MSU Texas names Leann Curry as Gordon T. & Ellen West College of Education dean

New dean at WCOE has been instrumental in program's success

MSU Texas names Leann Curry as Gordon T. & Ellen West College of Education dean

Leann Curry, Ph.D., has been named dean of Midwestern State University’s (MSU Texas) Gordon T. & Ellen West College of Education (WCOE). Curry has been serving as interim dean since fall of 2021 and will officially begin Sept. 1, 2022.

“I am confident that Dr. Curry’s appointment will be a step in the right direction for the West College of Education. She brings to this position the skill set and experience to move the college to the next level,” said Martin Camacho, MSU Texas Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “She is a respected figure in the college and community, a foundation that I am sure she will build upon.”

As chair of the MSU Texas Department of Curriculum and Learning from 2015-2021, Curry has been instrumental in implementing new degrees outside of teacher certification. Of particular interest is the newly formed Early Child Studies and Early Care degree program in collaboration with the Texas Department of Health and Human Services. The program qualifies students to apply for the Texas Intervention Specialist (EIS) credential.

In June 2020, Curry was named the Hardin Professor in recognition of her teaching and research. The award is the highest honor bestowed upon a faculty member at the university each year.

“I am humbled and excited to be the next dean of the West College of Education. As an alumna, West Foundation scholarship recipient and faculty member, my love and commitment to the WCOE runs deep. I have served the university and college for almost two decades and look forward to my new role as dean. As we begin this new phase as part of the Texas Tech University System, I am excited about what the future will bring to MSU Texas and the WCOE,” said Curry.

Curry’s academic journey has brought her full circle as she is now able to pay forward her passion for education to students and faculty in the WCOE. Her devotion and zeal for education began as an undergraduate student at MSU Texas where she earned her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies. Then, while pursuing her master’s degree in reading education, she was recipient of the prestigious West Foundation Graduate Scholarship. She received her Ph.D. in Literacy and Language Studies from the University of North Texas.

After teaching for several years in public school, Curry began her MSU Texas career as an instructor in 2004. She was promoted to assistant professor in 2014 and named chair of the Department of Curriculum and Learning in 2015. She was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor in 2019.

Curry has 12 publications in several peer-reviewed journals, five different book contributions, and 42 presentations at state, national and international levels. She has received the West College of Education Faculty Award three times. She also engages her undergraduate students in research projects and has mentored and presented with them on seven occasions.

“I join our MSU Texas community in congratulating Dr. Curry as our newest dean of the West College of Education,” said Interim President James Johnston. “Dr. Curry’s commitment and love for education and MSU Texas is evident through her leadership of innovative programs and mentorship of her faculty, staff and students. We look forward to what her experiences will bring next to our campus and local communities.”

As MSU Texas celebrates its 100th anniversary, Curry and the WCOE will celebrate the grand opening of the West Center for Advancement of Science Education and the West Physical Education Lab later this year.