Pamela "Sissi" Carroll, Ed.D.
Professor and Dean
Mildred W. Coyle Eminent Scholar and Endowed Professor of Education
I began a lifetime career as an educator with teaching high school and middle school students in English language arts classes in Tallahassee, Florida, after earning a dual bachelor's degree in English and in education at Auburn University. As a classroom teacher, I had great mentors, and absolutely loved working with colleagues, students, and their parents. After several years, I wanted to help other teachers become energized about the profession, so I returned to school at Auburn University to study and engage in research in English Education. After completing my doctorate and a year of work at Georgetown College, Kentucky, I returned to Tallahassee to accept my dream position as a member of the faculty of the College of Education at Florida State University. I worked in the College of Education at FSU for twenty years. Some of my happiest experiences involved taking university students into area middle and high schools to engage directly adolescents who needed extra time, attention, and academic coaching. I was able to publish books and articles primarily about young adult literature, particularly as it is used to promote literacy among students in secondary schools, and to anchor literacy practices among faculty members.
Eventually, I moved into administrative roles in the College of Education, including those of department chair and associate dean. With wonderful mentoring and support from office staff, faculty, students, and administrators, especially Dean Marcy Driscoll, I was able to extend my reach into the role of Dean of the College of Education at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. There, I was fortunate to work with individuals who helped me commit to projects that were intrinsically meaningful and that also contributed to people in very immediate ways. Most notable was an educational, intergenerational project with the Choctaw nation in southwest Oklahoma, for which my colleagues and I were awarded the President's Multidisciplinary Award. Another memorable project was a collaboration with the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences to develop and initiate OSUTeach, for which we earned a large grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Foundation. OSUTeach continues to prepare teachers of math and science for Oklahoma's secondary schools.
In 2015, I was delighted to have the opportunity to return to Florida with my husband, Dr. Joe Donoghue, where we accepted positions at the University of Central Florida. Hired as the Dean, College of Education and Human Performance, I now have the honor of serving as Founding Dean and Mildred W. Coyle Endowed Professor and Eminent Scholar for the College of Community Innovation and Education, with its eight departments, 300 faculty and staff, and 9,000 students. Our focus is on using the resources within the college to lift lives within the communities that we serve. Joe, a coastal geologist, is a member of the faculty in the Physics Department.
Currently, I am dedicated to the Parramore Education and Innovation District project, Orlando, for which I serve as co-principal investigator for grants funded by Helios Education Foundation, Kresge Foundation, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, and the City of Orlando. I am also happy to serve on the Board of A Gift for Teaching, City Year, the Central Florida Housing Trust, and as an active member of the Orlando First United Methodist Church, and chair of its Church Council. I also serve as immediate past president of the Council of Academic Deans of Research in Education Institutions, and Chair of the State University System of Florida Deans Council.
In 2019, I was honored to receive a Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Education at Florida State University, where I completed my Master of Arts degree, and in 2020, was humbled to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award from Auburn University College of Education.
When not working, I love to be outside running or cycling with Joe, swimming or gardening, or playing with our dog Sunny and cats, Carl Sandburg and MO.