Meet Dr. Dawn Shinew, Dean of the College of Education and Human Development

As a third-generation Falcon, I am proud and honored to serve the College of Education and Human Development. Both of my grandmothers attended Bowling Green Normal School shortly after it opened in 1914. My father attended BGSU on the GI Bill after serving in World War II and went on to be a music teacher.

I am the youngest of four daughters, and all of us graduated from BGSU, all with degrees from the College of Education and Human Development. My son has just completed his third year as an undergraduate at BGSU, and my daughter is taking college credit plus classes through BGSU. For my family, BGSU is not just a quality university but a family tradition.


After graduating from BGSU, I taught in the Los Angeles area for many years before returning to BGSU for my master’s degree, making me a two-time alumna of the college. I received my Ph.D. at The Ohio State University in 1998. I returned to BGSU in 2012 to serve as the director of the School of Teaching and Learning, after spending 13 years at Washington State University. Since 2015, I have been honored to serve as the dean. 

BGSU and the local community hold a special place in my heart. I have been grateful for the opportunity to be part of this great institution, and my family enjoys being active members of the local community.

The College of Education and Human Development prepares students for a wide variety of life and career choices. Some graduates go on to careers in PK-12 education. Other alumni work for athletic teams or go on to become physical therapists or athletic trainers. And others work in social services, run non-profit agencies or work in the fashion industry. 

While we represent a diverse group of programs and specializations, one important thread connects all of the work: Faculty and staff in our college are committed to preparing our students not only for successful and productive careers, but for happy and fulfilling lives.

Teachers create all other professions.

Our college integrates five critical elements into our curriculum and extra-curricular programming:

  1. Developing and sustaining an inclusive and diverse community.
  2. Integrating opportunities to apply what is learned in classroom settings to the real world.
  3. Promoting inquiry and innovation.
  4. Creating opportunities to serve and lead others.
  5. Preparing students for future professions. 

The EDHD faculty and staff believe these priorities will not only provide a meaningful educational experience for our students but also help them grow and develop as individuals and as part of a larger community.

In 1976, a previous dean from my college (David Elsass) moved a little red schoolhouse from Norwalk, Ohio, to BGSU. The building was taken apart, brick by brick, and loaded onto a flatbed truck where it was reassembled in the center of campus to remind everyone that teaching and learning is at the heart of everything we do at BGSU. 

Each year, as students begin their careers in the College of Education and Human Development, I invite them to meet me in front of that schoolhouse to ring the bell, marking their entry into our community. At graduation, I invite them to ring the bell again, to celebrate their accomplishments and their entry into the world as BGSU alumni.

I love this tradition because it reminds our students that they are part of something important. As members of BGSU’s founding college, they are part of a legacy. On behalf of the many generations that have come before them, including those from my own family, I am proud to welcome your students to the Falcon Family. I know that incredible things are ahead for them.  

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