Higher education alumni

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Cameron Beatty: 2014 SoE graduate, higher education administration

Recently Dr. Cameron Beatty moved to Tallahassee, FL to assume his current role as an Assistant Professor in the Leadership Studies Program in the Education Leadership and Policy Studies Department at Florida State University. Previously Beatty was an Assistant Professor in Higher Education Student Affairs graduate program at Salem State University. Beatty has continued his research with varying foci, including the intersections of gender and race in leadership education, retention of students of color on historically white college campuses, and global leadership education for undergraduate students.

Beatty says that engaging students and the learning process is what he enjoys most about his career.

“The energy I get from being in collaborative learning spaces definitely makes me feel grateful that I am in a career I truly love. Being in the classroom, I feel like I am supporting the future direction of the student affairs profession and also society by preparing future leaders to be more thoughtful, critical, and compassionate contributors of society.”

Beatty was recently named an American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Emerging Scholar designee for 2018-2020. According to their website, this program “supports, encourages, and honors early-career individuals who are emerging as contributors to student affairs and higher education scholarship.” He has also been acknowledged as an outstanding new professional from ACPA and for exemplary social justice contribution by a graduate student.

Beatty credits Iowa State and the higher education administration program for their support in preparation for his current role.

“[They] supported me in preparing for a faculty role in higher education with rigorous coursework and opportunities to apply my learning on campus through practicums, student affairs assistantships, and actually teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in higher education,” he said. “These practical experiences supported the process of me building the confidence of showing up in the classroom and in postsecondary education environments as my true authentic self.”

While he credits the program for the support and guidance, Beatty advises new students to not be discouraged when beginning the program.

“It’s going to be hard. If getting a graduate degree was easy, everyone would be doing it. Remember why you made the decision and commitment and let that be your driving force to the finish line.”


Larry Dietz, 1974 & 1985 SoE graduate, higher education & student personnel, higher education administration 

Current Illinois State University President Larry H. Dietz exemplifies the adventures an Iowa State University School of Education graduate can have. Working closely with the Board of Trustees, elected officials, and the University community, Dietz oversees a university with an enrollment of nearly 21,000 students and 3,600 faculty and staff members.

After graduating with a master’s degree in higher education and student personnel and Ph.D. in higher education administration from Iowa State, Dietz worked closely with Iowa State University with multiple leadership positions for 13 years. From there, Dietz went on to be a tenured faculty member with two institutions and served in student affairs for Iowa State and the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.

Dietz recognizes Iowa State for preparing him for a leadership role and working towards career goals. Specifically, time in class and in the College of Education and first hand, full-time work in the Division of Student Affairs taught him the skills to excel in his career. His time at Iowa State gave him the ability to “…bring a solid knowledge of higher education, and the research and trends in the field” to all of his accomplishments.

His work and passion for higher education has been celebrated with multiple awards recognizing his dedication to work both in and out of the classroom. Peers acknowledge his love for higher education, describing him as a values-based, family-oriented, and passionate worker. Further, he is known for his dedication, respect, and ability to make work fun.

“Playing a small part in helping others with their educational and personal goals and watching them succeed has been professionally and personally very rewarding. This is true whether it has been with students, staff, faculty, or colleagues. Being involved in higher education over the years has been like being a part of a family.”

(Photo by Larry Kanfer)


Jerlando Jackson: 2000 SoE graduate

Five books. One hundred plus publications. More than 170 presentations. These are just a few of the accomplishments Jerlando F. L. Jackson has had so far in his career. And there are sure to be many more to come – because Jackson is leading the way when it comes to researching and promoting equality in education.

One of Jackson’s roles is founder and Director and Chief Research Scientist of Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB). Its mission is to design, conduct, and disseminate research that informs policymakers, practitioners, and concerned citizens on how to best promote equitable and inclusive learning and work environments in education. Jackson’s central research interest has been to explore workforce diversity and workplace discrimination in higher education.

Jackson says that while he was at Iowa State, the higher education faculty provided him the guidance and flexibility he needed to customize a program of study that enabled him to graduate with a competitive research portfolio. And since graduating from Iowa State, Jackson’s continued research has led him to become a trusted expert in his field. Recently, he donated his services to support President Leath’s diversity efforts by conducting the most comprehensive diversity study ever of Iowa State University.

When asked what he enjoys most about his career, Jackson said, “The possibility that the work I do might inspire educational leaders to take seriously the educational disparities that prevent underrepresented groups from realizing career and life goals.” And with his groundbreaking research, educational equality for all is a subject that’s gaining more and more traction. One book, publication, and presentation at a time.

“My current professional goal is to continue to build and provide leadership to Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) so that it emerges as a global leader and champion for equitable and inclusive educational organizations.”


Jennifer Sabourin, 2017 SoE graduate, educational leadership

Recently awarded to the Indian Hills Athletic Hall of Fame for accomplishments as a player and coach, Dr. Jennifer Sabourin embodies being a team player and advocate students as the Director of Student Life at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa.

“My role [as Director of Student Life] is multifaceted, as I oversee residence life, early alert, student health and wellness, and student activities and student senate; additional responsibilities include student conduct administrator and Title IX Deputy Coordinator. I work closely with several departments across campus, from athletics to international affairs.”

Described by her peers as student-focused, loyal, honest, compassionate, and an advocate for the betterment of students, Sabourin applies those traits in and out of an administrative setting.

“My goals are to continue to move forward administratively in a higher educational environment. My current duties encompass many aspects outside of the classroom, giving me the strong grasp on college student life. I strive to assist students in reaching their goals and discover for themselves what their potential can be. My goal is to continue to work with students in a positive and impactful manner.”

Sabourin believes that the opportunities presented to her during her doctoral program helped lead her to her current position as Director of Student Life at Indian Hills Community College.

“Having the opportunity to participate in the LINC leadership program at Iowa State, allowed me to have a first-hand look at the administrative workings of a community college. Being able to speak with trustees, presidents, and other administrators provided leadership learning experiences from a variety of educational backgrounds. It gave me a better understanding and confidence to advance administratively.”

Sabourin is taking that confidence and applying it to her long-term goals on both administratively and academically.

“In five years I would like to have moved into a Dean of Student Affairs role. I would also like to gain academic experience by possibly teaching a few courses. I plan to continue to broaden my experiences in higher education and in 10 years I would like to be serving as a vice president at a college.”