Dean Gallagher Receives Inaugural Provost’s Prize for Innovation in Educational Practice

USC Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Elizabeth Garrett & USC Rossier School of Education Dean Karen Symms Gallagher / Photo by: Steve Cohn

USC Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Elizabeth Garrett & USC Rossier School of Education Dean Karen Symms Gallagher

USC President C.L. Max Nikias awarded USC Rossier School of Education Dean Karen Symms Gallagher the inaugural Provost’s Prize for Innovation in Educational Practice at the Academic Honors Convocation on April 23.

Gallagher was honored for her visionary leadership and transformative contributions to education and to USC. She shares this designation with co-recipient Dean Marilyn Flynn from the USC School of Social Work.

The prize recognizes members of the USC community for their exceptional achievement that furthers the university’s mission and its role as a leader in higher education.

USC Rossier was well represented at the convocation, with several other members of the Rossier family receiving honors as well. USC Trustee Verna B. Dauterive MEd ’49, EdD ’66 was awarded the Presidential Medallion; Professor Emeritus Richard Clark received the Faculty Lifetime Achievement Award (can link to story); and PASA student Kenisha Strong was presented with the Rockwell Dennis Hunt Award by alumna Lorna Reed (can link to story). In the award letter, Nikias lauded the Dean’s leadership in the development and launch of Rossier’s online Master of Arts in Teaching degree in 2009, and noted the program has contributed to the university’s reputation as a pioneer in online education.

“Your entrepreneurial innovation and service as a catalyst of change have built USC’s global online graduate education enterprise,” Nikias stated in the letter. The Master of Arts in Teaching program, the first of its kind from a major research university. combines robust highly-interactive live online curricula with field work in a school in each student’s own community. The groundbreaking program now has more than 1,300 highly prepared graduates from nearly 50 states and 40 countries – a tenfold increase over the school’s on-campus program.

Gallagher also led the redesign of USC Rossier’s practitioner-focused EdD program in which doctoral candidates solve real problems of practice in the field through work in thematic dissertation groups. The EdD has become a model for doctor of education programs nationally and is the basis for USC Rossier’s Global Executive EdD, which enrolls students from around the world in a hybrid program of face-to-face and online coursework.

In September, Gallagher and her faculty opened USC Hybrid High School. The innovative learning environment provided at the Los Angeles charter school is designed to prepare students for college and fulfilling careers by way of individual and self-directed curricula, new technology tools to manage the students’ schedules and expanded school hours.

This year, she was named a Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow, the first school of education dean to be so honored. The highly selective recognition supports entrepreneurial leaders who are committed to transforming public education.