Professor Mary Betsy Brenner and professor Michael Furlong have been named interim co-deans of UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz Graduate School of Education.

UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang says, “We very much appreciate the willingness of Professor Brenner and Professor Furlong to serve our Gevirtz Graduate School of Education and our campus as interim co-deans while we continue our search for a permanent dean.”

Professor Brenner, senior associate dean for the 2014-15 academic year and former chair of the Department of Education, joined the faculty in 1991 after teaching at UC Berkeley.

Over the past two decades, she has been examining how to more effectively teach mathematics to diverse groups of learners. She also has been working with after-school programs to better understand how different learning environments can enhance student learning. Professor Brenner also continues her research of the education system in Liberia, where she supports an elementary school that began during the civil war. She was named a 2012 Unsung Heroine by the UCSB Professional Women’s Association.

“I’m happy to continue being of service to the Gevirtz School,” Brenner says. “It will be a pleasure to do this work in conjunction with Professor Furlong.”

Professor Furlong, a former chair of the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology in the Gevirtz School, joined the faculty in 1990. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Educational Research Association, and an elected a member of Society for the Study of School Psychology. He is the director of the Center for School-Based Youth Development.

About the appointment, Furlong says, “It is my honor to serve as acting co-dean, and I look forward to supporting the wonderful GGSE faculty, staff, and students and their efforts to make a positive difference in the lives of youth and their families.”

His research focuses on school-based approaches to foster positive youth development and the development of valid strength-based measures of child and adolescent well-being. Furlong has served as the editor of the Journal of School Violence (2008-2015) and he is a co-editor of the Handbook of School Violence and Safety (2006, 2012) and the Handbook of Positive Psychology in Schools (2009, 2014).

Professors Brenner and Furlong will share the major responsibilities of the dean’s office through joint decision-making and a division of oversight of specific committees and activities in the GGSE.

— George Yatchisin for the UCSB Gevirtz Graduate School of Education.