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The Associate Provost for Academic Affairs

Office Of Associate Provost For Academic Affairs

Dr. Joan Walker

Interim Associate Provost for Academic Affairs

Joan Walker, PhD, is an associate professor in Westchester. She joined Pace’s School of Education in 2009.

Her Pace service includes co-directing the Faculty Center and supporting faculty scholarship as the Assistant Provost for Research. She has also served as chair of the Westchester Faculty Council Faculty Affairs Committee, the School of Education Steering Committee, and she has collaborated with School of Education colleagues on curriculum development and accreditation initiatives.
Prior to Pace, Joan was an assistant professor in the School of Education at Long Island University, which laid the foundation for her research in teacher education. She also had a post-doctoral fellowship at the Vanderbilt-Northwestern-Texas-Harvard/MIT Engineering Research Center in Bioengineering Educational Technologies, which enriched her understanding of the learning sciences, assessment and evaluation, and learning technologies.

Joan’s recent professional experience includes three years of service as a program officer in the National Science Foundation’s Education and Human Resources Directorate. There, she was involved with a broad spectrum of national STEM education programs and initiatives, including the design and launch of NSF’s first Hispanic-Serving Institutions program. She also developed funding opportunities for fundamental research on Equity, Inclusion, and Ethics in Postsecondary Academic Workplaces and the Academic Profession. Consistent with her strong commitment to broadening access to educational and career opportunities, Joan’s research informs community outreach programs that engage traditionally marginalized families. For example, over 30,000 families in the Phoenix, AZ area have graduated from the Realizing the American Dream program, which uses her scholarship to support immigrant families’ understanding of their rights and responsibilities as parents of children enrolled in U.S. public schools.

Broadly, Dr. Walker’s scholarship examines how cognition and social interaction intertwine to shape learning and human development. For example, she has examined how teachers’ interpersonal skills shape student engagement and learning, and she contributed to a landmark theoretical model articulating how family-school interactions shape student outcomes. Her most recent scholarship involves designing and testing simulation tools that robustly and ethically prepare novice teachers for their complex and socially situated work. Her overarching aim is to articulate, and potentially hasten, the development of teaching expertise.  In 2012, her research received national recognition from the American Association for Colleges of Teacher Education, which represents more than 800 postsecondary institutions with educator preparation programs.

Joan completed her PhD in psychology and human development from Vanderbilt University.