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Jaime Lester, associate dean of faculty affairs and strategic initiatives in the College of Humanities and a professor in the Higher Education Program at George Mason University, has been named the vice dean of academic affairs at the Johns Hopkins School of Education. 

“With her research expertise in organizational change and collaborative leadership and her established strength in faculty development, Jaime is the kind of scholar-leader who can make a long-term impact at the School of Education,” says Christopher Morphew, dean of the School of Education. 

With over 50 peer-reviewed academic publications and research expertise in organizational change and collaborative leadership—with a particular emphasis on faculty development—Lester is well positioned to enhance the school’s existing teaching methods, instructional practices, and leadership decision-making based on data-driven evidence.  

Her research has been funded by federal and private organizations and is widely disseminated in academic publications. Her publications regarding educational technologies, equitable workplace practices, and organizational change are broadly used in higher education practice, and Lester regularly consults on issues such as faculty workload, pedagogical innovations, and leadership. The overarching goal of her work is to examine organizational change and leadership in higher education with a focus on faculty development that promotes local and institutional change and highlights the importance of individual identity in creating equitable workplaces in colleges and universities.  

Lester’s academic career began with dual bachelor’s degrees in English and women’s studies from the University of Michigan, followed by a doctorate and Master of Education in higher education from the University of Southern California. After joining the faculty at George Mason University in 2008, she was recognized as the university’s “Rising Star” nominee to the Virginia State Council of Higher Education in 2011 and was awarded the university’s Teaching Excellence Award in 2013. 

Lester will assume the duties of vice dean on March 13. She will take over the role from interim vice dean, Norma Day-Vines. The position was previously held by Hunter Gehlbach, who returned to teaching, research, and leading the school’s PhD program. 

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