Dear Colleagues,

Before we go our separate ways this summer, I would like to share a few remarks and call attention to a few recent/new developments in the department. First, I want to give thanks for the warm welcome and congratulate Dr. Fred Nafukho for his 8 years of service in his role as department head. We have all benefitted from Dr. Nahukho’s leadership and wish him well as he moves into his new role as Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs this coming fall.

For those who may know little about me, my name is Mario Torres. I’ve served as a professor in the public school administration program here at Texas A&M since 2003. While I have written extensively on education legal and policy matters, I have recently broadened my research activities to include areas such as demographic inclusion and leadership ethics. My prior leadership experiences include serving as a program chair and associate department head and I have taught a variety of courses from graduate statistics to human resource law and ethics for undergraduate students (HRD 210). I am honored to serve you as interim department head and am committed to continuing the fine work in advancing department and college initiatives.

News From Around the Department

1. AWARDS: Earlier this month, the EAHR department recognized the outstanding work of our faculty, staff, and students. Congratulations to the following:

Dr. Khalil Dirani - Achievement in Research

Dr. Christine Mark - Achievement in Teaching

Dr. Daniel Bowen - Achievement in Mentoring

Dr. Gwen Webb-Hasan - Achievement in Service

Ms. Brandi Barnett - Staff Achievement

Ms. Melika Shirmohammadi - Graduate Student Achievement

Ms. Haley Bray - Undergraduate Student Achievement

Mr. Zachary Quenga - Undergraduate Student Achievement

Congratulations to Dr. Karen Smith for being recognized as a 2017 CEHD Transforming Lives Faculty Fellow. This distinction recognizes excellence in promoting transformational learning experiences. Dr. Smith will be honored at this fall’s Kick Off luncheon (details forthcoming).

2. LEADERSHIP CHANGES: Changes are occurring as well to program leadership in the department. For the public school administration program, Dr. Jean Madsen will be the incoming program chair. Dr. Beverly Irby who has led the program for four years will be transitioning into her new role as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Under Dr. Irby’s leadership, the program excelled in areas such as student recruitment, spearheading research initiatives through the Educational Leadership Research Center, and designing innovative collaborative degrees (e.g., bilingual leadership). We wish Dr. Irby well in her new role. The new coordinator, Dr. Jean Madsen, is a former program chair and brings a wealth of skills and expertise in workplace inclusion to the position. For the HRD and TCMG undergraduate programs, Dr. Michael Workman will take over as program coordinator and begin his appointment in the fall.  We are thrilled to have someone of Dr. Workman’s caliber join our faculty and we look forward to having him as a colleague – a special thanks to Dr. Karen Smith for her commitment and dedication to the undergraduate program over the past two years. Congratulations to these individuals as they embark on their new roles. Also, we wish to extend our appreciation and farewell to Dr. Robert Muller for his dedication to the K-12 program as he returns to the public schools.

3. NEWLY APPROVED POSITIONS: Excellent news to share regarding approved positions: a total of FOUR new positions have been approved by the college. For our HRD technology management program, the dean’s office has approved searches for two tenure-track assistant positions and one clinical assistant professor appointment. For public school administration, a search for an associate clinical position (K-12 professor of practice) left by Dr. Muller was also approved for the coming year. This will be a busy year to be sure but we should pause and take note of the amazing growth and quality of our programs.

4. DEPARTMENT MEETINGS: Department meetings are held the first Wednesday of every month in the fall and spring semesters from 10:00-noon. Our first meeting is scheduled for September 6th.

If I inadvertently left out a news story, please forgive me. I will be happy to include it in the next blog.

I wish everyone a happy and healthy summer and look forward to seeing all of you soon. Please feel free to reach me anytime.


Mario S. Torres Jr., Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Bob Winter Faculty Fellow
Texas A&M University
Teachers College, Columbia University, Summer Principals Academy Faculty
Mexican American and U.S. Latino Research Center Fellow
4226 TAMU
College Station, TX
(979) 845-2716