Our Dean: Vision and Leadership

Request Info


Dear SEHD friends,

Back in 1929, the University of Miami opened the School of Education under the guidance of Dean Henry Skinner West to provide teacher training to the community. Through the decades, our School has grown dramatically, adding new departments and programs and advancing our original educational mission. As we look forward to our centennial, I am excited about the new opportunities to advance our vision of “TransformED - transforming education, empowering minds, and igniting futures.

Today, the School of Education and Human Development is at a crossroads, as we look for innovative ways to apply emerging technology in our three departments: Educational and Psychological Studies (EPS), Kinesiology and Sports Science (KIN), and Teaching and Learning (TAL). Our goal is to build a culture that advances innovation in our programs through funded research and industry partnerships. 

One of my top priorities is investing in translational research so we can apply the knowledge generated in our three departments to improve physical, psychological and educational well-being. A great example is KIN professor Wes Smith’s research that launched HealthSnap, an Integrated virtual care platform, as the first Office of Technology Transfer project with our U Innovation team.

Along those lines, we are planning to establish a new Institute for Learning Innovation, which will support research activities related to classroom and campus innovation. It will provide the infrastructure to support the applied learning sciences, AI applications, data analytics, virtual/augmented reality (VR/AR), cognitive science, and social impact considerations in the development of educational programs. For instance, the Institute’s team could study AI tools to help online teaching assessments or identify physical issues in athletic training clinics. Thanks to a generous donation from one of our esteemed alumni, we're exploring the potential of AI to optimize the pairing of mental health counselors with both individual and family clients, as we revitalize our Institute for Individual and Family Counseling (IIFC).

Also, we have launched several new academic programs, including “Data Analytics for Social Impact” and “Data Analytics and Program Evaluation.” Clearly, this is no longer your father’s school of education!

At the same time, we will also continue to respond to the needs of our community, as that has been part of our DNA for the past 95 years. With all our programs, we consider how we are serving the public, while demonstrating the importance of a college education for young students from all backgrounds.

With the excellent work of our faculty, staff, students, and support from our philanthropic donors, we will build on our proud past to enhance our impact on South Florida, the nation, and the world. I look forward to use leading the way to an “EverBrighter” digital future.


Laura Kohn-Wood
Dean and Professor
School of Education and Human Development


Dean's Insights: UM and SEHD

Dean's Corner: News and Letters

No more news to load