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Powell Named Director of School of Education

James PowellJames Powell has been named Ferris State University’s new School of Education director.

Powell, most recently an associate professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage, is expected to arrive in Big Rapids on Monday, March 19 and to assume his duties shortly thereafter. Michelle Johnston, dean of the College of Education and Human Services, said she believes Powell’s previous leadership experiences will serve him well as he prepares to advance the School of Education at Ferris.

“I am very excited because in Alaska, he led a lot of improvement initiatives that moved his program to a heightened level of excellence,” Johnston said. “Furthermore, he is an educational leader who engages with schools to help them with their school improvement plans.”

At UAA, Powell has served as an associate professor since 2006. Prior to that appointment, he was an assistant professor from 1993 to 2006 at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. From 1989 through 1993, Powell was a graduate assistant at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz. His educational content areas of instruction include Qualitative and Advanced Qualitative Research, Introduction to Educational Research, Curriculum History and Theory, Secondary English/Language Arts Methods, Secondary ESL Methods, Middle School Methods and Student Teaching/Internships Supervision. His administrative experience includes serving as assistant department chair at Ball State and as department co-chair and department chair at UAA.

Powell has authored numerous education-related presentations and publications that focus on topics such as assessment, instruction and learning.

Powell earned a Bachelor of Science in English/Secondary Education from Ball State, in 1975; he earned a Master of Arts degree from Ball State in Linguistics, in 1980; and earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Arizona State in 1993.

Powell is a member of several national and international professional and academic associations, and has participated in several service activities.

Johnston noted that Powell has been actively engaged in the time leading up to his duties at Ferris. She explained that he has utilized communication technology, including Skype, to work with personnel from COEHS to better prepare for the transition to director of the School of Education.