Staff Spotlight for May 2016: Dionne Cowan

Dionne Cowan profile photo

Dionne Cowan

What is your title? I serve as the Associate Director of the Principals Center

Would you like to share a little about your immediate family or family history? I am a native of Dallas, Texas. I grew up in a loving family. I moved to Atlanta to attend Spelman College and fell in love with Atlanta, GA.

How long have you been working at Georgia State University? I began working at the Principals Center, housed in the Educational Policy Studies Department, in August 2014.

How do you think your job supports the university’s mission? The Principals Center connects lifelong learners to the vibrancy and hub of an educational community positioned to create solutions for the communities that instructional school leaders serve and lead. Georgia State’s scholarship and research focus on solving complex issues resonates with every educational leader we encounter. The three signature series of the Principals Center: Expert Leader Series, Tool Box Series, and Cohort Series places me in the position to work with school district partners around that state as we collectively build leadership capacity to create schools in Georgia that work for all children.

What do you do on a typical day? My typical day is always a new adventure. Daily, I am charged with the opportunity to ensure that the Principals Center lives out our mission: to provide practicing and aspiring school leaders with learning and networking opportunities designed to develop their capacity to create schools that work for all children. I am blessed to have the opportunity to work directly with principals, assistant principals, instructional coaches, and aspiring school leaders to provide them the necessary support with the end goal of building leader capacity. I work best when I’m afforded the opportunity to work collaboratively with national leaders in education, local professional development school district leaders, and the professors in the educational leadership unit at GSU. My days are atypical, enriching, and adventuresome.

What is your background? I earned a B.A. in Child Development from Spelman College in 1999 and a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from GSU in 2005. I will complete the Ed.D. in Educational Policy Studies with a Major in Educational Leadership here at GSU in May 2016.

What do you do when you are not at work? I enjoy gardening and creating floral arrangements. Additionally, I enjoy going to the movies.

What is your favorite thing in your office? A trip to my office would reveal a myriad of things, my favorite being the memories that surround me and remind me of the blessing and call on my life to serve, educate, and lead. My office walls and bookshelves are decorated with mementos from my journey as an educator over the past 17 years.

What don’t people know about you? I am a flutist.

If you weren’t working at Georgia State, what would your ideal job be? Serving as a principal was the most challenging but most rewarding work. If I weren’t working in higher education, I have a feeling I’d be serving as a school administrator in the K-12 setting.