On a foggy Monday morning in front of friends, family and colleagues, William Gaudelli was formally installed as the eighth dean of Lehigh’s College of Education.
Provost Pat Farrell introduced Gaudelli to those gathered in the Wood Dining Hall in Iacocca Hall and presented him with the Lehigh medallion. Among those attending were Lehigh President John D. Simon; Stephen DeWeerth, dean of the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science; Georgette Chapman Phillips, the Kevin L. and Lisa A. Clayton Dean of the College of Business and Economics, and College of Education faculty.
“I’m excited about the initiatives Bill will lead us in accomplishing in his role as dean, such as expanding his experiential learning opportunities to develop leading-edge instructional practices and growing our efforts to promote global teaching and learning for a global society,” Farrell said.
Gaudelli is an internationally renowned scholar and educator, having served the educational community for over 25 years in a wide range of roles from high school social studies teacher in New Jersey to professor and program supervisor in Florida. Prior to coming to Lehigh, Gaudelli was chair of the Department of Arts and Humanities at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Gaudelli said he was the first in his family to attend college, raised by a working-class family and the grandchild of poor immigrants from Southern Italy.
“I am, in that sense, a highly unlikely person to be standing in front of you as dean, “ Gaudelli said. “The benefactors of many others who have counseled us, educated us, parented us, the people who have socialized us into our being in the world, are a reminder that today we are all in their debt.”
Gauelli said his dreams and future goals for the College of Education include creating personalized spaces to serve students with the greatest needs, such as those with emotional and behavioral problems, and taking advantage of new technologies such as virtual reality to simulate real-world learning experiences.
He also suggested the possibility of tuition assistance initiatives for students in the helping professions, as well as helping students to have global experiences as part of their work.
“As counselors, psychologists, educators, and leaders, we owe young people and the professionals who serve them every opportunity to succeed, to grow and to flourish,” Gaudelli said. “That is our mission in the helping professions: to uplift people, bring them into the fullness of their being. It’s what we’re already doing to change the world, and I hope that I will contribute in some way to lead this effort and collaborate with all of you.”
Gaudelli succeeds Gary Sasso, former dean of the College of Education, who retired at the conclusion of the 2017-2018 academic year.
Story by Sam Topp '19
Photos by John Kish IV
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In a wide-ranging interview earlier this year, Gaudelli talked about his priorities as dean and the challenges facing today’s educators and human service professionals.