Calderon appointed new dean of education

Paula Calderon

Paula Summers Calderon has been appointed as the new dean of the College of Education.

 Calderon describes her new position as “Intimidating, but great.”

“I’m really enjoying it, but I’m learning a lot,” said Calderon. “I came from 11 years at LSU, and so there are a lot of things that are the same and a lot of things that are different. So, I’m learning what’s different.”

Starting out as a high school teacher, Calderon climbed her way to becoming the dean.

“I was a high school French teacher for nine years and knew that I wanted to prepare teachers,” said Calderon. “I left teaching to complete my doctoral degree because I knew I wanted to get into teacher education. Once at LSU working in teacher education, I found myself in administration and worked my way up. And now I am running a College of Education. My heart is still in teaching and teacher education and making the best teachers that we can. ”

Since Calderon has not been at the university for long, she has yet to find any significant changes that need to be made within the College of Education.

“I hope to increase enrollment, undergraduate and graduate enrollment,” said Calderon. “I can’t say what changes I would make, but I would involve faculty if I were to make any substantial changes.”

Calderon aims to help everyone within the college of education find success.

“To make sure that we are running smoothly, to make sure that our students are happy and successful, make sure that faculty are also successful, and supporting the faculty in any way that I can,” said Calderon. “Because we are unique as a college of education, building those relationships with our partner schools and surrounding parishes is also important.”

To achieve this goal, Calderon is willing to help however she can.

“In any way that I can,” said Calderon. “The College of Education, for undergraduates primarily, prepares students for teacher certification. I would provide support for anything I can to help make sure classes are preparing students to be successful in learning content and pedagogy so they can pass the licensure exams and become successful teachers. If we need to have study workshops for the licensure exams, or if we need to have some after school tutoring, I am more than willing to see if we can put those programs in place. If the faculty or students find that they need something and need the dean’s support, my door’s open.”

Calderon says she has most enjoyed meeting the people at the university.

“Southeastern is a very different community from LSU, and I love it,” said Calderon. “I don’t know what it is, but when I came to interview, I knew that it was a very special place. And so, I’ve enjoyed meeting students, I’ve enjoyed meeting faculty, and I have enjoyed meeting colleagues across campus and administration. So, definitely the community atmosphere.”

Calderon is looking forward to a long and positive experience in her new position.

“Based on my four weeks that I’ve had here, I hope that it goes in a positive trajectory,” said Calderon. “I feel a lot of support from the faculty, and I hope that I stay here for a very long time. I hope I can make positive change so that the faculty wants me to stay here for a long time and the students will want me to stay here for a very long time.”