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Welcome to the EPFP Alumni Blog! Here we highlight the work of EPFP alumni around the country by featuring guest blog posts about our three pillars: Policy, Leadership, and Networking. For more information or to report abuse of this feature, please contact the EPFP national program staff at epfp@iel.org.

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Cross-Boundary Leader: Dr. Antoine M. Garibaldi (DC EPFP 77-78)

Posted By Shaina Cook, Tuesday, June 9, 2015

 

Cross-Boundary Leader: Dr. Antoine M. Garibaldi
(DC EPFP 77-78)

Dr. Antoine Garibaldi is the president of University of Detroit Mercy (UDM), the largest Catholic university in Michigan. Prior to joining UDM, he was president of Gannon University in Erie, PA; senior fellow at the Educational Testing Service; Provost and Chief Academic Officer at Howard University in Washington, DC; and served as Chairman of the Education Department, Dean of Arts and Sciences, and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Xavier University of Louisiana. He was also a Research Associate at the National Institute of Education in the U.S. Department of Education, where he was a staff member of the National Commission on Excellence in Education that produced the landmark report, A Nation at Risk. Dr. Garibaldi serves on the board of several national higher education organizations, is the author of 11 books and more than 85 research articles and chapters, and holds honorary doctorates from four universities.

Higher Education Leadership in a Transitioning City

After receiving my doctorate in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota, I began my career working for five years at the U.S. Department of Education, but most of my career has been in higher education administration and leadership. I have been at Xavier University of Louisiana, in my hometown of New Orleans, as well as my alma mater, Howard University in Washington, DC; Gannon University in Erie, PA; and now University of Detroit Mercy. There are common parallels among these cities: they all have significant challenges in their educational systems; serious economic issues with respect to the employment of adults and youth; high rates of crime; and declining population.

http://www.udmercy.edu/about/president/images/garibaldi-portrait.jpg



Being at universities in each of these cities has made me appreciate even more the expectations communities have for institutions of higher learning and the role they play working with local entities and organizations to help improve the community at large. This collaborative model has proven successful in the universities and communities where I have worked.

It is important for the university administration to connect with the community to provide help and support, which is what I have tried to do in my leadership roles. For example, UDM’s largest campus is in northwest Detroit, where there are six different neighborhood organizations that work closely with the university; and each of them has expectations of us. So I began to meet with each of these organizations within my first few months to hear their expectations and discuss how we might fulfill them. In a city like Detroit, with bankruptcy, declining population, and shrinking public school attendance, we have a responsibility to work closely with the local community, and everyone — students, faculty, staff, alumni — is involved in the revitalization efforts.

Student Completion Challenges and Opportunities

The primary way for a college or university to attract more students is to prepare them for college early; thus working directly with K-12 schools and organizations benefits all who are involved. To address higher education access and completion, UDM collaborates with local schools, which includes a mixture of public, charter, and private schools. We invite students to visit our campus to see what life on a college campus is like. We also offer and host several programs for elementary, middle, and high school students, including the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP), which for nearly 40 years has been holding Saturday STEM classes on our McNichols Campus for students in grades 4-11, as well as summer camps and SAT and ACT prep courses to ensure more students are prepared for college and to help them understand what they need to do in high school to get ready for college. UDM staff also go to schools and provide workshops about careers and expectations for college for students and parents. For our current students, we have student academic support programs that provide personal support, such as study skills and time management, peer tutors in almost every undergraduate subject, and counselors who work one-on-one with students who want to improve their academic averages.

Cross-Boundary Leadership

Taking the first step and meeting with organizations and other institutions to develop partnerships has been an important part of my experience as a cross-boundary leader. When I came to Detroit, I immediately began contacting many education leaders in the area, including community college presidents and K-12 leaders, as well as foundations and local government officials, to ask how we might work together or enhance our existing partnership. I believe that asking individuals to work together allows everyone to create opportunities that are beneficial to the community and to the institutions within them. And for UDM, that outreach has paid off. Colleges and universities are often seen as the “ivory tower,” but that misperception can be changed. And if the president leads that charge, then deans, faculty, staff, and students will follow.

Career Challenges

One challenging aspect of collaboration is that people can sometimes be reluctant to partner because they are unsure if they will get credit for their part of the work or if it will be beneficial to them. But if the desire to work together to improve the community is genuine and sincere, they will respond. For example, UDM is part of a partnership of four universities that received a National Institutes of Health grant in October 2014 to increase the number of underrepresented students in biomedical sciences. If the four presidents of these universities did not agree that this was a good thing to do for all of our students and for the community, then our respective faculty might not have been as enthusiastic about working on this important, and now successful, grant.

Leadership Lessons Learned

One of the most significant leadership lessons I have learned is the importance of setting clear and reasonable goals. Often, you have to assemble a good team of colleagues who will collaborate closely to achieve those goals. Only through effective teamwork will good outcomes be produced. I have also learned that it is important to not only work with your colleagues but also to treat them well. I have always believed it’s important to learn how to do as much as your colleagues do, which means everyone should know how to answer the phone and use the copy machine. Sharing in the work and being able to do the most mundane task are very important to success.

EPFP Experience and Value

I really enjoyed my EPFP experience. We had a group of about 35 Fellows in my cohort, and I quickly learned that education policy can be made informally and done anywhere—over breakfast, in the hallway, or on the phone. When a few people get together and start talking about a particular topic, they can make something happen. EPFP also made me really learn the value of networking and meeting people and learning a great deal more about them. I often think of the people who spoke with us during our weekly luncheons—Dr. Ernest Boyer, who headed the Office of Education in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and Leon Panetta, who was a young Congressman at the time—and how they all brought different experiences and proved that leaders come from all different walks of life.

I think the value of EPFP is as strong today as it was in the 1970s, when I participated. The program has had a significant impact on my career because of what I learned there. Through that experience, I was able to meet a larger group of people focused on national efforts and I have had good mentors throughout my career. I highly recommend experiences like EPFP to many of my students because it helps you really think more seriously about what you want to do in your career.


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Cross-Boundary Leader: Lou Fabrizio (NC EPFP 79-80)

Posted By Shaina Cook, Friday, May 22, 2015

 

Cross-Boundary Leader: Lou Fabrizio
(NC EPFP 79-80)

Dr. Lou Fabrizio is the Director of Data, Research, and Federal Policy for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI), where he is responsible for federal reports, management of the state’s K-12 longitudinal data warehouse and the federal grant for a P-20W statewide longitudinal data system, research, and federal policy. He also serves as the DPI federal liaison on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) issues with the U.S. Department of Education. Prior to his role at DPI, Dr. Fabrizio was a testing consultant at CTB/McGraw-Hill, led the Head Start program in Wake County, North Carolina, and was a teacher in Washington, DC. A longtime supporter and alum of North Carolina EPFP, Dr. Fabrizio has attended 31 of the last 33 NC EPFP graduation ceremonies.

EPFP Experience

The 1979-80 cohort was North Carolina’s first EPFP class. At the time, I was a Title I evaluation consultant at DPI, and I read about the EPFP program being launched in Raleigh that year. I was still at a relatively early point in my career and thought it sounded like a great experience, so when I was one of about a dozen people selected for the cohort, I was pleasantly surprised. We had a great mix of Fellows in the group—people from DPI, the governor’s office, the Department of Health and Human Services, school districts—and we enjoyed the program’s focus on networking and hearing different perspectives.





EPFP reinforced what I had been experiencing in my career until then. I started out as a teacher at a private school in Washington, DC, and then moved to North Carolina, where I was the education director, and later, the director, of Wake County’s Head Start program. My role there helped me to better understand education policy at both the state and federal levels. I worked with Congressman Ike Andrews, an advocate of Head Start and early education, to ensure he was aware of the work we were doing in Wake County. Because of my background in science as a physics major and my attention to details, I seemed to be one of the few people I knew in the Head Start programs statewide who had read through and understood the federal government’s new Head Start regulations at the time and was able to work with other folks at the state level on the implementation. By the time I started at DPI and became an EPFP Fellow, I had experience working with members of Congress and leaders across the state and in Washington, so EPFP was a natural next step for me.

I was one of the youngest Fellows in my cohort and was able to interact with people at much higher levels in organizations, which was very exciting to me. I looked forward to our weekly sessions and our national meetings, which were intellectually stimulating and allowed us to continually meet important individuals. I especially enjoyed being able to meet Fellows from different states at the national meetings; in fact, at a meeting in California years later, while I was working for CTB/McGraw-Hill, I ran into another alumni whom I had met at one of our national EPFP events!

To me, the biggest strength of EPFP is that it brings together individuals from different areas of education and government who otherwise might not have the opportunity to interact. Any time you bring together individuals with different backgrounds, skills, and orientations, you make conversations much more interesting. In North Carolina EPFP, it has been great to see how many alumni stay involved and engaged with the program over the years. Many of them present to Fellows during the weekly sessions and attend graduation and other events year after year because it is such a rewarding experience.

Data at the State and Federal Levels

Data is getting more attention now than ever before because of the technology and capabilities we now have to collect and analyze it. When I was working for DPI in the early 1980s, there were only two kinds of computers that were used for analyzing data: a huge mainframe or a large desk top computer system. When I was at CTB/McGraw-Hill, we each had a “mobile” computer which we called a “luggable,” which was as big as a sewing machine, to work with data. Later, when I returned to DPI as the head of statewide testing and accountability, we were using laptop computers. The technology changed tremendously over a relatively short amount of time and made it much easier to make use of data.

A large part of my work at DPI involved oversight of the statewide testing and accountability systems, working with members of the state legislature and state board of education, and meeting the requirements of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB)/ESEA. As part of the creation of the federal NCLB regulations on standards and assessments, I was selected as the only state test director to serve on the U.S. Department of Education’s negotiated rulemaking committee, which involved working with the Department’s staff and attorneys to develop the regulations. It was a fascinating experience and involved the policy skills I had begun developing at the beginning of my career at Head Start and in EPFP. In my current role, as Director of Data, Research, and Federal Policy, I continue to build and use those skills every day.

Leading Across Boundaries

Throughout my career, I’ve interacted with different types of people but also those who work at different levels—from local to state to federal. I always try to be respectful of other people; I don’t find that being antagonistic pays off, and if it does, it’s only a short-term victory.

Something I’ve learned throughout my career is that communication is key. Having ground rules for communication and being willing to listen to other people’s perspectives is important, even if you don’t necessarily agree. I always felt that people should have access to all of the information that they need, but I quickly learned that, at the state level, there wasn’t always good communication among people and departments. In my work, I’ve always tried to go as in depth as I can on a topic during meetings and be open and willing to share the information I have to offer. Communication has the ability to make a big difference and bring people together.

Leadership Lessons Learned

One lesson I learned early in my career was how to delegate. I would often feel like I had to do everything, and when I found myself unable to be as effective as I wanted to be, I started realizing that I had staff who could help me. Delegation makes a huge difference; a team works better when its members can have input on the collective work.

Another leadership lesson I’ve learned is to listen to others before jumping into the conversation. When working on my master’s degree at North Carolina State University, the dean of the school of education, Dr. Carl Dolce, taught me, among other things, that it’s much better to listen to others talk and get the lay of the land before saying what you think. The process of listening before jumping in has been a real benefit to me over my career.

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Cross-Boundary Leader: Karen Mapp (MA EPFP 98-99)

Posted By Shaina Cook, Tuesday, April 28, 2015

 

Cross-Boundary Leader: Karen Mapp
(MA EPFP 98-99)

Dr. Karen Mapp is a senior lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and the faculty director of the Education Policy and Management master’s program. For the past two decades, Dr. Mapp has focused on the cultivation of partnerships among families, community members, and educators that support student achievement and school improvement. At HGSE, she has served as the co-coordinator of the Community Organizing and School Reform Research Project and as a faculty member in the Doctorate in Educational Leadership Program. Prior to joining HGSE, Dr. Mapp was the deputy superintendent for family and community engagement for Boston Public Schools and was also president of the Institute for Responsive Education. She has written and co-authored several articles and books about the role of families and community members in student achievement and school improvement, including Beyond the Bake Sale: The Essential Guide to Family-School Partnerships.

Dr. Mapp is a member of the Board for the Institute for Educational Leadership, a founding member of the District Leaders Network on Family and Community Engagement, a trustee of the Hyams Foundation in Boston, and serves as a consultant on family engagement to the U.S Department of Education.

EPFP Experience and Value

I was recruited to become an EPFP Fellow when I was at the Institute for Responsive Education because of the school, families, and community partnerships work I was doing there. I had no policy experience except what I had learned during graduate school so I thought EPFP would be a good opportunity to meet people on the political side of the spectrum. Our speakers were great; we got to hear from former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis and learned a lot from him about the real policy process and how important it was to build relationships with people and constituents.

https://www.gse.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/faculty/images/karen-mapp-36.jpg



I felt like EPFP gave me exposure to all sides of the policy process—not just the glamorous part, but also the hard work, focus, and intentionality across all players to move the process along. What I didn’t like at the time but now realize is how slow the policy process is; it’s full of push, pull, and compromise. I also really enjoyed my time spent in Washington, DC, for the Washington Policy Seminar. I had the opportunity to talk to some of Sen. Ted Kennedy’s staffers and sat in on a congressional hearing, which really exposed us to what this work means and what it requires.

EPFP has come a long way from when I was a Fellow. I participated in a panel for the Massachusetts cohort and was very impressed with the sophistication of the questions Fellows asked. They are getting even deeper exposure to what it takes to move the work, not just in terms of being a policy leader but being a leader at large in their sector and related sectors. EPFP helps Fellows see the world through an education lens and build a network of fantastic people working at all levels in education—something you might not be able to do through your job alone.

Dual Capacity Building Framework and Family Engagement

If we want effective partnerships between home and school, then both sides need to have opportunities to build the capacity to partner with each other. That has been a hot topic for many districts and states—and even the federal government. Often the focus has been on “fixing families” and creating interventions that try to get families to value education and support their kids’ learning. But the important thing is for schools to engage families; you have to build the capacity of teachers and staff to engage families in their work. And this realization is continuing to grow. Ten or so years ago there were few people in my role, which is working with superintendents on family engagement. Now our District Leaders Network has more than 130 members and is continuing to grow, which is an indicator that people are realizing how important this work is.

Family and Community Engagement Opportunities and Possibilities

I’m more optimistic now than I have been in quite a while about the growing interest in this area of work. I’m very hopeful about the opportunities for relationships between families and schools and districts, in part because of IEL’s support. We’ve seen the growth of the District Leaders Network and especially the Family and Community Engagement Conference. I also held a family and community engagement institute at HGSE this summer and, because of its success, we will be expanding it from 2 ½ to 4 days with more than 150 people already on board. I get a lot of calls from districts and state leaders who are slowly but surely understanding that family and community engagement is the missing link in their school improvement efforts. Sec. Duncan has also talked a lot about the importance of family engagement. This is the type of thing that will help this work move forward. It will never be totally complete and there’s still a lot of work to do, but we’re on the right track.

Cross-Boundary Leadership

Any work in the education sector requires multiple stakeholders to be engaged. In my experience as a deputy superintendent in Boston and doing research on family, school, and community partnerships, I’ve learned that the best initiatives that are sustainable and have high ownership are ones where stakeholders get together, think about a problem, create solutions, and execute together. It doesn’t work when we try to attack a challenge in silos; often we spend more time correcting misunderstandings rather than focusing on kids. Because education is everyone’s business, you have to be a boundary crosser in order to be successful. You can’t do this work unless you understand and situate yourself in the space where different people’s perspectives are.

Challenges of Cross-Boundary Leadership

People are often not taught the importance of cross-sector work. I once heard a superintendent say that they are trying to concentrate on what they have control over, which is only the classroom. I think that is a narrow perspective because children spend a lot of time in their communities and with their families. If you only think you’re concerned about one small piece and don’t see how all of the pieces connect together, you haven’t engaged the stakeholders you need in order to succeed. It’s understandable that this might sound overwhelming, but in my work, I try to show that working across boundaries actually makes your work easier. It may require an initial investment but once you make those connections and have a network of support, it makes your work much easier and more enjoyable.

Leadership Lessons Learned

The relationship piece has been huge for my work. I still don’t think people understand the importance of building relationships; they’re the glue that holds everything else together. People often think relationship building is touchy-feely and simply an accessory to the work of successful districts and educators, but I know from my experience that it’s the central factor to the success of the work that we do.

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Cross-Boundary Leader: Kent McGuire (CO EPFP 80-81)

Posted By Shaina Cook, Tuesday, April 7, 2015

 

Cross-Boundary Leader: Kent McGuire
(CO EPFP 80-81)

Dr. Kent McGuire is the president and CEO of the Southern Education Foundation, where he leads the Atlanta-based organization to advance equity and excellence in education in the American South. Prior to joining SEF, Dr. McGuire served as dean of the College of Education at Temple University and was a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. He has also served as senior vice president at MDRC, Inc., and as Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, and has previously worked in the education programs at the Pew Charitable Trust and the Lilly Endowment. Dr. McGuire has also written and co-authored various policy reports, book chapters, and papers in professional journals, and he currently serves on many boards, including the Institute for Educational Leadership, Cornerstone Literacy, The New Teacher Project, and the Alliance for Excellent Education.

EPFP Experience

I was in my 30s and was the perfect program for me to do as I was beginning to look ahead to my career. To meet people who older than me and who worked in similar ways in different spaces was really eye opening and a confidence builder. As I got to know people, I learned the program wasn’t all work, but work and play. The informal time allowed us to build relationships and helped us understand how similar we all really were. It was a perfect way to show how big the world is and how much you had in common with people. It was also my first foray into demystifying Washington at the local level. I still remember my experiences as a Fellow and have sponsored a few employees from organizations I have worked at to be EPFP Fellows as well.

http://www.southerneducation.org/getattachment/87ee865f-04af-40d5-a091-ed08d2088efe/Kent-McGuire.aspx



Cross-Boundary Leadership

In my role, I work across many different sectors. I am currently working in philanthropy and have worked in that sector before, and have held roles in the government, higher education, and research companies. I’ve been an elected school board member, worked with schools and school districts, and, as an EPFP Fellow, I worked on state policy at the Education Commission of the States. Within my work in education, I’ve focused on questions of equity and opportunity from a broad range of vantage points and have found myself needing to work across sectors several times. K-12 and higher education, for example, don’t communicate easily and are like ships passing in the night, so conversations between the two have to be mediated. Research and practice have the same problem—they speak different languages and have different incentives but focus on the same thing.

To effectively lead and function across sectors, you have to become bilingual and learn the languages and norms of each sector to gain the trust and confidence of players. You also have to learn to facilitate relationships and communications across sectors, and you get better at it the more you do it. In doing this, I have been able to develop networks in each of these worlds, which gives me perspective and intelligence that is useful to my work.

Lessons Learned

I’ve learned to listen and honor the differences, norms, and traditions that operate in the education world. In the research community, I’ve learned to value evidence as the basis of deciding. In the world of practice, data-driven as it has become, I’ve learned to honor procedural and craft knowledge and observe how experienced people do things. The real trick there is learning how to blend those ways of knowing and standards of evidence. In the policy and philanthropy arenas, I’ve learned that interest groups are key. While there are some commonalities among everyone, each group honors different traditions and norms you need to be aware of. The cross-sector aspect is challenging to sustain because it runs against the grain and can get complicated, but it’s important. You have to have power and patience and respect the cultures, norms, and metrics that groups operate by. As you develop relationships with them, however, you become a bridge that mediates relationships and pulls people together.


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Cross-Boundary Leader: Kathleen Fulton (DC EPFP '04-05)

Posted By Shaina Cook, Wednesday, March 18, 2015

 

Cross-Boundary Leader: Kathleen Fulton
(DC EPFP '04-05)

Kathleen Fulton is a writer and education consultant specializing in teaching quality and technology. Her book, Time for Learning: Top 10 Reasons Why Flipping the Classroom Can Change Education, was released in June 2014. After a decade serving as Director, Reinventing Schools for the 21st Century, at the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF), Ms. Fulton retired in 2011. Prior to joining NCTAF, she was project director for the Congressional Web-based Education Commission, served as associate director of the Center for Learning and Educational Technology at the University of Maryland, and worked as a policy analyst for the U.S. Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. Since her retirement from NCTAF, Ms. Fulton has been consulting with a wide range of clients, including the National Council of Teachers of English, the State Education Technology Directors Association, the U.S. Department of State, and others. She has also written articles on the topic of flipped classrooms for Phi Delta Kappan, School Administrator, and other publications.

EPFP Experience

EPFP was a great experience for learning about all of the different places where education policy is conducted in a variety of settings and organizations here in Washington and beyond. It also provided great opportunities for networking! I found that the Fellows brought diverse perspectives and enjoyed hearing of their work and challenges. I loved our field tours, especially when we visited the statehouse in Virginia and saw state legislators in action. I thought EPFP was a great chance to do the equivalent of graduate-level work with focused and thoughtful discussions and challenges. EPFP can get you out of your own little niche and help you to see the broader education space.

Time for Learning: Top 10 Ways Flipping the Classroom Can Change Education

My new book, Time for Learning, is about just that: how precious classroom and teaching time can be used in different ways to support learning. It’s also about how students can be engaged in different ways. The book is illustrated with vignettes that describe how a variety of practitioners are flipping their teaching. I believe this is something educators want—and need—to learn more about. It is also written for policymakers, suggesting ways to consider this new educational phenomenon, give it perspective, and show how it fits into today’s education reform movement. I would like for the book to be a resource that helps to expand our conversations about technology and teaching and how technology can offer opportunities for greater student engagement and achievement.





Research on the Flipped Classroom Approach

One pleasant surprise to me was the amount of work that teachers have put into learning a new approach, aligned with their willingness to take risks and go out on a limb and do something differently, especially if they’re the only teacher in the school who has tried flipping their teaching. It truly shows the power of teacher grassroots creativity. My research on flipping also provided concrete examples of teacher collaboration in some school teams. It’s definitely a bottom-up approach to change, and it appeals to teachers because it’s teacher-led and directed; in fact, it could be problematic if teachers were required to flip their classrooms. It then might be seen as “just another reform du jour” and teachers could lose that buy-in and creative spark that makes it so unique. It has been interesting to follow an innovation coming from the grassroots that is having a broad impact in a pretty short amount of time and is creating so much positive momentum. I learned that this fast pick-up is largely because of the visibility and collaborative aspects of social media and the internet—it’s not just about technology, but technology is a key driver for the spread of innovation. 

Cross-Boundary Leadership

I’ve been fortunate that I’ve had many experiences in cross-boundary leadership throughout my career. Much of my first experience with school policy came from volunteering, as a PTA president in my children’s public schools in Washington, DC. My first paid position in education was as a staffer for a member of the DC school board and I have also been fortunate to have experience working at the federal level (for the U.S. Department of Education), for Congress (in the Office of Technology Assessment), in higher education (at the University of Maryland), for a private sector consulting firm (Issue Dynamics), and then, at NCTAF, a nonprofit with state-level partners. As a result, I was able to see education through a variety of lenses. Having those experiences has helped me reach across silos and see things from the teachers’ perspective, the administrators’ perspective, state and local policymakers’ perspective, and higher education perspective. This also inspired me to write my book in a style that would speak to and reach a broader audience than just teachers or just administrators.

Challenges to Leading across Boundaries

I’ve always heard about silos within education and that groups don’t connect with each other, but that has not been my experience. I’ve found that if you have a problem that everyone cares about and you have a wide-reaching voice, you can really work across groups. Part of the challenge in education is balancing the Washington and policy vision with that of people who are “in the trenches,” i.e. teachers, principals, and local administrators. It’s an inside the Beltway vs. outside the Beltway kind of mindset. I’ve had the opportunity to spend time on both sides of this divide and gain a perspective of how they each work. Too many people have a view and lens developed from just their one career role—and that’s where something like EPFP can make a big difference.

Leadership Lessons Learned

Respecting the perspectives of others with whom you are working is very important. As a leader, you have to listen to all sides, and do your best to understand the constraints and challenges each person faces, and be realistic about where and how you can be most helpful. It’s also important to trust your instincts. They’ve been developed over time and are built on knowledge, experience, and, hopefully, wisdom, so they’ll probably serve you well if you pay attention to them. I call my career one of “focused serendipity”—always making connections and following those leads to ever more interesting and challenging opportunities!

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