1973 to 1978. By the fall of 1949, these founding professors had developed a program leading to a master’s in education in addition to a secondary teaching credential program. In 1951, the Department of Education added the secondary school administration and supervision credentials to its repertoire. By 1955, the junior college credential was approved, and in 1964, a counseling and guidance credential was added. In that same year, the regular undergraduate programs at USF became coeducational, and for the first time both women and men began to pursue undergraduate liberal arts programs with the goal of obtaining a credential at the secondary or elementary school levels.

In 1966, Katherine Bishop, a former public-school administrator, became the director of a new program exclusively designed to prepare credentialed elementary school teachers. Notable education professors who began their careers at USF during the 1960s and who retired as emeritus professors included Larry Bishop, who taught from 1967 to 1996; William Van Burgess, whose tenure ran from 1968 to 1990; James Counelis, professor of education from 1969 to 1998; Robert Lamp, who began a 27-year career at USF in 1968; Thomas McSweeny, professor of education from 1961 to 1984; and Anthony Seidl, who, beginning in 1966, taught at USF for 24 years. In 1974, Professor Seidl briefly served as USF’s provost and academic vice president.

In 1972, due to enrollment increases and the development of several new master’s programs in the Department of Education, the USF Board of Trustees voted to establish the School of Education. The vignettes that follow in this series will portray some of the dramatic changes in the School of Education since its origins in 1947 as the Department of Education.

During the fall of 2022, the USF School of Education enrolled 1,066 students. Among USF’s education students that fall, 8.3 percent were Black, 13.0 percent were Asian, 29.7 percent were Latino, 6.9 percent were international, 1.0 percent were Native American or Pacific Islander, and 32.8 percent were white. In the fall of 2022, 77.6 percent of the students in the School of Education were women, and 22.4 percent were men. Among the School of Education’s 18,628 living alumni, there are 1,635 K-12 teachers; 1,288 therapists, psychologists, counselors, or social workers; 854 administrators or directors; 460 principals; and 369 college professors. Notable alumni of the School of Education include Burl Toler, the first Black secondary school principal in the history of the San Francisco Unified School District; Martha Kanter, former Undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Education; Joseph E. Marshall Jr. and Tommie Lindsey, recipients of the McArthur Foundation Genius Award; Valerie Ziegler, California Teacher of the Year for 2010; Kadmir Rajagopal, California Teacher of the Year for 2011; and Cynthia Rapaido, California Assistant Principal of the Year for 2013.

The School of Education currently offers a wide range of doctoral, master’s, credential, and certificate programs. These academic programs include eighteen master’s and credential programs to prepare teachers, counselors, and leaders to promote student success and to strengthen the community. Students can also pursue a master’s degree with a credential or a credential alone while completing an undergraduate degree. The School of Education offers four doctoral programs: Catholic Educational Leadership, Organization and Leadership, International and Multicultural Education, and Learning and Instruction. The various degree and credential programs are complemented by several certificate programs in technology, reading, teaching English to speakers of other languages, Catholic leadership, and bilingual authorization.

Although the USF School of Education has grown enormously since its parent, the Department of Education, conferred secondary teaching credentials upon twenty-two students in 1949, the core set of Jesuit values at the heart of the enterprise have been maintained. These values are centered on advancing justice through education; the importance of values-based education; and a commitment to education as a lifelong experience that encompasses academic, moral, social, and personal goals.


Details about the signing of the United Nations Charter in San Francisco, and the original charter, are found at the United Nations website. The June 1949 USF Commencement is described in the USF Alumnus of June 1949, page 4; and the outlook for graduating teachers that year is noted in the USF Alumnus of April 1949, page 7. The origins of the School of Education are recounted in Jesuits by the Golden Gate: The Society of Jesus in San Francisco, 1849 –1969 by John McGloin, S.J., pages 203–204; in the general catalogs of the university, especially the editions of 1947–1948, 1949–1950, 1950–1951, 1976–1978, and 2003–2005; and in the annual reports of the USF School of Education. Enrollment statistics for the fall of 2022 were furnished by Nathan Cain, Director, Institutional Research and Analytics, at USF. Current alumni data were supplied by Taryn Moore, USF’s Director of Alumni Engagement.

Alan Ziajka, Ph.D.
University Historian Emeritus
University of San Francisco

January 10, 2023