Dr. Judy Abbott

Dr. Judy Abbott, dean of Stephen F. Austin State University’s James I. Perkins College of Education, was selected for a yearlong fellowship that aims to support and strengthen educator-preparation programs.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Dr. Judy Abbott, dean of Stephen F. Austin State University’s James I. Perkins College of Education, was named an Impact Academy fellow for the 2023-24 academic year through the national nonprofit organization Deans for Impact.

Impact Academy is a yearlong fellowship that aims to strengthen educator-preparation programs and prepare a diverse group of teachers to meet the needs of all pre-K-12 students. Since its inception in 2016, Impact Academy fellowship has served 139 educator-preparation leaders.

“This is a remarkable opportunity for me and for the educator-preparation program at SFA,” Abbott said. “At a time when the state of Texas and the nation need more well-prepared teachers, the fellowship of deans focuses on developing leadership, improving communication and strengthening the quality of education preparation.”

During the fellowship, educator leaders participate in monthly learning sessions, receive one-on-one coaching from seasoned leaders and engage in peer consultancies to address field-facing challenges in real time. They hone their ability to engage faculty, staff, communities and pre-K-12 partners in a shared vision for transformative change, grounded in a deep scientific understanding about how students learn.

Abbott has joined the eighth cohort of the fellowship, which consists of 24 leaders of traditional and nontraditional educator-preparation programs across 25 states and Washington, D.C. Collectively, the cohort in which Abbott will participate serves nearly 15,000 future teachers annually, 45% of whom identify as people of color. Abbott was among those selected for their commitment to improving educator preparation. 

“For the eighth year in a row, we welcome a diverse group of outstanding leaders to Impact Academy who are steadfast in their commitment to ensuring all pre-K-12 students access well-prepared teachers,” said Valerie Sakimura, executive director of DFI. “As communities respond to shortages of skilled educators, there is no more crucial time to ensure that we’re building pathways into teaching that are accessible, practice-based and focused on equitable instruction. Leaders in educator preparation play an essential role in charting the future of the teaching profession.”

To learn more about Impact Academy, visit deansforimpact.org.