Friday, May 20, 2016

A Final Farewell To Mentor, Friend, Colleague, Feminist and Scholar Dr. Susan Franzosa @FairfieldU

I wish my words this morning could be as poignant as those spoken by Dr. Faith-Ann Dohm given during the Graduate School of Education and Allied Profession's Award Ceremony hosted at the Dolan School of Business. After several years as a philosopher, a Dean, a teacher educator, and a proponent of feminist ideals and contributions, Dr. Susan Franzosa has decided it is time to retire.

Speeches given in her honor over the last few weeks have been many, but I'm using my blog this morning to pay tribute to the woman who hired me to Direct CWP-Fairfield and who has been a tremendous advocate for my grant-writing, community involvement, and support of urban education. She's always been a gentle soul, a vibrant visionary, and a critical friend. I remember fondly a day that she and I worked together at St. Martin de Pores in New Haven and when I was a first-hand witness to her skills of working with middle school youth and creating magic with their education. I also recall the day that Dr. Franzosa delivered a paper at the Graduate School research forum when her administrative duties were cast aside and she shared her scholarship on the state of higher education and where she sees Schools of Education should be heading next. She is politically savvy, well-connected, tough, and a fighter. Fairfield University has lost one of their greatest social justice champions and a maverick for working with local schools, educators, superintendents and community organizations.

The retirement is well-deserved, too. It won't be the same not having her for advice, feedback, quick hellos, and institutional knowledge. Dr. Franzosa's expertise will be very difficult to replace and she will be tremendously missed.

For those of us just beginning our carers, Dr. Franzosa has modeled integrity, poise, grace, kindness and professionalism. I wish their was a way to bottle up her talents to sprinkle on all of us across campus.

Congratulations, Susan! You deserve every second of this new chapter in your life.

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