USC Rossier Magazine: Fall/Winter 2021

Breakthrough Leadership

What does it mean to be a good leader?

Styles of leadership and what makes an effective leader change with the culture and context of the moment. These days, the idea of leaders being at the center of all things is changing, too, as we are beginning to see leaders not as the ones with all the answers, but the ones who are asking the right questions. In this issue of USC Rossier Magazine, we explore what effective leadership looks like today. What are the questions leaders should be asking as we seek to rebuild and revitalize our education systems to adequately respond to post-pandemic realities? What skills do leaders need to successfully serve their communities? Just as our society and the institutions that hold us together evolve, so too do the techniques, skills and strategies needed from today’s leaders.

On August 31—the first day of school at Long Beach Unified—Superintendent Jill Baker EdD ’04 asks first graders at Roosevelt Elementary School if they have lost any teeth yet. (Photo/Getty Images, Brittany Murray, Long Beach Press-Telegram)
Dean's Byline

How can education leaders break through the challenges of today?

Meeting the demands of the post-pandemic era will require new skills and preparations.

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(Illustration/Chris Gash)

What does leadership look like after the pandemic?

Kindness, creativity and relationship building are among the essential skills education leaders need to break through the challenges of today.

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(Illustration/Sonia Pullido)

A day in the life of a USC Rossier grad

Alumni leaders share the details of their waking hours—from their morning routines to the ways they wind down from their busy working days.

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Thomas Tan EdD ’09, Hacienda La Puente Unified School District’s director of and computer services, reviews notes on his office whiteboard in August 2021. (Photo/Rebecca Aranada)

The pandemic changed their jobs overnight. How did education technology leaders manage?

USC Rossier alumni share how they led their districts out of crisis and into a brighter, more plugged-in future.

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(Illustration/Edmon de Haro)

After a harrowing year, superintendents from the nation’s three largest urban districts step down

Austin Beutner, Richard Carranza and Janice Jackson look back on leading schools during the pandemic.

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Members of the Avengers student group met on campus earlier this summer. From left to right, back row: Jason Olmstead, David Smith, Katie Johns and Shane Craven; middle row: Brennan Pope, Diana Cisneros and Ruby Lin; front row: Jerome Rucker, Marie Martin, Victoria Rivas Castro and Maritza Dortrait.

The Avengers student group aims ‘to create revolutionary change in education’

These student superheroes are using their special powers to shape the future of education.

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Alumni and Student Profiles

Maha Al-Romaihi

As director of Tariq Bin Ziad School, Maha Al Romaihi champions a bilingual curriculum that balances English language skills with a celebration of the Arabic language and Qatar’s culture.

Maha Al Romaihi

This Qatar-based Global EdD student is exploring how to embrace change in education while honoring tradition

Kristine Poblete

Women leaders in her distinctly male-dominated workplace have deeply inspired Kristine Poblete EdD ’17.

Kristine Poblete

Leading by example, from example

USC Rossier Alumna and Board of Councilors member leads effort to launch new inclusive school

Elana Glasenberg EdD ’21 is helping to bring students with disabilities out of the shadows in Ukraine.

Elana Glasenberg

USC Rossier alumna and Board of Councilors member leads effort to launch new inclusive school

Students in a combined fourth- and fifth-grade class work together on a poster about the Lunar New Year.
Tips for Educators

How can educators create the conditions for student leadership?

Professor Julie Slayton explains that giving students meaningful opportunities to lead in the classroom extends beyond distributing materials and grants them decision-making power.

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(Illustration/Heather Monahan)
In Conversation

‘Having a place at the table is not enough’

Tracy Poon Tambascia EdD ’07, newly elected president of the USC Academic Senate and USC Rossier professor of clinical education, on the importance of leaders amplifying alternative perspectives.

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(Illustration/Chris Gash)

Leading with questions rather than answers

Professor Adrian Donato EdD ’16 discusses why leaders must frame goals around the ‘why.’

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Andrew Nikou in his Los Angeles office. Earlier this year, his foundation awarded a major grant to the Education (Re)Open, an initiative of Center EDGE. (Photo/Courtesy of the Andrew Nikou Foundation)
Rossier Supporters

Paying it forward

The Andrew Nikou Foundation backs a crowdsourcing model that seeks solutions to education problems.

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